Where's the best place for a quick meal before curtain call? 

Tastemakers

The fall means a new season of theater, and the season looks quite nice. This week you'll find the David Mamet play "Edmond" at the Firehouse on Broad Street and "The Secretaries," a play about homicidal secretaries, at Fieldens. Decisions, decisions.

For instance, where's the best place for a quick meal before curtain call?

The new kid on the block (right down Broad Street from the Firehouse, as a matter of fact) is The Blue Bottle, a café and rotisserie which opened this month across the street from Richmond Camera. It's "a café in the truest sense of the word," says The Blue Bottle's chef, Johnny Smith. The Blue Bottle is a place to get a quick bite before the players take the stage, or camp out for leisurely discussion afterward.

This restaurant is not trying to turn tables, Smith says. "We envision it to be an extension of peoples' homes and work," he says. "If people want to come and spread out, we encourage that."

The Blue Bottle is co-owned by Mike Elder and Jang Cho, who's well-known around town as the former owner of the Hole in the Wall. Smith says that everyone involved sees the location taking off soon. "We want to be a part of putting Downtown back together."

The Blue Bottle serves its classic café menu Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-11 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. 200 W. Broad St. 644-9445.

Concert- and theatergoers should also be aware of the new "Performing Arts Menu" at in Shockoe Slip. It promises a fast, four-diamond pre-theater dinner between 5:30-6:30 p.m. Call 780-1300 for more

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