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post #31 of 93
imageWIS-- Enjoy your trip.  And don't neglect the superlative midtown restaurants, picture perfect venues for the peripatetic clothes horse. (Remember, too, the invaluable services provided by concierges in all the major hotels.) If, upon your return, you are still interested in pursuing the issue of membership in a private men's club, I will be happy to give you whatever help I can.  (And if you find yourself in the neighborhood of 55 E. 66th Street, take a peek at the Lotos Club.  It's a jewel box.) Bon Voyage, Mike
post #32 of 93
Thread Starter 
Quote:
imageWIS-- Enjoy your trip. And don't neglect the superlative midtown restaurants, picture perfect venues for the peripatetic clothes horse. (Remember, too, the invaluable services provided by concierges in all the major hotels.) If, upon your return, you are still interested in pursuing the issue of membership in a private men's club, I will be happy to give you whatever help I can. (And if you find yourself in the neighborhood of 55 E. 66th Street, take a peek at the Lotos Club. It's a jewel box&#33 Bon Voyage, Mike
Thanks. Trying to make the best of the trip, but as of yet have booked no hotel. What restaurants do you recommend for Italian and American (steakhouse; filet mignon, prime rib, etc...) around the midtown area? How about for lunch (whilst shopping, of course)? Jon.
post #33 of 93
The best steakhouse in NYC is Peter Luger, though it's in Williamsburg; otherwise, check out Del Frisco's in midtown. Avoid Smith and Wollensky at all costs. Morton's is great, but WAY overpriced. Dylan Prime (Tribeca) is a great non-traditional steakhouse, go if you're feeling experimental. For Italian go to Lombardi's for Pizza. It's in SoHo, but definatly worth the trip.
post #34 of 93
Fortunate component of my job is dining out with clients.  Some favorites: Steak: Strip House (Village...this place has the best atmosphere by far and a great beer selection), Del Friscos (midtown), Sparks (midtown), MarkJoseph (former Luger management...located by South Street Seaport).  Also, I second Dylan Prime (Tribeca). Italian: Felidia (midtown), Campagnola (upper east side...probably the best classic italian in the city) Other Midtown Greats: Town, Jean Georges, Tao, Le Coloniale (french-vietnamese) Powerlunch: Patroon (midtown) Most likely to see models and the Gulianis (sp?) lunching: La Goulue (Mad/64th)
post #35 of 93
Quote:
 If you are a designer/highend kind of guy, the a yobos have pretty much taken over Soho anyway, and you'll find everything from John Varvatos to Helmut Lang to Marc Jacobs.  Actually, the yobos have taken over all of the downtown, but their are still a lot of interesting, one off shops there, and there are lots of interesting things to see in general.  
What's a 'yobo'? We have the 'yob' or 'yobbo' over here, but I imagine they're not the same thing.
post #36 of 93
Quote:
Since The Plaza costs about double what the Helmsley Park Lane costs, I decided to stay in the Park Lane. Of course it is only half a block away, west of The Plaza, so the location can't be any better. Jon. EDIT: Well, actually, let me edit that (happily, I have yet to actually book my room), apparently The Benjamin has an offer for $200 per night, and The Regency has a special of $229 per night. Are the hotels better than the Helmsley Park Lane?
The Benjamin is a remake of an older hotel diagonally across the street from the rear of the Waldorf, in a particularly noisy area of Lexington. I have not tried it yet, but it gets rave reviews; mostly suites. The Park Lane is huge, gaudy (lots of red velvet and gold), has a check-in from hell (usually one clerk, no matter how long the line) and frequently a bad smell in the lobby from the horse-drawn carriages lined up across the street. On the other hand, the rooms are quite large and it has a great location, a couple of doors away from the Plaza. I have stayed there twice. The Regency draws an unusual mixture of rich dowagers and Hollywood types (Sharon Stone and Jimmy Smits are regulars) due to its ownership by the recently deceased Lawrence Tish of CBS. It has an "old money" feel and a certain elegance, but its standard rooms are not as large as those at the Park Lane. It definitely has a subtle refined feel to it that is missing at the Park Lane. I have stayed there 4-5 times.
post #37 of 93
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Quote:
(imageWIS @ 23 Aug. 2004, 1:31) Since The Plaza costs about double what the Helmsley Park Lane costs, I decided to stay in the Park Lane. Of course it is only half a block away, west of The Plaza, so the location can't be any better. Jon. EDIT: Well, actually, let me edit that (happily, I have yet to actually book my room), apparently The Benjamin has an offer for $200 per night, and The Regency has a special of $229 per night. Are the hotels better than the Helmsley Park Lane?
The Benjamin is a remake of an older hotel diagonally across the street from the rear of the Waldorf, in a particularly noisy area of Lexington. I have not tried it yet, but it gets rave reviews; mostly suites. The Park Lane is huge, gaudy (lots of red velvet and gold), has a check-in from hell (usually one clerk, no matter how long the line) and frequently a bad smell in the lobby from the horse-drawn carriages lined up across the street. On the other hand, the rooms are quite large and it has a great location, a couple of doors away from the Plaza. I have stayed there twice. The Regency draws an unusual mixture of rich dowagers and Hollywood types (Sharon Stone and Jimmy Smits are regulars) due to its ownership by the recently deceased Lawrence Tish of CBS. It has an "old money" feel and a certain elegance, but its standard rooms are not as large as those at the Park Lane. It definitely has a subtle refined feel to it that is missing at the Park Lane. I have stayed there 4-5 times.
What do you think of the Swissotel: The Drake? Jon.
post #38 of 93
The best way to eat well for a reasonable cost in NYC is to go to the great restaurants for lunch.  Many of them have a prix-fix lunch which can be a superb meal at a bargain price.  Without a doubt, one of the finest meals I've ever eaten was a lunch at Jean-Georges; as I recall, it was around $40 prix-fix for 3 courses -- not cheap, but a great deal for what was an awesome meal.  Highly recommended.  Also, I know Aureole has a prix-fix lunch, as does Daniel.  Le Bernardin is perhaps the finest seafood-oriented restaurant in the country, if not the world.  Then there are the new restaurants in the Time Warner building at Columbus Circle, including one by Thomas Keller of The French Laundry in Napa (the site of one of my other all-time best meals, along with a few 3 toques restaurants in France & Italy). For steak, there is also the Palm, which started out in NYC and now has a few branches around the country. For Italian, I recommend Babbo, a Mario Batali restaurant which is very good and not outrageously expensive.  However, it's downtown. My wife and I stayed at the Barclay Intercontinental in January, and Darren Beaman was there last month.  I find it to be a decent hotel.  It's right around the corner from the Waldorf.  Check out the Intercontinental web-site to see if you can get a good rate.  I think we paid $140 on a weekend. I'm sure you know this, but make sure to check out a few of NYC's cultural offerings, e.g. the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Moma, the Frick, the Morgan Library, etc. Have fun ps. The watch stores are great too -- Wempe, Cellini, Tourneau, plus Tiffany. Chopard, Breguet, & Cartier have their own stores.
post #39 of 93
Quote:
Also, I know Aureole has a prix-fix lunch, as does Daniel.
I've had dinner at Aureole. I wasn't impressed. Good service but the food was uninspired and quite mediocre. The Keller restaurant has reportedly suffered problems with management and staff turnover. I personally recommend Veritas as my restaurant in the city. BTW, what's yobo?
post #40 of 93
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What do you think of the Swissotel: The Drake? Jon.
It has been 4-5 years since I last stayed there, but I liked it then. Someone told me that some of the room furniture and paint is getting a bit chipped up. Nice size rooms and good atmosphere; unfortunate that it replaced its lovely bar with a Fauchon, unless you need gourmet groceries.
post #41 of 93
If norcaltransplant is talking about the Veritas near Union Square, I want to second his recommendaton.  I haven't been able to return for several years, but in the late 'nineties was served one of the most enjoyable lunches of my life there.  (And I'm not even a Harvard man&#33 A note about reservations.  Trendy (or merely popular) restaurants in New York can be difficult to break into.  One surefire approach, available only if you're staying at a top rank hotel: Let the concierge make the reservation for you. He or she probably has more pull than most garden-variety out-of-towners are likely to be able to muster.   But if you aren't staying at the Pierre, do not despair.  Try this trick.  Write ahead, on your personal stationery (imprinted, cream-colored, NY Times-thick).  Then call to confirm the minute you arrive in town.  Better yet, visit the restaurant in person a few days ahead of time.  Get there at about 11:45 or twelve noon--just before the lunch crowd arrives.  Wear your three-piece medium grey MTM Oxxford suit, Charvet tie, and C&J brown handgrade bals.  Discuss next Tuesday's lunch date with the maitre d.'  (Don't think, "I'm reserving a table for two."  Do think, "I'm applying for admission to an extremely selective graduate school.")   Remember, in New York, restaurant-going is an Olympic sport.  (I'm tempted to say, "blood sport.")   The restuarant needs Olympic-caliber diners.  Demonstrate that you are one. Mike
post #42 of 93
Thread Starter 
How is the Union Square Café? I hear good things.... Jon. Edit: typing one word for another leads to confusion.
post #43 of 93
The Union Square/Gramercy area is a foodie mecca. Danny Meyer has about 10 (only a slight exaggeration) of his restaurants in a 5 block area. My favorite in this area is Gramercy Park Tavern. To your question: Union Square Cafe (I presume this is what you mean by Union "Station" cafe) has been VERY disappointing recently. Service has gone way downhill. Union Pacific (Rocco's original restaurant...located next to several modeling agencies) is also terrific. Eleven Madison Park is excellent (perhaps the top souffle in NYC), but not as good as either Gramercy Park or UP. I agree with the previous posters about Veritas (being good) and Aureole (as being disappointing of late). If you are in town for a weekend brunch, hit Normas at the Parker Meridien or Blue Water Grill on Union Square. For reservations, check out www.opentable.com for an easy way to see which restaurants have availabilities - i was surprised to see how many top restaurants subscribe to this service. Other than that, many restaurants have tables saved for Amex Plat/Cent cardholders through their concierge service, and your hotel concierge may be helpful as well. Enjoy.
post #44 of 93
Union Square Cafe is a great restaurant. Seasonal American fare, so I really can't recommend anything. From what I remember it's a bit pricy for what it's worth. I don't know how it always gets #1. I'd rather eat at Eleven Madison Park or even Mercer Kitchen.
post #45 of 93
Quote:
A note about reservations. Trendy (or merely popular) restaurants in New York can be difficult to break into. One surefire approach, available only if you're staying at a top rank hotel: Let the concierge make the reservation for you. He or she probably has more pull than most garden-variety out-of-towners are likely to be able to muster.
Yup. Or if you are hot/cool/smooth enough, just walk right up to the concierge booth of a trendy hotel you are *not* staying at and get them to make a reservation for you. I am none of these, but was the beneficiary of a hot/cool/smooth friend's hotness/coolness/smoothness once. Another friend with considerably less charm merely pretended to be the concierge of a trendy hotel (he had the card, and met the guy.) Just in case, he phoned (as himself) a day later to make sure that the reservation had actually ben made. Much fun was had by all. Most of my friends can't afford to stay in the janitor's closet in most of these places, so they make do with guerrilla tactics. LA Guy (who is, at least temporarily, an actual Harvard man.)
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