New york hotel…

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by imageWIS, Aug 20, 2004.

  1. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior member

    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Burlingame, CA
    Yes, LA Guy--a very good idea.

    A variation I've used: It's lunch time.  You have no reservations.  You go to the concierge at any fine hotel.  (Let's say you're walking by the St Regis.)  Approach him like you own the place.  (But in a diffident way.)  Ask him the best nearby restaurant for lunch.  Get his recommendation.  When he offers to call the place up (which comes just before requesting your room number), tell him not to bother: you're not sure exactly when you'll be sitting down.  Get the concierge's card.  Go to the restaurant; present the card and say, "Monsieur X, the concierge at the St. Regis, assures me that you are the best place for lunch in midtown Manhattan."  That, together with your boyish charm, will get you a table at any but the most recherche of spots.  And you can eat with a (relatively) clear conscience.

    Another variation:  Once, ages ago, the hottest place in New York was a restaurant called The Quilted Giraffe.  I, the quintessential burr-headed tourist, had tried every trick I knew to get in the door--needless to say, with spectacular unsuccess. Bemoaning my fate with equally hapless friends at the Bemelmans Bar, I overheard a New Yorker say, "Too bad Bob Carrier's out of town.  He could get them in like that."  I went straight to the phone, dialed the restaurant number (by that time permanently emblazoned in my forebrain), and introduced myself, telling the maitre d' I was just in from the Coast--and that Bob Carrier (whoever he was.) had made me promise to dine at The Quilted Giraffe.

    A few months later, The Quilted Giraffe closed its doors for good--without my ever having set foot in the place.

    (But I'd tried.)

    Mike
     
  2. vero_group

    vero_group Senior member

    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 16, 2003
    You guys have lost me on this one.

    It's just a restaurant -- why such desperation to get in? Aren't there plenty of other outstanding restaurants in NYC that would gladly accept your walk-in or short notice reservation business?

    I've never understood the attraction of "in" restaurants -- I see the crowd or the long line waiting to get in and I'm immediately turned off, anxious to find a less happenin' place to have a nice meal.

    Is this all about just being able to brag to others at cocktail parties that you were able to get in? Somebody clue me in here.
     
  3. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

    Messages:
    20,008
    Likes Received:
    97
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    New York City / Buenos Aires
    I don't get it either. All I want to do is eat in a good restaurant (well, as good as possible). But, I won't bribe people just to get in, or play games with concierges and maitre d' (s) all over Manhattan just to eat....as much fun as that may seem to be[​IMG]. Many restaurants that come highly recommended have easily available seating through opentable.com. Jon.
     
  4. rsp1

    rsp1 Senior member

    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    There really aren't that many restaurants in NYC that are difficult to get into if one books in advance, as you are doing. Certain clubs, well, that's a different story. Regarding why one would want to deal with lines, there are two things that go into a New Yorker's dining decision: food quality and ambiance (the quality of the crowd/people watching/etc.). Fortunately in NY, these two aren't mutually exclusive; however, they are not necessarily correlated either. While you might find excellent food at your neighborhood brasserie; will you sit next to a table full of models there? I wouldn't brag to my friends that "I was able to get into xxxxx"; however, I would brag that "I was at a table next to [insert your favorite Maxim/FHM cover models here]." [​IMG]
     
  5. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior member

    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Burlingame, CA
    In an effort respectfully to respond to my fellow posters:

    There "really aren't that many restaurants in NYC that are difficult to get into if one books in advance."

    That's right.  Only the best ones.

    Moreover, one can get a great education in the New York Public Library.  Why bother with four years at Amherst?  

    What is more, Big Ben overalls will keep the north wind off your shanks.  Why all those fittings at the tailor's?

    And reruns of "Married. . . With Children" will fill the hours until bedtime.  Who needs to strugggle through "Fathers and Sons"?

    Just asking. . . .

    Mike
     
  6. shoefan

    shoefan Senior member

    Messages:
    853
    Likes Received:
    193
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2003
    I too don't understand why anyone would brag about sitting next to XXXX -- be they a bunch of models, actors, rich people, or whatever. I guess I just don't see how that should impress anyone. Of course, I also wouldn't brag about having eaten at AAAA. Who cares? Who are you trying to impress? The whole notion of being at the "in" place is ridiculous. Who made it the "in" place? When it's no longer the "in" place, will it really be any different? Does being at the "in" place really make the experience better, other than the ego-boost provided by actually being at the "in" place with the "in crowd?"

    What I would do is tell my friends "I ate at the French Laundry and had an incredible meal." Why? So that if they go to Napa, they might want to consider eating there (if they trust my taste). Likewise, the only reason for me to work hard to get a reservation is if the food and ambiance truly justify the hard work. Again, I'd try like crazy to get a reservation at the French Laundry the next time I'm going to Napa, because, IMO, the food is worth it. On the other hand, I wouldn't make any effort to get into Alain Ducasse, because the meal I had there was truly underwhelming.
     
  7. aarghh

    aarghh Senior member

    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I wouldn't want to brag about sitting next to XYZ either - I have too healthy an ego to do that. I'd much rather XYZ brags about sitting next to my table; not that there's a snowball's chance in hell of that happening.

    To me, going to a great restaurant is about the gastronomic experience - the service and ambience are only instruments to concentrate my senses on that aspect. As a consequence, I have had as much satisfaction in a tapas bar in Seville, as in Gary Danko's.

    The French Laundry, though, is a different experience. I go there because Thomas Keller follows a food philosophy that matches closely with mine - the size of a dish being determined by the life it has on your palate - and he is able to bring it to fruition more than anyone that I have experienced.

    So food is, to me, a personal quest, and so is good tailoring. If someone else thinks I dress well, so be it. I'm not doing it for them, I'm doing it because I like good threads.

    This does not imply that I dismiss the world view that dining at an "in" place can be satisfying - it just is not what works for me.
     
  8. rsp1

    rsp1 Senior member

    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    Perhaps you misunderstand me. I really don't care about sitting next to famous people, per se...rather, I enjoy observing a specific subset. Why can't one, to paraphrase aarghh, have a personal quest for clothing, food and beautiful women?

    As for bragging about that....perhaps i am immature in that respect. However, it has more to do with bs-ing around with friends over a beer than inflating one's ego.

    Also, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't think of a single restaurant in NYC that is 1/2 as difficult to get into as French Laundry. All of the top 50 restaurants in Zagats are easily reservable by mere mortals (such as myself), unless of course, we are including member only or ultra-underground restaurants. In which case I would be grateful if you could enlighten me.
     
  9. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

    Messages:
    20,008
    Likes Received:
    97
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    New York City / Buenos Aires
    I'm sorry, but all this reminds me of the following from American Psycho (the movie, not the book): "Patrick Bateman: Hey Paul. He bashes Allen in the head with the axe, and blood splatters over him Patrick Bateman: TRY GETTING A RESERVATION AT DORSIA NOW YOU FUCKING STUPID BASTARD. YOU, FUCKING BASTARD." Jon.
     
  10. aarghh

    aarghh Senior member

    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    A valid point, and I'm not saying that the food being equal, I would not plump for a place with droves of beautiful women. However, if the same place happened to need scheming machinations to get into, I would probably just go to the more accessible one.
    And who am I to cast the first stone?
    The French Laundry is reservible by mere mortals - only they better be capable of waking up early, and having a fast phone finger . Or speed dial would work. [​IMG]
     
  11. rsp1

    rsp1 Senior member

    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    Cheers to the last two replies - both thoroughly enjoyable.

    Aarghh - is it true that French Laundry gives preference to local SF/SJ/Napa residents?
     
  12. aarghh

    aarghh Senior member

    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I don't know - when I did reserve, it was by calling at 10:00 am, and I got a table for a date 2 months later. The other time I've been there, someone else got the reservations. I've not heard of locals getting any preferential treatment.

    I'm told lunch is easier to reserve for - that may be something to keep in mind.
     
  13. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior member

    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Burlingame, CA
    As at practically any restaurant of its stature, The French Laundry reserves a few places for special customers. I believe this practice is sometimes called "inventing a table."

    BTW, New York's most prominent food critic once told me that even she couldn't just walk into Lutece (of fond memory).
     
  14. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

    Messages:
    20,008
    Likes Received:
    97
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    New York City / Buenos Aires
    I can believe it. I'm sure that any "˜A' Hollywood actor could get a table just by showing their face...such is the world.

    No restaurant is worth that much aggravation or consideration.

    Jon.
     
  15. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

    Messages:
    20,008
    Likes Received:
    97
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    New York City / Buenos Aires
    Apparently the Pierre is a Four Seasons hotel.

    Jon.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by