Not Vivaldi, nor the Hotel , but the restaurant. It is no longer located in the Seagram building (huge disappointment) – see my posts referencing this mid-century icon in Rothko and Red, however it remains “the epitome of urbanity” (according to the New York Times).
From the sleek bar area, guests travel through a tunnel to the restaurant at the rear of the building. Jackets are required. This is not a tourist restaurant but a place where rich New Yorkers eat and, apparently, for their birthdays. There was lots of table hopping as everyone knew everyone (but not in a trashy way), except me who had to take a booking at 9.45pm just to get in.
I didn’t see Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull. Perhaps they don’t venture over from the Upper West Side often but I’m sure they would have eaten here. It’s that understated glamour that says – ‘this place is about the food’ – and it was. Lots of helpful, but not obsequious, waiters and hostesses to check on my every whim.
Subtle lighting so you can’t read the prices or take bright photos.
The wine list was presented on an iPad. I selected the one with the word Hildegard in it, for want of a systematic method of choosing foreign wines.
The meal began with a demi-tasse of gazpacho. Delish and complimentary.
I followed this with ‘Six mystic Oysters’ – a mystery or risk as a tourist, I know, but not so much at a fine dining icon.
A superb Fillet Migion for Entrėe (main) was cooked as ‘medium+’. Perfect.
For dessert I was at some pains to avoid the fairy-floss shaped like a wig. The waiter informed me that it was a tradition of the house, for birthdays. There must have been quite a few that night.
In lieu. I chose Panna Cotta with caramelised figs (which I left in case that was too dangerous after the oysters) and orange Sauvignon Blanc granita.