I went here last night; have been meaning to go for years, has always seemed one of those must-go Manhattan places, and then after Sam Sifton's positive review in the Times this past week I was really looking forward to it.
It was actually one of the worst meals I've ever had. Nothing was good about it, and plenty bad. We ordered the $95 lobster special for two, which included a salad and two sides. Having recently steamed fresh live lobster I had a vivid memory of what good lobster can be, every bite full of wonderful flavor. This insipid thing had literally no flavor in all but a couple of bites of claw meat; the tail was tasteless. The meat seemed tough and old, like the poor creature had been sitting in the tank all week.
Then the sides: the massive platter of french fries were soggy with grease, a sorry-looking mass of unappetizingness. I am not exaggerating to say that you could get far better fries at McDonald's, not to mention dozens of less expensive bistros around town. The creamed spinach was also a massive portion, gooey with cream and butter. It was maybe the most carefully prepared item on the table but that's not saying much.
Not even their fabled cocktails measured up. I ordered an extra-dry Beefeater martini up with olives -- what could be more classic than that? It was not particularly cold or refreshing, just a jigger of gin dumped in a glass.
The service was not objectionable, gruff as expected but in a friendly enough sort of way. At least they seemed to take pride in their profession, which was definitely not the case in the kitchen. My first time and last time.
837 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017
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