Restaurants & Bars 18

"42" in White Plains -- review

vitsurg | Mar 24, 200801:58 PM

Three of us went for a special occasion two nights ago, and it was a fiasco. First, there's no one in the lobby of the hotel to tell you that you have to take the hotel elevator to "2", then exit and take a second, reserved elevator to 42. We were greeted and seated promptly, and the view, while expansive, certainly doesn't have much to recommend it at night, unlike Manhattan. We ordered drinks: a Bombay gimlet and an apple martini. I knew something was awry when I was asked whether I wanted olives or a twist in the gimlet, a drink made with sweetened (Rose's) lime juice and gin. They brought me a Bombay martini, and I sent it back with instructions on how a gimlet is made (no one there knew). The apple martini probably had an apple waved over it, but had to be returned and remade as well since there was essentially no apple flavor. Cocktails are $18. The wine menu is extremely expensive, and the wines by the glass are $20 and up, way up, (for domestic pinot noir and cabs that are $30 -$40 in wine stores by the bottle).

This is the kind of place where the waiter tells you the pedigree of the olive oil that's used to make the breadsticks, and the source of the table butter, and the fact that the butter is drizzled with "sea salt from Hawaii." Two of us ordered "ceviche'" that turned out to be four small squares of marinated fish with various condiments on a plate.

I ordered the duck entree, one of the lesser priced dishes, at $34. I received a rectangular plate with four small rounds of medium rare duck breast. Each could be cut into two pieces, for a total of eight morsels (you can do the math as to the cost of each bite). The duck was good enough, but not especially different from what one would expect at any high-end restaurant. My companions each ordered the same entree, short rib ($34). Instead of having been braised for hours in wine and herbs, it hadn't been cooked nearly long enough and was fatty and somewhat dense since the internal fat hadn't had the chance to melt away, tenderizing the meat. One of us sent the dish back, and it was removed from the final bill. The steak (which we did not order) is listed at $75.

Service was pretentious, chaotic and amateurish -- lots of waiters (100% male) running around, all studiously avoiding the beckoning diners. Despite the fact that two drinks had to be remade and an entree was returned as inedible, no manager ever appeared to inquire about the problems.

If one is looking for a high-end dining experience, it isn't here. Try one of the many other recs on the board, or wait for a trip into Manhattan. This isn't just a "work in progress" -- we found it to be an expensive disaster. And we all left hungry.

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