Q's about Fifty-Seven, Fifty-Seven
I'm planning a day trip down to the city around mid-January... Fifty-Seven, Fifty-Seven seems to be right for me as far as location, price, etc for a great lunch. Is it worth my time? The idea of a restaurant in a hotel doesn't excite me, but I've heard good things. Or, if there is something else in midtown or even the upper east side (a short walk from the MET) that is better-- something quiet, elegant, and fairly quick with fairly strait forward food, not seafood (she doesn't care for it... drives me nuts) let me know.
i've eaten at the four seasons a few times...as i can't recall ever actively wanting to go back, i'm guessing the food is unmemorable. what the four seasons does do well is offer decent tea in a little lounge area just to the right as you come in from the main entrance on 57th street. right there, smack amongst the crowded, hooting, teeming streets and stressed out midtown crowds is a little oasis of sanity where you can get well brewed tea, comfortable chairs and no loud voices. its a small miracle.
you know, you can always go to the fancy schmancy french places for lunch - they tend to have very reasonable prix fixes. jean george, for eg, or cafe boulud (which is owned by THE daniel). cafe boulud is in the surrey hotel, which is on 76th between 5th and madison and so a short hop from the met.
another thing you might want to consider is the kings carriage house, on 82nd between 2nd and 3rd. lunch is reasonable at less than $15 per head; its not a meal you'll remember much for the food, but as the restaurant is in a small, gracefully appointed brownstone, you'll get to see the interior of one complete with mouldings, etc. its also the diametric opposite of eating in places like 57,57.
You might also want to think about the Mark restaurant in the Mark (hotel) at 25 E. 77th (corner of Madison). Its very near the Met and its very elegant. The best part is that they have a special lunch of $19.99. The food is terrific, even for those who don't like seafood!