Maybe I missed it, but I'm surprised there has been no mention of the new place opened up inside of the 59th St. Bridge. Guastavino's is named for the architect resposible for the gorgeous vaulted ceilings inside of this restaurant (the same architect did the work on the Oyster Bar, among other NYC landmarks), and it is perhaps one of the most dramatic sites for eating in the city. It's way too big, though, and I doubt the cuisine will ever live up to those ceilings (so far, at least, it's run-of-the-mill New American). Nonetheless, a really good raw bar, and an outstanding place for a drink. Especially if you live in Astoria and can hop in a cab and be home in 5 minutes...
I have it on my wish list for my next trip. I'll definitely try the raw bar but my main interest is the ceiling. A new tour in town is built around the vaulted ceilings in the city by this architect. That, indeed, will be a sight. pat
My parents were kind enough to take me there for dinner last night for my birthday and we were all decidedly UN-impressed.
Problem #1 is that most of the seats in the "restaurant" do NOT allow a view of the magnificent ceiling...They are under a low hanging wooden ceiling upon which the "club" sits. So if it's the ceiling you're going for, ask to sit in the club which is a sixty-some-odd dollar prix fixe. A related problem is that NOBODY in the vicinity of our table was pleased with where they were seated. There are no good tables in the downstairs restaurant and they all have very cheap looking chairs which aren't very comfortable either.
Problem #2 was the service -- just terrible. We had been there for 1.5 hours before our entrees came...and this was not some relaxed meal, slow-food kind of thing...this was simply because they seemingly cannot handle the numbers of people coming to their restaurant. Our drink orders were messed up. It took them 2 hours to bring us one of our cocktails (they had completely forgotten about it and made it seem like they were doing god's work for giving it to us for free 2 hours later). Nobody was re-filling our wine glasses out of the bottle which sat chilling 5 feet away, so we had to get up and do it ourselves. You get the picture.
Problem #3 in the restaurant is the wine list. Nothing interesting for the most part on the entire list unless you want to spend a LOT of money. Apparently the wine list for the "club" is much larger. Why not offer everyone the same choices????????
The food was good to decent, but it was sort of accidental with the rest of the scene. I don't normally have such a visceral reaction, but when you're paying those prices you expect something out of the ordinary...and if i'm paying for the wondrousness of the space, then LET ME SEE IT FROM MY TABLE!!!!!