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Apr 11, 2008 05:42 AM

Midtown Breakfast meeting

Any recommendations for a spot with professional service and good food? I would like to be as cloase as possible to 9 W 57 (basically 57th and 5th) where the clients and I will go for our next meeting. 57 57 at The Four Seasons? Norma's at the Parker Meridien?

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  1. only one place to go, Norma's and it works perfectly for business related meetings. it can get a bit loud at times, but i've never been too annoyed about the noise level.

    4 Replies
    1. re: cdog

      As I've said before, I have serious reservations about using Norma's for a business meeting. The portions are huge. That is discomforting for some people, especially women, and men who are a little older. My other problem is that I have found the service to be extremely variable. Because of that, I have specifically asked to be put at the table of an "attentive waiter" even as I am making the original booking, and then to repeat the request when we arrive. Even then, I've never been able to count on that happening. Therefore, I have given up on Norma's for anything were the impression I make on others is important.

      1. re: Jane A.

        As much as I love Norma's, I don't know if I'd do it for a biz meeting. It is very crowded, can be a little noisy, and not only are the portions huge, the tables are on the small side and there are always TONS of dishes (ie, your own french press for coffee, etc), so there's not a lot of room to spread out if you have papers, etc. I think of it as more of a "fun" brunch destination, with crazy, over-the-top, decadent desserty food.

        I've never been, but a number of people on this board recommend Jean-Georges for a great midtown business breakfast. you might consider that.

        1. re: biondanonima

          Thanks for the helpful feedback. I've been to Norma's only once and it was years ago. Now that you've reminded me of the HUGE portions and SLOW service I don't think it would be right for this particular client situation. It is a fun place, though, so maybe I'll just go with some friends for a weekend brunch one day! I've got a reservation at 57 57 for now. I'll probably go with that unless something better comes along in the next couple of hours. I would love to give Jean-Goerges a try but it's a bit of a schlep from the client's hotel. Too bad.

          1. re: uwsgrazer

            You may not want to try it this time, but The Palm Court is open at the Plaza. We had lovely service at the champagne bar there, and the food we saw people at The Palm Court eating *looked* wonderful.

    2. How about Town, on 56th, b/t 5th & 6th? I've not been there for breakfast, but I have had brunch and dinner there, albeit quite some time ago. Excellent food and a gorgeous space. Service, while not especially polished, was unobtrusive and got the job done without any glitches.

      2 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        RGR, great suggestion. I've already made a reservation at 57 (Four Seasons) and confirmed things with the client at this point but I love the idea of Town on another occasion. I was there just last week for drinks and everything was just right. I had actually hoped to sit in the upstair level (the "Library") but it was closed for a special function. The tables just past the bar were almost as good. I've dined in the restaurant a few times, the most recent being maybe a year ago. While the food was still very good even the host commented on how incredibly pricey the place was. (It was a big business-type function so it wasn't really inappropriate for him to have said that. That said, I just looked at the on-line menu. They don't list much in the way of prices but if the dinner prix-fixe is $71 for only two courses, I see his point.) In any case, Town definitely offers a variety of nice options. Great recommendation. Thanks.

        1. re: uwsgrazer


          I thought the $71 was for 3 courses though that would be quite low since just about all the other upscale restaurants are charging in the $80's and higher. For example, EMP's 3-course is $82. So, if Town's $71 is for only 2 courses, and one adds, say, $10 for a dessert, that wouldn't seem too outrageous to me. And if it is $71 for 3, well, can you say, "Major bargain!" lol

          Btw, I'm glad to hear that the food's still very good. One of these days, we'll have to get back there.

      2. I ended up at Restaurant 57, which is actually the raised seating area near the lobby entrance of the Four Seasons. I had intended to reserve the main dining room (called L'Atelier, I think) but didn't. In any case, the breakfast meeting went fine with the clients -- good service and well-prepared food. I have one or two gripes, though. Okay, I know it's the Four Seasons but breakfast for five without tip came to $210. Only one person did the works (eggs, bacon, who knows what else), two of us had oatmeal (plus berries in my case), one person had berries and toast and the other toast alone. Yes, there were some coffees/teas and juices thrown in the mix but it still seems kind of steep to me, even for the Four Seasons (and not the main dining room). Even if I get over the sticker-shock what absolutely appalled me was I could have sworn they served me TROPICANA ORANGE JUICE!! It definitely was not fresh squeezed. And the killer was that as I was leaving I noticed that the posted menu listed fresh squeeze OJ for $10. I just don't think a place like the Four Seasons with the prices they charge should even think about serving Tropicana or similar pre-packaged juice!! Given that I was having a business meeting with clients I didn't really want to take the time to return the juice but I find it strange. Apart from these issues the service and setting were perfect for the particular situation.

        Incidentally, I had a similar experience not so long ago at Cirpriani's at the Sherry-Netherland. I remembered from past experiences that they had wonderful fresh squeeze juice. When the waiter brought my juice it didn't taste fresh at all. When I questioned him he brought me the real thing. Presumably the fresh stuff costs more but I was still surprised that they would serve anything else.