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Organizing a Goodbye Dinner, Need an Upscale Restaurant with a View...

My general manager is getting transferred back to Japan, and yet again Im in charge of organizing the festivities.
We are looking for something very nice, a group of 12, with a great view of the skyline. He suggested the Rainbow Room--but I think that might be too formal. Anyone been to the Rainbow Grill? How are the views? and the food ?
What are some other restaurants with great views ? Ive been to River Cafe, which is nice, but I think we would prefer Manhattan. Zagat suggests Waters Edge, Terrace in the Sky...
Any ideas ? Thanks !!!

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  1. We haven't been up to the Rainbow Room/Grill in ages. The view -- presuming it's a clear evening -- is spectacular. The Ciprianis are in charge of the food, and most of what I've heard about it indicates it's nothing special.

    Water's Edge is in Queens

    Great view of skyline + superb cuisine? Unfortunately, pretty much non-existent.

    1. Terrace. Go there. Take a look. Have dinner. Then decide.

        1. For blow out mid town view, high, really high in the sky it's Rainbow Room. Only good it its not hazy though. If it is you see nothing that high up. Waters Edge has a great view of the UN and midtown. Terrace is impressive in its's view of manhattan with back drop of the sprawl of queens and bridges, really the winner for the overall view prize.

          1. Went to a lovely 90th birthday luncheon at Terrace in the Sky. Food was very good--if the weather cooperates, there is a a huge outdoor space.

            1 Reply
            1. re: whs

              If he wants The Rainbow Room, going to Terrace in The Sky would be a notch down from what he wants...

            2. if you were thinking river-cafe type view, you might consider the water club, on the manhattan side. the view is different of course, but it's nice looking out over the water and it's elegant but not overly formal inside.

              1. I don't think Waters Edge compares with River Cafe, at all. If he wants Rainbow Room, I'd be tempted to go with that and pray for a clear night. Without WOW, there is no view to compare.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ChefJune

                  thanks everyone. when i wrote waters edge i meant water club (!) sorry about that...
                  has anyone been to both the rainbow grill and the rainbow room ? from their website the rainbow room only has prix fixe dinners on fri/sat and looks super formal...just wondering if theres a huge difference in quality between the two. i think the R room would be too fornal for an office party.
                  i like the suggestion of asiate, but since hes going back to tokyo id rather something not asian.
                  terrace in the sky sounds great too..
                  Hm, guess its between the three (Terrace, Water Club and R Grill )

                  1. re: lemonyc

                    re: Asiate, the name is Asian, the chef is Asian, but the menu, despite some Asian influences, is more New American or continental. Elegant, great view, but food can be hit or miss.