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Most opulent, lavish brunch in town?

b
BigBrother Mar 13, 2011 03:41 AM

Hey all, planning a very special event, and was looking for a very elegant brunch for a Sunday. Basically think the tango scene in Scent of a Woman :)...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=in5EPH...

Preferably some place on or very near the park, I'd love it if it had actual views of it.

What would you recommend?

Thanks so much!

  1. g
    gutsofsteel Mar 13, 2011 04:14 AM

    The Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel?

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    Palm Court
    768 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019

    1. a
      AdamD Mar 13, 2011 05:35 AM

      St. Regis, Peninsula, Waldorf......definitely a five star hotel

      1. b
        BigBrother Mar 13, 2011 01:53 PM

        You know, the Palm Court was my first thought, but on seeing it a few months ago I felt it was like a gallery- everyone inside was cordoned off and everyone outside (there's a *lot* of foot traffic) was gawking and staring at them. Really awkward :). Plus no windows, which I thought was a shame.

        Just had a look at the St. Regis- Astor Court seems to get really mixed reviews.

        Peninsula was promising, but had a look and the main restaurant, Fives, didn't seem like such a nice space.

        Took a look at the Pierre, as it turns out that's where the tango scene was actually filmed! Unfortunately, they've remodeled since then and the replacement, Le Caprice, is now far from elegant like it used to be :(.

        Waldorf: also promising at first, then I took a closer look. It's a buffet style, which wouldn't be as desirable, but could still work. But then I had a look at the pics, and it looks like a Vegas buffet- people in t-shirts and shorts all lined up to get sliced ham from under a red lamp. Far cry from what we're after!

        Is elegance dead? There's got to be some brunch around the park that has that ridiculously over the top, old world elegance. Doesn't necessarily have to be in a hotel.

        Anyone?

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        Palm Court
        768 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019

        Astor Court
        2 East 55th Street, New York, NY 10022

        12 Replies
        1. re: BigBrother
          r
          RGR Mar 13, 2011 02:01 PM

          How about lunch at per se? Yes, it isn't brunch food, but it is superb cuisine. The space has understated rather than opulent elegance, and there is a fabulous view out towards Central Park.

          http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

          1. re: RGR
            b
            BigBrother Mar 13, 2011 02:21 PM

            I appreciate the suggestion, but I've been to Per Se twice- the first time and the last :). That place is never getting another penny from me again. Offensively over-priced for what you get. I'm fine with spending the coin, I just thought the food didn't live up to half my expectations for that amount. Same with Jean Georges across the street. It's a shame there's nothing else at Time Warner... although, I wonder about whatever replaced the V Steakhouse that was there a while ago (which I actually quite liked). Will look it up

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            Per Se
            10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

            Jean Georges
            1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

            1. re: BigBrother
              r
              RGR Mar 13, 2011 02:31 PM

              While I felt per se's food was superb (with the exception of a veal dish which was bland, bland, bland), I do agree that one can get cuisine just as good or even better elsewhere without spending that kind of money.

              Is it Porter House that took V's space? Of maybe A Voce? Haven't been to either but can't imagine they'd have the kind of elegance you're looking for.

              http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

          2. re: BigBrother
            a
            AdamD Mar 13, 2011 02:30 PM

            I hear you. Generally, some quality is sacrificed for the setting and service when it comes to hotels.
            One if by land, two if by sea also comes to mind. Spectacular location. Three-star food.
            Look what happened to the tavern on the green.

            Truthfully, I think most hounds prefer quality over the room, like huevos rancheros and a bloody mary at the local spot over a fancy white linen brunch.

            If you have an unlimited budget, call per se and arrange a private room and a customized menu. They are open Sundays. Certainly no lack of elegance there, although it might not hark back to the days of the titanic. :) Modern elegance means a nice room, great service and high quality food.

            Perhaps you are right, an elegant brunch with five star cuisine is dead. Modern chefs that service world class food usually don't have lavish rooms, the opulence is in the food. If you want that old world feel, you will probably have to compromise the quality of the food.

            1. re: AdamD
              b
              BigBrother Mar 13, 2011 02:34 PM

              What about something elevated on a higher floor? I'm thinking Rainbow Room style. The food doesn't have to be spectacular (at the end of the day we're really just talking eggs and oj, let's be honest), so the ambiance and view should be a knockout to make it memorable...

              1. re: BigBrother
                a
                AdamD Mar 13, 2011 02:55 PM

                Hmmm brunch on a high floor near the park.

                Where is Kathryn when you need her? :)

                Asiate at the mandrin probably has the highest floor brunch near the park.

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                Asiate
                80 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

                1. re: BigBrother
                  r
                  RGR Mar 13, 2011 04:41 PM

                  The River Cafe has a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline. But, of course, that means going to Brooklyn.

                  http://www.rivercafe.com

                  If you're willing to sacrifice the view but still have the elegant room, I would suggest Tocqueville. They don't serve brunch; however, it's one of our favorite places to have lunch on a Saturday. (Not open on Sunday.) Imo, it's one of the most beautiful dining rooms in the city, and the food is superb.

                  http://www.tocquevillerestaurant.com

                  http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

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                  Tocqueville
                  1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                  1. re: BigBrother
                    r
                    RGR Mar 13, 2011 04:49 PM

                    Perhaps, the Boat House in Central Park? Gorgeous lakeside view!

                    http://www.thecentralparkboathouse.com

                    http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

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                    Central Park Boathouse
                    Central Park East Drive E 72nd St, New York, NY 10021

                    1. re: RGR
                      b
                      BigBrother Mar 14, 2011 01:13 PM

                      Hah, it's funny, the Boat House was quickly becoming my top pick when I came back to read this! It's probably got *the* most parts right. Will keep looking, but this is top for now. Thanks so much RGR!

                      1. re: BigBrother
                        r
                        RGR Mar 14, 2011 03:23 PM

                        You're welcome, BB! It is a bit touristy, but so what? The view -- at least, in the summer, never been there at this time of year -- is stunning. We've been there two times for lunch, and the food was surprisingly good.

                        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                        1. re: RGR
                          foodseek Feb 5, 2012 06:49 PM

                          Hoping to make reservations for the Boat House for brunch the later part of March 2012 for 10 people. But, since some in our group have difficulty walking is the Boat House doable? I have heard it is quite a walk to the restaurant. What other suggestions may you have? We are in New York to celebrate our daughters graduation. Leaving on Sunday and want a final brunch before taking off for the airport. We are staying near Columbus Circle and Central Park West.
                          Thank you,

                          1. re: foodseek
                            kosmose7 Feb 5, 2012 07:47 PM

                            I recommend The Carlyle Restaurant @ Carlyle Hotel. They used to have sunday brunch buffet but sadly discontinued it recently and now it's prix fixe. It's really elegant.

                            For photos of its interior and settings, please refer to: http://blog.naver.com/kosmose7/90116886804

                            Sunday Brunch Menu:
                            http://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/carl...

                            -----
                            Carlyle Restaurant
                            35 E 76th St, New York, NY 10021

              2. loratliff Mar 13, 2011 04:41 PM

                What about the Carlyle? I think that's about as elegant and old world as you can get.

                1. m
                  michelleats Mar 13, 2011 09:27 PM

                  Por Una Cabeza. One of my favorite songs.

                  AdamD's suggestion, Asiate, seems like exactly what you're looking for. You'll be able to set your own pace for this meal and tables are far apart enough for privacy. If they aren't too busy, you might be able to ask for a booth.

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                  Asiate
                  80 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

                  1. u
                    Upperwestsider Mar 15, 2011 09:40 AM

                    One other suggestion to check out, light on opulence, but v good food, drink, and service; and the best views in the city looking out over Manhattan from Morningside Heights to Midtown, inc CP: Terrace in the Sky. (www.terraceinth-esky.com) Check out the web sight and menu; one of the best places to host a private event.

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                    Terrace in the Sky
                    400 West 119th Street, New York, NY 10027

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Upperwestsider
                      c
                      City Kid Feb 6, 2012 12:02 PM

                      Is the brunch at Terrace in the Sky good? I've had a couple of dinners there and found both the food and service mediocre, perhaps student waiters.

                      1. re: Upperwestsider
                        ellenost Feb 6, 2012 12:53 PM

                        According to CH, the restaurant has closed.

                      2. i8NYC Mar 15, 2011 10:14 AM

                        Norma's, Ritz, Waldorf

                        1. p
                          peter j Feb 6, 2012 07:11 AM

                          Cafe Boulud
                          Marea
                          Lincoln
                          Boulud Sud

                          Maybe Ai Fiori, though it isn't near the park.

                          -----
                          Cafe Boulud
                          20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

                          Marea
                          240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                          Lincoln
                          142 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023

                          Ai Fiori
                          400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

                          Boulud Sud
                          20 W 64th St, New York, NY 10023

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