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Palm One - Highly Overrated Icon

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Puddle Jul 31, 2011 11:58 AM

I went here last night; have been meaning to go for years, has always seemed one of those must-go Manhattan places, and then after Sam Sifton's positive review in the Times this past week I was really looking forward to it.

It was actually one of the worst meals I've ever had. Nothing was good about it, and plenty bad. We ordered the $95 lobster special for two, which included a salad and two sides. Having recently steamed fresh live lobster I had a vivid memory of what good lobster can be, every bite full of wonderful flavor. This insipid thing had literally no flavor in all but a couple of bites of claw meat; the tail was tasteless. The meat seemed tough and old, like the poor creature had been sitting in the tank all week.

Then the sides: the massive platter of french fries were soggy with grease, a sorry-looking mass of unappetizingness. I am not exaggerating to say that you could get far better fries at McDonald's, not to mention dozens of less expensive bistros around town. The creamed spinach was also a massive portion, gooey with cream and butter. It was maybe the most carefully prepared item on the table but that's not saying much.

Not even their fabled cocktails measured up. I ordered an extra-dry Beefeater martini up with olives -- what could be more classic than that? It was not particularly cold or refreshing, just a jigger of gin dumped in a glass.

The service was not objectionable, gruff as expected but in a friendly enough sort of way. At least they seemed to take pride in their profession, which was definitely not the case in the kitchen. My first time and last time.

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Palm
837 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017

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  1. angelo04 RE: Puddle Aug 30, 2011 07:05 PM

    I tend to hit the one downtown on the West Side Highway across from the Goldman building. I may get crucified for this but this is one of my favorite steaks in the city. It is only available as a special when they have it. They make an out of this world Rosemary Rubbed, Smoked and Grilled bone in Rib Eye. I absolutely love this Steak and I believe it is only offered at the down town location. I don't expect this to sway you but just thought I would put it out there.

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    Palm Tribeca
    206 West Street, New York, NY 10013

    2 Replies
    1. re: angelo04
      princeofpork RE: angelo04 Aug 30, 2011 07:41 PM

      I have eaten at that Palm a few times and though the steak was just OK, the annoying cartoon faces of "famous" people all over the walls is such a turn off. Just not an enjoyable experience

      1. re: angelo04
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        Puddle RE: angelo04 Aug 31, 2011 07:44 AM

        Thanks for the tip. Sounds delicious. Given my experience I wouldn't choose to go there, but if I was in a position where someone else made the choice (especially if they were paying!), I'll keep in mind the rosemary rib-eye.

      2. ellenost RE: Puddle Aug 30, 2011 08:43 PM

        The ribeye was nothing special either. Way too crowded for mediocre food.

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          comiendosiempre RE: Puddle Aug 31, 2011 05:31 PM

          Count me in on the "completely unimpressed" side. Lobsters are not only underwhelming but we think always seem light. Way better steak options too.

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