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Palm One - Highly Overrated Icon

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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. 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

      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

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

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