Channeling Eloise

There are many things about New York that are iconic. Black and white cookies. Saks Fifth Avenue. Bagels. Central Park.

And the Plaza Hotel.

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This place is an institution. It has been the setting of famous movies, the home of famous people, and the backdrop of famous children’s books. But what the Plaza is not particularly famous for is the food. It is connected to the Todd English Food Hall, but that is a separate affair. (But you should definitely go to the Food Hall; it’s packed, but full of great stuff.)

So when the Palm Court at the Plaza offered a Restaurant Week dinner menu, my parents and I decided to scope it out.

We went on a Friday night after work. The area was bustling, between the shops and Central Park.

Inside, it’s gorgeous.

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You walk in through the main entrance, and you’re immediately greeted with a large flower arrangement and chandeliers. It was centered and designed to be seen head-on.

But past the flower arrangement, you can see the Palm Court and its depth.

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They have a bar in the middle, with intimate tables all around.

We settled in and got right down to business.

Most places for Restaurant Week do a three-course dinner for $42, with a choice for each of the three courses. But Palm Court — they do their own thing, because they can.

Four courses, pre-determined for you. But your choice comes with the cocktail menu. They have a selection of six signature cocktails, and each person can choose a choice of two to try. Papa Teng and I both got the Gatsby Mint Julep (very tasty) and Hemingway Daiquiri (good, but not as much as the Gatsby). Mama Teng chose the House Tonic with Gin (light and refreshing, dare I say) and the Black Cherry Bittered Sling (sweet, and not bad).

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The courses also all came at once, rather than individually. It became a rather nice presentation, coming from someone who continues to remain fascinated by afternoon tea service, regardless of how many afternoon teas I may or may not have had.

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The chilled asparagus soup with lobster chunks didn’t photograph well, but boy did it taste phenomenal. Light, summery, and perfect. And the lobster was also so fresh.

The mini lobster rolls were also very good. The bread was buttery and had the perfect amount of bite. The lobster was crunchy-fresh and was not overpowered by the mayo.

The mini burgers were fine. Perhaps the lobster rolls were justĀ too good.

The desserts though…

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I let Papa Teng take both the macarons, as he loves them. The eclairs were okay, but that’s mainly because I was never a fan of eclairs to begin with. The fruit tarts had a very nice crust. But the chocolate cake was absurd.

The top was a hard and firm dark chocolate with a nice deep flavor. The cake itself was soft and creamy, but the cream had some crunchy brittle in it, which was fantastic. I ended up having two of those, it was that good.

The food was good, but not “mind-blowing.” But what did stand out was the service (impeccable) and the ambience (just look at this ceiling!).

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Definitely worth a visit, with or without Restaurant Week. You’ll leave happy.

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