Thursday, December 8, 2011

Review: Fancy Eats at Rockefeller's Restaurant

I'm a sucker for architecture when it comes to restaurants.  I think the location of a restaurant says a lot about the character of it (besides how much start up capital the restaurateur had when opening said restaurant).  There's nothing wrong with strip mall dining, but...I think it's a smidge nicer to eat in an old house, or a converted warehouse, or what used to be a bank.  And that's what led me to Rockefeller's Restaurant over the weekend.

Housed in a building built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1930, Rockefeller's Restaurant has been the home of many different businesses, most notably a private bank.  A beautifully designed bank featuring stained glass windows, elaborate woodwork, intricate stone beams, and a large stone fireplace.  To get to the restaurant, you have to walk up a flight of stairs, but when you reach the top, you feel like you've entered a castle.  I can't put into words how beautiful the inside of Rockefeller's is. (it's often used for wedding receptions if that gives you any idea of how it looks) I've really never seen anything like it.  It's a huge space divided into three main areas - a dining area, a nice lounge near the roaring fireplace with plush couches and chairs, and a bar.  The bar is actually tucked away in a corner, so the TV doesn't really take away from the ambiance.

But enough about how beautiful the restaurant is...on to the food!  I attempted to take photos of my food and drinks but the restaurant was dimly lit and I think my iPhone camera doesn't work so well.  But I assure you, the presentation of my meal along with the meals of my dining companions was just as spectacular as the interior of the restaurant. 

I started off with a cocktail while my friends had glasses of wine.  Rockefeller's has a pretty extensive list of classic/retro cocktails, but I decided to get a fruity concoction that had a disclaimer on the menu stating that a person could only have 2 of said drink because it's so strong.  When it arrived - with an umbrella - it reminded me of a boozy fruit smoothie which wasn't a bad thing. (and yes, I ended up having two of them...and conked out early - reminded me of mind erasers in college...oy!)

There were a couple vegetarian dishes on the menu.  Nothing vegan from what I could see, but I got the impression that the chef could be pretty accommodating.  I got a zucchini pasta dish.  It was basically fresh noodles with big chunks of zucchini and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.  Not the most inventive vegetarian meal I've ever had, but it was good.  What was even better was the fresh bread served with our meals.  I'm a carb monster anyway, but the fresh bread with olives baked in was great.

My meat eating companions really enjoyed their meals.  As with many upscale restaurants, I think chefs tend to do a better job with non-vegetarian dishes, but I was happy to see that there were a couple options on the menu for non meat eating folks.  I'd definitely go back if I had the chance...but I might just stick to having one cocktail.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! There was a disclaimer on the drink? That's pretty serious stuff! I've never seen that before! Sounds like a great place - I'll have to check it out.