Sunday

4 Seasons New York City, New York

Four Seasons NY

57 East 57th Street, New York, New York, U.S.A. 10022 Tel. 1 (212) 758-5700 Fax. 1 (212) 758-5711

Driving up to the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City was like taking in a giant breath of fresh air; we arrived at THE address in Manhattan...


Oh sure, there are plenty of old Grand Dames and neighborhood favorite lodgings from which to choose, but nothing captures the essence of elegance, style and sophistication as this locale. From the moment the door man greats you, to the voluminous lobby--designed by I.M. Pei--that envelops you, you know that you’ve arrived.


As in all destinations, the suites are the only way to go. Why jam yourself into a shoebox when enjoying a city pulsing with energy. Starting at the 33rd floor, the Deluxe Suite with either city views offers a jaw dropping experience (so does the Executive Suite with a Central Park view, but we preferred looking at buildings, architecture and light). We stayed in 4307, which weighed in at whopping 1,250 square feet and was high enough to be in the view. Open the door to find an elegant palette of muted golds and yellows, balanced by honey colored polished wood paneling and ubiquitous silk padded walls. The quietude and sense of place is immediately juxtaposed to the hubbub of the city beyond and below.

A giant living area by any standards offers relaxed seating, a desk with a view of the empire state building incomparable Chrysler building, and a dining room table set with 4 leather club chairs also sharing the views. This area alone is bigger than most nyc apartments. Beyond and down the hall is the largest closet in Manhattan, so make sure to pack plenty of stylish clothes. The bathroom is tastefully appointed with marble and offers an enormous spa soaking tub that fills so fast the New York Fire Department gets jealous (under one minute, and separately plumbed to do so).
Rich Bulgari products abound in each of the two bathrooms. The bedroom is rich and comfortable, with electric curtains (throughout the suite) that close out the city beyond; but who would want to with such sweeping city views. The daytime panorama is eclipsed by the lights of the night, and fine linen is turned down awaiting the prospects of a comfy, solid night’s sleep.

Service is preeminent here. A quiet, yet thorough staff offers the feeling of being treated like a king at every turn. Whether it’s the accommodating and darkly handsome front desk manager, Nickolas (a fabulous mixture of Polish and Argentinean backgrounds) or the housekeeper in the suite, everything is thoughtfully considered and accomplished. The only downside we could find was not wanting to leave our environment when the madding crowd of New York City was calling for us. That’s okay, because upon coming back, we (as well as all the rooms) enjoyed a free visit to the 24-hour gym and nicely appointed spa to unwind and get ready for dinner.

JOEL ROBUCHON: L'ALTELIER
The city is jammed with so many dining experiences that choosing for a fast weekend is a difficult endeavor at best. That said, the best way to start or finish a trip at the Four Seasons is with a superlative dinner at Joel Robuchon’s L’Atelier.


Beyond enormous shoji screens is an intimate treasure of only 30-tabled seats and 22 seats at a chick counter, comprising a taste treat known as L’Atelier. Although tables are always cozy, it’s all about sitting at the counter, and the extreme people you meet when sitting there. When we arrived, the beautiful and stylish women sitting on one side of us; one was the owner of Le Bernadine, and the other was the former CEO of Givenchy. The folks to the right of us owned nightclubs and the other’s father was the former CEO of Solomon Brothers. Later, replacing the French ladies, the CEO of the largest European paint company and his wife edified us on the uses of paint throughout the world. Oh, and there was food too; lots of food!
Michael indulged in the tasting menu “Decouverte” ($190) along with the wine pairing for an additional ($110). It delivered with a wallop. Starting with fabulous Osetra caviar in a fine fragrance of coral, served over lobster and crab, it was dished up in a monogrammed Joel Robouchon tin. Although all 7 courses were more than outstanding, there were a few standouts. The seared foie gras with quince compote and yuzu took the dish to a new level. It was paired perfectly with the Coulee de Serrant from France. Beyond extraordinary, the roasted Japanese hanger steak was sautéed with shallots and shishito peppers, and was as unique as the restaurant itself.

Scott went “a la carte” and had big problems choosing from the mouth-watering choices on the menu. Everything was top-notch, but of particular note was the Maine lobster in sherry vinegar mayonnaise served over iceberg lettuce (worth every bit of the $47). The lobster was tender and buttery, nearly melting in our mouths. Do not miss tasting the crispy langoustine accompanied with a basil pesto ($19), which was so fresh and crunchy it was easy to overlook the calories. Also worthy of severe salivation was the pan-seared sea bass, delicately laced with lemongrass foam and served with a side of stewed baby leeks ($28).

You won’t have room for dessert, but you must. All of them are $17, and the ones we sampled were beyond yum.
The Duo flipped out over “Le Tendance Chocolat”, which was a chocolate cream, served with a bitter chocolate sorbet and Oreo cookies. We paired it with a 2005 “Quintessence” Domaine Coume del mas, and between the two, we closed the restaurant and were sent into chocolate orgasm.

THE GARDEN RESTAURANT
Brunch at The Garden Restaurant was also a lovely way to enjoy a meal. Surrounded by trees, even though it was 39 degrees outside and raining, we felt as though we were enjoying a Sunday in the park.

The standout for us was the lemon pancakes stuffed with ricotta cheese, which were so light and fluffy they almost flew away. The bloody Marys were also particularly good, but like most things of quality in this city, pricey at $22. For a further amusement, we stepped down to the charming Calvisius Caviar Lounge, the first retail shop for this Italian caviar company in the world. Scott hates the stuff, but Michael indulged in the $25 sample, Solamente that was fabulous farm-raised Italian caviar. Ask for the Manger, Massimo, who will walk you through your choices.

After a spectacular meal at L’Atelier, all we wanted to do was take the elevator to our glamorous suite and put our heads down on the soft down pillows and drift to sleep. But with those views outside our giant windows, we just had to sit and watch the night a little longer, planning our next visit to the Four Seasons and this remarkable City.

SMALL BYTES:

Marea
240 Central Park South, (just off Columbus Circle and a stones throw from Per Se)
212 582 5100

Michael White and Chris Cannon's new entry to the high-end seafood fare, this sleek-chic and comfy modern restaurant has its food roots in Bartolotta, Wynn Las Vegas. Try their $89 Prix Fixe menu, which is a bargain and an exciting mix of their delectable offerings.

Per Se
10 Columbus Circle
212 823 9335

New Yorker's perennial favorite for the best food in town, if not the country, and at around $1000 for two it very well should be. With elegant atmosphere and impeccable service, It is well worth the wait to get in and the price (although the more casual L'atelier may become our new favorite). Michael still dreams of white truffles at Per Se, and they lavished us with them making the price tag a bit more palatable. For the somewhat budget minded, there is always lunch in the bar. This is a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed. Jacket required.

Daniel
60 East 65th
212 288 0033
In their elegant newly appointed east-side venue, Daniel’s service is always some of the best in town and their food will never disappoint you. Feel like royalty while trying their new prix fixe menu, which is well priced and reflects the delectable combinations served-up by the Chef. Jacket required. Our new favorite burger in town is The Frenchie at Daniel's new entry, DBGB (in the Lower East Side), ask for Olivier, the handsome and affable Maitre d'.

We managed to squeeze in 4 plays: Hair, Next to Normal, South Pacific and Billy Elliot, all fabulous.  We were brought up on stage at the finale of Hair and it marked our Broadway debut.  Talk about fun.

Now we're counting down the days until we can return to the Four Seasons New York for more "suite" times in the city.

Posted by The Dining Duo | 6:53 PM | , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

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