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A few NYC questions for the experts.......Gotravel, HowardR etc.

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Dec 3rd, 2004, 07:33 PM
  #21
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Well HowardR. Thank you! I was wondering about that and hoped you would answer me. I am very impressed. When (in the spring) I get to Boston maybe I will read one your (I am assuming) fascinating articles. Thanks again, and 1 more question have you been to the Rainbow room? Is it nice, we thought dinner and dancing for our last night would be fun. I know it is expensive when on Menupages there are no amounts on their menu. We also have reservations that night for Chez Josephine but my hubby really wants to do dance.

Thanks again and I look forward to your response.
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Dec 4th, 2004, 04:37 AM
  #22
 
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Sorry, Momof5, but my response about an experience at the Rainbow Room and an article with my byline in the Boston Globe is the same: It's been many years since either happened!
However, I am sure there are other posters who've been to the Rainbow Room more recently than we have. I do know two things: 1. It's expensive; 2. It can be a memorable experience.
Just the thought of the Rainbow Room and Chez Josephine on the same night sure makes one envious! That tandem sure makes for a memorable evening! Enjoy them both!
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Dec 4th, 2004, 09:54 AM
  #23
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Hi Howard
Okey i just got ahold of the Rainbow room and WOW what a price difference. First they only have dinner and dancing certain nights and second it is $192.00 pp. Cough-Cough! So I think we may skip it, even though I really wanted to go just because I have heard about it and love to dance. I am assuming Chez Josephine is not nearly that expensive for 3 courses.
Thanks
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Dec 4th, 2004, 10:31 AM
  #24
 
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I can assure you that Chez Josephine will not come close to costing that much. With a couple drinks apiece, the whole bill (including tax and tip should run around $120-125.
(That $192 per person charge at the Rainbow Room will give you a pretty good idea of why we haven't been there in quite a few years!)
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Dec 4th, 2004, 10:38 AM
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I must say while I love Chez Josephine, the 2 experiences are not really comparable. The Rainbow Room is like being in a movie. You can't believe the views, the room, the music etc. Like Howard, it's been quite some time since I was there but I promise you, if you can get over the price, it's a very memorable place.
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Dec 4th, 2004, 03:22 PM
  #26
 
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The Cloisters is well known here in NYC, but I don't think too many tourists know about it, or bother with it. It is a really beautiful spot, not what most tourists think of when they think of "The City"
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Dec 4th, 2004, 03:30 PM
  #27
 
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mclaurie is quite about the Rainbow Room experience.....but then at $192 a person, it better provide an extraordinary and memorable experience! (By the way, does that $192 include tax and tip?)
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Dec 4th, 2004, 05:07 PM
  #28
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Okey that does not include tax and tip. She only told me th eprice when I told her we were from out of town and then I recieved the clothing guidelines. ANd this is only for 3 courses. I had dinner at the Belagio's "Picasso" last May and it was only around $100.00 a person. No dancing but great view and 5 courses. I amnot comparing the experience but just the price. I think we will be goign to Chex Josephine instead. What have you heard about Babbo's or Mesa Grill?
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Dec 5th, 2004, 06:25 AM
  #29
 
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I've managed to keep my mouth shut through this post, but can't do so any longer. WHile I know Chez Josephine is a favorite of Howard and several others, we gave it three tries and were always disappointed in our food. We do not happen to "know" the famous Jean Claude who hosts and apparently greats Howard and others making them feel very at home. He walked away from us in the middle of a very brief conversation. Last time we even took Howard's suggestion of what to order and I ended up with dry and overcooked chicken (our steaks and grilled tuna before that had both been way over cooked).

Chez Josephine may be nice for some, and our three mediocre (not horribly bad) experiences may have not been the norm, but it is difficult for me to see you trying to compare it to places like Babbo, Mesa Grill, Picasso, and the Rainbow Room. There just isn't any comparison between them, no matter how much you might happen to like Chez Josephine!
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Dec 5th, 2004, 04:04 PM
  #30
 
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I know you've gotten lots of answers and i'm only a part-time new yorker(and not for very long at that) but here's my answers
1. Fav thing to do. I know it's not typical tourist destination, but I love going to ABC Carpet and Home, 6 floors of home stuff, It's at Union Square which has the great farmers market and right now a Christmas Market going on. Also, if you are into sports, Paragon sporting goods is right across the street.
The other thing I love to do is go to Bergdorf Goodman to the top floor to see the displays of china and silver and antiques. Always gorgeous. I know it's technically shopping, but its a great way to dream
2. Favorite Hotel - last time I visited with my family (before becoming part time here) we stayed at the Righa Royal and found it nice.
3. Others have answered this question.
4. Fav. expensive restaurant. La Genouille great french food, intimate room and gorgeous flowers
5. inexpensive restaurant - Westville on West 10th in the West Village. just off Bleeker. very small tiny place with great food and supposedly great desserts though i have never eaten them
6. Best thing to do during holidays - Shopping of course
7. Avenue Q
8. Block the sidewalks, i walked down broadway this morning past canal and you couldn't walk through the tourists, they were so thick.
9. I saw the midget actor (not sure what the correct pc term is these days, vertically challenged?) from The Station Agent the other day in Kiehls.
10. Best overall tip. Get out and walk and enjoy the city and explore.

Have fun on your visit here and what a great set of questions.
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Dec 5th, 2004, 05:07 PM
  #31
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When answering these questions I do not care who answers them (natives or visitors) it is so fun to read the responses.

The couple we are traveling with built a huge home and would love to go check out home furnishings. Thanks for the tip.

Patrick I appreciate your straight forward opinion. I meean that is why I read this forum so much. So have you or anyone tried Babbo or Mesa Grill. Our friends chose those restaurants to splurge in. What do you all think.

Does anyone want to sell me SNL tickets, some guy is selling his on the e-bay and i want to go.

Thanks again!!!!
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Dec 5th, 2004, 05:33 PM
  #32
 
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Patrick, I'm sorry that Jean-Claude didn't pay more attention to you. If you reread my initial posting on this thread, you will note that I said that there are better places to eat in New York. No, it's not the best dining establishment in New York....but it is one delightful place with--sorry, Patrick--very good food.
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Dec 5th, 2004, 05:57 PM
  #33
 
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Howard, you may be right about very good food (sometimes) but no one --- including you -- could have possibly called that dried out chicken "very good" -- nor the well done "seared tuna" nor the rare steak. It clearly has its off nights, as much as I love the decor and the ambiance.

My point was not to discredit the place since it certainly has its following, and I don't care that we were ignored by Jean Claude. It's just that you always make such a point of how much his presence and friendliness makes your evening special -- well, not necessarily to strangers! I realize that as a regular you are treated like a god and of course you love the place. I have local places like that here too which are special to me.

My only point in speaking up was that I'm somehow getting the impression that Momof5 is thinking of Chez Josephine as a sincere alternative to the Rainbow Room and as special for food as Mesa Grill, Babbo, and even (gasp) Picasso. I just don't want her to get the idea that Chez Josephine is even remotely on that same level -- just as I wouldn't want her to get that impression about any of the places I mentioned as well. There is an enormous difference!!
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Dec 5th, 2004, 06:58 PM
  #34
 
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Patrick:
1. I am not treated like a god at Chez Josephine. I am merely treated friendly and warmly by the owner who recognizes me as a regular patron. I'm not even sure if he knows my name.
2. Jean-Claude usually treats strangers with equal warmth. In a word, he is a charmer....and a very smart businessman.
3. I have never claimed that Chez Josephine is the be-all and end-all of restaurants in New York (or any place else, for that matter). I have claimed, however, that it is our favorite. And, we have taken dozens of friends and business acquaintances there. Not one of them has ever been less than satisfied.
4. I really don't think Momof5 or anyone else (myself included) is equating the Chez Josephine experience with the Rainbow Room experience (or vice versa, for that matter).
Let's let the matter drop!
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Dec 6th, 2004, 05:01 AM
  #35
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Gee! This thread got awfully serious!
Howard and Patrick, both of you have well-respected opinions on this board. I always enjoy reading your input, as both of you are exceedingly honest (as momof5 said) and knowledgeable. Even when your opinions differ, and even when you offer differing suggestions, the rest of us are smart enough to understand that these are not necessarily comparisons, but alternatives. Just knowing what someone else said (especially someone we are familiar with from this board) makes it a more personal experience, whether we end up agreeing with you or not.

So, bottom line is, we get it: Rainbow Room is not a comparison to Chez J (which is obvious by the price alone) and, though Howard enjoys it, Patrick thinks there are better places out there. Frankly, I'm dying to go there now just to see for myself if it's really any good (and to see if J-C acts nice or not!).

It's a great thread, so let's get back to the OP's great questions! I'm enjoying the answers that everyone is giving!

 
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Dec 6th, 2004, 05:48 AM
  #36
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This is my opinion on the subject of the Rainbow Room.

Go to the Rainbow Grill before you go to dinner for a drink. It's expensive, a glass of wine will run you around $20 but the view is wonderful. I'd rather be out $40-$50 bucks for a couple of drinks and a romantic view than close to $500 for dinner.

The $192 per person price doesn't include tax, gratuity, or cocktails.
 
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Dec 6th, 2004, 06:20 AM
  #37
 
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bamakelly, I love your post!
Good suggestion GoTravel. But, I wonder if it might make a wonderful way to end the evening, i.e., by going to the Rainbow Grill as the final part of a memorable evening on the town.
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Dec 6th, 2004, 06:27 AM
  #38
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Howard, if their reservations are 9ish, wouldn't they get out too late?

I spent one very memorable afternoon at the Rainbow Grill with one of my close girlfriends after spending the day at the Frick and the Met. We drank champagne with strawberries and had a wonderful time! Very expensive but one of those things you remember for the rest of your life.

Don't skip the RR Grille, maybe just put it elsewhere in your schedule.
 
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Dec 6th, 2004, 07:17 AM
  #39
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I thought people were going to laugh at this thread and thus ignore it. I cannot wait to come back and answer my own questions to it.

HowardR. I know what you meant about Chez Josephine and am so glad you gave me a price breakdown. And I was not thinking they were in the same league but all the info you 2 gave me is nice to know. I appreciate you both caring so much. So have you, Gotravel, Patrick, nytraveler been to Babbo's or the Mesa Grill or did I miss that?

I also wonder can you get a backstage tour of the Met during the day? Or do they do that.
I can NEVER THANK ALL OF YOU ENOUGH! Keep those great answers coming.
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Dec 6th, 2004, 07:37 AM
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Babbo and Mesa Grill are both very good despite the fact that the celebrity chefs who own them have opened several places since both these places came on the scene. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the chances are fairly remote that Mario Batali and Bobby Flay spend much time "on the line" these days at either establishment.

While they may be there one night a week, with several restaurants and a full load from the tvs shows and books, you're getting there highly trained staff and not them.

Also, I should mention that both Batali and Flay started out in NJ. Batali at a place near Rutger's and Flay in the Spring Lake area. As a transplanted NY who now lives across the river, I feel it's my duty to point this out.

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