If you’re looking for one of the best restaurants near Lincoln Center, and one of the prettiest restaurants in NYC, look no further than Robert Restaurant, the restaurant atop the Museum of Art and Design (MAD) at Columbus Circle. It is not all that new, but I believe it is still relatively undiscovered, due to the fact that the entrance is through the museum lobby and up the elevator. I’m slightly hesitant to discuss this vibrant dining spot, for fear that it will become too popular and therefore difficult to make a reservation. But it is just too outstanding not to share it!
Robert Restaurant is sophisticated, trendy, and sexy, which is not always an easy combination to find. Floor-to-ceiling windows highlight its spectacular view of Columbus Circle and Central Park, making it a perfect location for romantic dinners and showing off for tourists. You will clearly see why Open Table bestowed Robert Restaurant with one of its prestigious Diners Choice Awards for “Best Scenic View Restaurant” for 2012.
An Extravagant Interior
The décor at this Upper West Side restaurant is contemporary, modern, and PINK! But don’t be scared, my male readers. It is not an overly girly place, as you might assume from this color choice. It is slick, sleek, and modern. With plenty of chrome and digital art, you are reminded that you are in the midst of the Museum of Art and Design. For an added elegant touch, live jazz accompanies your dinner every Wednesday through Saturday night.
A Place to Celebrate
My most memorable evening at ROBERT was a small birthday party I had here with family and friends last August. We chose not to be in a separate private room, but we were nicely positioned in a section that was both conducive to conversation and also allowed us to be a part of the energy and cool vibe of the restaurant. The staff was very accommodating and allowed us to arrive early and set up decorations and favors at the table. The chef prepared an extraordinary full-sized version of their divinely decadent flourless chocolate cake for dessert, which goes on my short list as one of the richest, most wickedly sinful chocolate birthday cakes ever! (And I’ve had quite a few!) Remembering it now makes my mouth water. I still dream of that cake.
Even if it is not your birthday, for a celebratory dining experience opt for ROBERT’s seven course tasting menu for $75. Currently Chef Leo Forneas is focusing on seafood. (My favorite! How perfect!) The meal begins with a prelude of a tuna loin roll followed by a lupe de mare, which is a clear vegetable brodo (broth) with asparagus and fresh truffles. Next a sea urchin paparadelle is presented in a light ocean sauce. The fourth course is salmon Wellington, and the event concludes with chocolate mousse cake served with fresh raspberries and brandied cherries, and finally, petite fours for the encore.
Maybe you want to drop by for a light bite or a drink at cocktail hour? Robert Restaurant is open from 3:00pm to 5:30pm offering their “sunset menu” for just this purpose. Usually it is not overcrowded at this time, so take advantage of the opportunity to snag a prime table by the window for the sensational view. Or relax on the sofas in the central area. Perhaps you’re on the search for a glamorous location for an amorous post-theatre coffee and treat? The lounge with its baby grand piano is open until 1:00am, making it a lovely late night locale for a delectable dessert and sultry stargazing.
Lunch is offered at ROBERT from 11:30am to 3:00pm on Monday through Friday. The midday menu includes many of the same dishes as the dinnertime offerings, as well as a variety of salads, sandwiches, and burgers. Brunch is served from 11:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday and Sunday, with a live jazz trio on Sundays. The brunch menu offers additional items such as the savory lobster benedict, or the more traditional steak and eggs. Or if you prefer sweet in the morning, try the ricotta cheese pancakes or the challah French toast served with berries and apples.
An Extra Plus
When the bill arrives (alas, reality hits!), you will discover free passes to the Museum of Art and Design. MAD houses an eclectic collection of ever-changing exhibits. You can find more information at www.madmuseum.org, visit.
So there it is. I’ve gone and done it. I’ve shared my little secret, which is really neither so little nor so secret. ROBERT is the place to go. Don’t say I never did anything nice for you.
Robert Restaurant at the Museum of Art and Design
2 Columbus Circle – 9th Floor