As many of you know, I am a ferocious Foodie. I am fortunate to have access to a number of fine restaurants around the globe, thanks to some connections that my network has brought to me, and by recommendations from my faithful readers.
While I am not a Food Critic (I leave this to experts such as Zagat or Michelin Guides), I do appreciate when I receive VIP level service even though the staff may not know who I am.
This was the case yesterday when I had arranged a mid-morning "brunch" meeting with a colleague. When I arrived at the Rock Center Cafe in the Rockefeller Center Building in Midtown Manhattan I was told that Breakfast seating had ended and that Lunch was available beginning 11:30am. The time was now 10:30, my guest was arriving in 15 minutes, and had to leave for another appointment shortly after noon.
Fortunately, Ken Gordon, VP of Operations for The Patina Group, the firm that operates the RCC was standing in the reception area. He had overheard my conversation with the Hostess, and immediately offered a solution.
Ken seated me in a quiet area of the restaurant, and had one of his wait staff bring coffee to me. Keep in mind that this was BETWEEN service hours.
When my guest arrived, I told Ken that we had a short window in which to eat once the official lunch service began at 11:30. He not only offered to take our Lunch order in advance of this time, he went beyond the call and asked if we would prefer something more like Breakfast. As my guest and I had both been looking forward to this, we immediately took Ken up on his offer.
I was truly awed when our beautifully presented and extremely tasty dishes were served less that 15 minutes later! The time was now 11:15 well into the hiatus between seatings.
Our waitperson, Mike, never failed to ask if we needed anything. At many restaurants, patrons experience a "black hole of service level" if seated late into a period of transition as they busily change over place settings, etc. This was definitely NOT the case here!
This was as fine a dining experience as I have had in quite a while. As you make plans for the weekend, please add "eat at one of the Patina Group's fine restaurants" to your list. You may find one of their locations by clicking here.
If any of you are planning to be in NYC over the holidays, there is no better view of the festivities in and around Rock Center than a seat in the cafe overlooking the Ice Rink and the famous X-mas Tree.
If you are contemplating a private holiday affair, I'm sure Ken or one of his staff will be more that happy to assist you with your plan.
Based on my experience yesterday, you are in the best of hands!