The Polo Bar has easily risen as one of my favorite restaurants in New York City. Elegantly designed by Ralph Lauren’s taste, the restaurant is ordained in handsome and classy brown leather, green plaid, and plenty of horse-related decor.
A reservation is absolutely essential. Perhaps you could squeeze yourself in if you are truly lucky, but for the most part — a reservation is strongly recommended. At the door, an individual stands with a list to see if you have a reservation. Then, if you pass, you will enter the very classy and beautiful bar area. You can sit at the bar area for 15-20 minutes prior to your dinner. It’s beautiful, and I was obsessed with the style. After recently becoming obsessed with the TV show Mad Men, this atmosphere completely hit the spot. Everyone and everything gleams with beauty and class.
I highly recommend getting a drink at the bar — the bartenders do a wonderful job putting the drink together and make it fairly entertaining. There is tremendous attention to detail — my Old Fashioned (the best Old Fashioned I’ve ever had, might I add) had the Ralph Lauren logo on it, and a small wooden polo stick.
Then, the restaurant is fairly large once you go for your table. There is a small area right behind the bar that is rather intimate — only about 3 tables — perhaps they are specifically requested. The rest of the restaurant is downstairs. There is a coat check downstairs, and yet another hostess. You essentially pass through 3 people (not including the coat check) before you finally reach your table. The decor everywhere is carefully crafted, with great attention to detail.
You would have to be unconscious to not take note of the pretentiously brilliant branding — nearly every inch of this restaurant reads “Polo Bar,” from the napkins, to the glasses, to the plates, to the little ticket they give you at the coat check for your belongings.
The service is wonderful. In our transition from bar to table, the servers actually took our drinks and brought them to our table. They were very attentive and professional, but not pushy or snooty.
The menu has a fine assortment of dishes — I was surprised to see that apparently the most popular and recommended dishes are the burgers. They do have some specials, including special burgers. We decided to split the classic Polo Burger and their special burger, which included truffle. Apparently, burgers and steaks are the way to go here.
We ordered the tuna tartare as an appetizer. I thought it was excellent, and very well presented. It was very tasty, and the portion was perfect enough for a small appetizer. I would order this again.
I had half of each burger. Overall, the burgers were both rather good — I ordered them at medium, and they both were surely cooked medium. The burgers were very attractive and well presented. Nonetheless, I am sure that I have had better burgers elsewhere. It was good, but not exceptional or noteworthy. Perhaps, I would order another dish in the future.
We had dessert elsewhere. Nonetheless, I had a very positive impression of this restaurant. It is beautiful, classy, and possesses tremendous attention to detail. Yet, it is not overwhelming or suffocating. The service and even the crowd seems relatively down to earth and personable. I am a sucker for the Ralph Lauren decor.
I would definitely come back to this restaurant, and I recommend it overall. I would probably order something other than the burger next time. Perhaps a steak. The drinks were definitely 10/10, and the atmosphere was everything I wanted.