Tuesday, January 6, 2009

With all the running around and family outings during the past couple of holiday weeks, one reservation we had had planned was unexpectedly canceled at the last minute, dinner at the Rainbow Room. Now, it seems the recession has taken its toll on this most venerable of New York institutions and the restaurant has announced it is closing its doors, temporarily at least.

Okay, knowing this now, would we have braved the sub-zero degree weather that evening to shell out a couple of hundred bucks (per person, that is) to be able to dine with a view of the Manhattan skyline? Probably not. The one thing that everyone knows about the Rainbow Room is that it's expensive, and in these trying times, reputation alone won't entice customers through the door like they used to in flush times. Even for a pop culture buff like me, eating mediocre food in a joint that hosted the likes of Marlene Dietrich and Fred Astaire just aint worth the splurge.

One thing that's happening now is a reassessment of the core values and basics. There's still hope that the Ciprianis will revive the restaurant, if they ever come back from exile while their taxes are under investigation here. If not, you can still shell out a smooth $20 for a martini at the bar, which remains open, for now.

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