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Culture vulture, foodie gets her fix in New York City

Patti Nickell, Lexington Herald-Leader on

Published in Travel News

At intermission, we returned to our table where our desserts -- a chocolate mousse for Ruth and artisanal cheese platter for me -- awaited. Again, the perfect sustenance to carry us through the inevitable tragic finale.


On a long ago visit to New York, I had lunch at what was at the time the power spot of Manhattan -- the Pool Room at the Four Seasons Restaurant. On any given day, you could expect to encounter titans of industry, powerful politicos and Broadway icons enjoying a meal in the opulent setting. It was just so New York and when the restaurant closed, to say I was shocked is an understatement.

Happily, the restaurant in the Seagram Building on Park Avenue has been given a new lease on life. Re-opened last July, it is now known simply as The Pool.

Its stunning design combines the sophistication of the city with elements of nature that one doesn't usually associate with New York. The centerpiece is, of course, the pool in the middle of the dining area that features both lush landscaping and an equally lush sound track allowing Brazilian jazz to be softly piped across the room (softly being the key word).

Suspended above the pool is Alexander Calder's mobile, 3 Segments, which resembles an enormous fish. Another noteworthy design feature is the glass-walled nook, which on closer inspection contains bottles of wine suffused with an amber glow, making it look like a sculpture.

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The restaurant decor is worthy of the Seagram Building itself, a collaboration of architects Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson. If the Grand Tier evokes Edith Wharton's 19th century New York aristocracy in their tuxedoes and boas, The Pool conjures up the 21st century "Sex and the City" quartet in their Jean-Paul Gaultiers and Jimmy Choos.

Couple this with the contemporary seafood dishes of chef Rich Torrisi and you have a memorable dining experience.

So, I tell myself -- for memorable experiences such as these, I can put up with honking horns and an endless procession of black.



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