The Sherry-Netherland Hotel

April 12, 2008

The Sherry-Netherland hotel was built in 1927 at 781 Fifth Avenue, which intersects with E.59th street, also known as Central Park South. This hotel has always played second fiddle to The Plaza, its glamour seeking cousin across the street and is little known outside native New Yorkers. It is not advertised and is barely mentioned in travel publications. It 50 rooms are individually decorated and can be viewed before booking on the Sherry-Netherland website. The hotel, was granted a 4 and a half star rating by Tripadvisor, which shows that it is not in the same league as the CPS Plaza or Ritz-Carlton, but still is a high quality hotel in an amazing location. The lobby contains panels that were salvaged from the Vanderbilt Mansion that was razed to make room for the Bergdorf Goodman department store. The intimateness of the hotel allows for personalized service that could not be enjoyed in the Waldorf-Astoria or the New York Palace, as their size could not allow.


The Lobby inside the Sherry-Netherland Hotel


Another view of the Sherry-Netherland Lobby


The Harry Cipriani Restaurant is located in the Sherry-Netherland Hotel


Inside Harry Cipriani


The famed Sherry-Netherland Clock

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Harry Cipriani in the Sherry-Netherland Hotel

April 12, 2008

The oft-derided Harry Cipriani, for many years has been derided as a poor tasting, overpriced, “scene” restaurant. While I’ll tell you that the food was good, the last two are entirely correct.


Harry Cipriani is located in the Sherry-Netherland Hotel, a 1927 Art Deco beauty, that is not only intimate, but retains a grandness that usually only exists in larger, more impersonal hotels. It is located on across from Central Park and on Fifth Avenue, which creates a perfect atmosphere for shoppers and joggers. Its 50 rooms are individually decorated, and can be viewed before being booked on its website. The rooms, unlike the Plaza, its nearest hotel neighbor are reasonably priced (for the location) and give a great respite from the chain-dominated hotel industry.

The restaurant is open during breakfast, lunch and dinner. When I went there for breakfast, my party was one out of three that dined there. I’m sure there are usually more diners, but it was a rainy day and I came after the business crowd dined. As always mentioned in reviews, the restaurant is small and cramped with both small tables and chairs that allow for more people to be squeezed in, which equals more $$$. All of the waiters, were male (the restaurant was sued for sexual discrimination) and for the most part, European. The restaurant is famous mostly due to the celebrities who frequent it, and its ancestor, Harry’s Bar in Venice, invented the Bellini (peach nectar and sparkling wine) and Carpaccio. It was most recently rated “Poor” by Frank Bruni, but it still packs a crowd at lunch and dinner time.


Another view of Harry Cipriani


The Bellini (I am 16, so they made me a virgin one), but it still costed ($19.95)


Pancakes stuffed with Banana ($15.50)


Fresh Fruit Plate with Apple, Grapefruit, Pineapple, Orange ($19.50)


Fried Eggs, Bacon, Home Fries ($19.50 + 4 + 4)

Its a restaurant you bring someone to impress, but not to have a culinary experience. Usually its filled with older-looking blonde women and their even older-looking husbands, who have no problem with spending hundreds of dollars on a good (but not amazing) meal, because as I said earlier: you come here to see and be seen, not to eat.

Harry Cipriani (at the Sherry-Netherland Hotel)
781 Fifth Avenue at E. 59th Street (Central Park South)
New York
212-753-5566
Open: Daily (7am-10:30am, noon-11:45pm)
http://www.cipriani.com
Amex, MC, V
Matchbooks: Yes, but you must ask your waiter