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Midtown the center of the city.
Armani, Gucci, Fiorucci, this city has style it has class it is the epicenter
Of all that is glamorous and fantastic. The shiny glass windows of the skyscrapers mirror the actions of the well dressed beautiful
people that rush back and forth shopping living and loving
A few weeks back we had the opportunity to review The Library collection of hotels,
and like the city they are housed in each one had its own
Personality and atmosphere.
Like stepping through a portal into another world that’s connected by its global inhabitants.
It was Sunday night at The Hotel Elysee located on 54th street between Madison and Park Avenue.
The Cocktail hour at the hotel had just ended and it was time to think about what to do for dinner.
I decided to take a stroll through the neighborhood to see what I might stumble upon.
Headed for the exit of the hotel I realized The Famous Monkey Bar
Was in the lobby of the Elysee, which by the way was built in the 1920’s and has retained a luxurious elegant Victorian art deco
décor, much like the Monkey bar which rode the prohibition wave right into its repeal. Adorned with a mural designed by
renowned illustrator Ed Sorel. Purchased in 2009 by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter this historical bar brings all the glitzy
jazzy appeal of a bygone era of Bowties Tuxedos and Dress gowns on gorgeous gals who partied with the best and brightest.
After a crisp and simple vodka gimlet, I was on my way to find a little adventure a little food and lots of fun. Headed east down
54th street I crossed Park Avenue,
I noticed there was a church to my left where the fallen homeless angels dined on filet mignon and were
Wearing what seemed to be blazers ( Hey this Is Park Avenue Midtown for goodness sakes) onward and eastward on 54th I
walked by a gentleman smoking a pipe in front of what appeared to be a private club. He stood in front of a set of tall glass
doors and just beyond the windows inside I noticed many glistening framed pictures hanging on the wall. I asked this very tall
and some what ominous Scottish looking gent what this interesting place was and he chorted this is the Volstead bar and
My curiosity was peaked and I decided to venture inside to have a peak.
Heading downstairs with sparkling chandeliers looming above I felt a wave of decadent splendor come over me
I felt a little underdressed in just a polo and jeans my instincts were telling me that this was the business mans oasis and wished
I had been wearing a suit or at least a blazer.
I met with Avi the Maitre D’ – manger and he was dressed in similar attire
to what I was wearing and I was again at ease.
Friendly young and good looking he brought me through the
dining area / dance floor / to the bar where several gorgeous creatures
were cavorting and feeling good sipping cocktails and grooving to the looming lounge music.
Looking around absorbing the atmosphere I realized this would be the perfect set for a spy movie, stunning women and men,
dark desirable interiors and lighting, chic music I knew this was a place I would come back to with a date or for a business
The Menu was diverse and boasted some unusual entrees
for what seemed to be more of a private club than a fine dining establishment.
I tried two of the Volstead’s specialty drinks first a Volstead Martini Ketel One dry Vermouth olives but of course and then a Rye
Old Fashioned Bulleit Rye Bitters with and orange slice and a Maraschino Cherry.
After several cocktails my appetite was little less voracious.
So browsing the menu and asking Avi I decided to try a few appetizers and what Avi recommended. The final decision was Baja
Fish Tacos and a special designer pizza with Portobello mushrooms and gorgonzola cheese\
( I think the Pizza is a special request item as I didn’t find it on the menu but then again is was dark and my eyesight is
regrettably not what it used to be after spending years writing reviews in front of a computer screen)
I also tried the Lobster sliders that’s right I said Lobster,
although I hear the traditional beef hambuger sliders are fantastic as well.
If my appetite had been what it was in the early part of the evening I might have went with the selection of delectable entrees,
Seared Freebird Half Chicken with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Sautéed Mushroom or the Grilled Salmon with Wild Rice,
Zucchini in a lemon tarragon vinaigrette.
High style movie star celebrity atmosphere Chandelier lit lighting a certain vampiresque feel The Volstead is a playground for
those who like all things that are finely designed
impeccably prepared and pleasantly playful and darkly decadent.