Bull and Bear at the Waldorf=Astoria ,New York City
The Bull and Bear is the signature restaurant of the Waldorf=Astoria, located on Lexington Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets, New York City. The Bull and Bear is a beautiful old steakhouse, with an impressive bar and wonderful atmosphere and was to recently the broadcast location of Happy Hour on the Fox Business Channel. Be warned that the dress code for the restaurant is "casual elegance", so no jeans or sneakers and men must wear a dinner jacket. We made reservations for 7:30 the same afternoon we planned on eating at the restaurant, but it is advisable to make bookings several days early, especially for Friday and Saturday nights. We arrived early and the Maitre D' informed thus that our table was ready but we decided to have pre-dinner drinks at the restaurant bar. Once ready for dinner, we were promptly seated, with the table pre-set for our party of 3 with the 4th chair having already been physically removed, which was a nice touch. The table settings looked exquisite.We ordered entrees of the Waldorf Salad, which is a signature dish known around the world and the sole reason one of our party wanted to eat there. Let me tell you, its worth all of the praise, it is the most delicious salad I have ever eaten. It has a strong but not overpowering apple taste (because it has a lot of red and green apples in it) which I would not have thought would work in a salad, but obviously that's one of the many reasons I am not a chef.For our mains, between the 3 of us, we shared a surf and turf which was a rib fillet topped with 1 and 1/2 pounds of fresh Maine lobster, a veal rib chop oscar and some sides of vegetable gratin and hash browns. Let's just say it was wow!The Bull and Bear positions itself as an upmarket steakhouse and the night we visited, it lived up to its reputation. Although the restaurant never got beyond half full, the ambience of such an historic restaurant made the meal feel even more special. Our meals were near to perfect, with the steak and veal being standouts and the lobster beautiful and fresh. The wine list was as exhaustive as you would imagine for a restaurant of this standard, with the California red I was recommended by our waiter perfectly matching my meal. We rounded out our meal with desserts of New York cheesecake and the dessert trio that consisted of different types of puff pastry, with ice cream and syrup. Compared to the main it was a little pedestrian. There was nothing particularly wrong with them, they just weren't out and out amazing unlike the appetizers and mains. We must admit we expected more.
A restaurant this exquisite naturally has an equally exquisite bill for the end of the night. Although we could not to afford to pay for this sort of meal often, we thought the price was ok for the quality of the food and the ambience of this grand restaurant and would not hesitate to return to celebrate a special occasion, though we would skip the dessert and head to one of the fine cake stalls in the area to pick up a special treat for the way home.