The Biltmore Room


I’m not really sure what I expected at this place. It’s not as if I expected Shangri-La or anything, but from the descriptions I read, I might as well have been walking into the second coming of the Sistine Chapel. The platitudes upon platitudes lauding the decor and architecture of the space turned out to be a load of bunk. It had all the class and distinction of my grandmother’s condo in Florida. The gilded mirrors and low-slung chairs added to the illusion. I am being a bit harsh here, but when you’re expecting Raquel Welch from 2000 B.C. and you end up with Gwyneth Paltrow, you can’t help but be a little disappointed. The second disappointment came after having to wait an hour past our allotted reservation time to be seated. Now slightly inebriated and starving like a model during Fashion Week, we were led into the very tightly packed dining room to sup. We quickly noticed how on top of each other we were; how the dude next to us was due to have LASIK on Monday, and the woman in front of us was cheating on her boyfriend with her 22-year-old female assistant. Okay, that last one was made up, but I was buzzing, and it sounds like a great story. In any case, I’m sure everyone around us could hear me oohing and ahhing over the wonderful choices on the menu. Ultimately I ended up with the tuna tataki appetizer, and the soft shelled crab main course. Both were absolutely delicious, and tasty beyond the horrendous amount of cash they were costing me. The bill ended up being huge, honestly, but most of it was the $100 bottle of wine we were shamed into buying after the waiter pooh-poohed our first, considerably less expensive, first choice. So despite my initial disappointment, and our insanely long wait, I can’t help but recommend going here, if for no other reason than to feel the love that only a molting sea spider sautéed in butter can bring. [MF]