Mon-Sat, 11:30am-10pm; Sun, 11:30am-4pm
B, D, F, M at 47th-50th Sts.-Rockefeller Center; E, M at Fifth Ave.-53rd St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
The other new brasserie in town occupies a star-crossed space on the northern side of Rockefeller Plaza. Traditionally, this is a parched corner of the restaurant savannah, a challenging region where rents are onerous and proprietors try to eke out a living catering to business lunchers and random families of goggle-eyed tourists. Two of the owners of Brasserie Ruhlmann are old hands at the brasserie trade (they operate La Goulue on Madison Avenue), but, so far, even they have had their share of troubles here. The room is decorated in cool, dark Ruhlmann style (somber wood paneling, crimson cushions, tall lozenge-shaped mirrors), which might look admirable to a downtown aesthete but is a little frosty if you’ve just finished your tour of the NBC studios and are looking for a decent salad frisée. The restaurant’s first chef left, and the proprietors have turned to the talented Laurent Tourondel, who has shown a facility for breathing life into similarly tired restaurant formulas, like the steakhouse (BLT Steak) and the haute fish shack (BLT Fish).