Mon-Fri, 7am-10:15am and 11:30am-10:30pm; Sat, 2:30-10:30pm; Sun, 10am-2pm and 2:30pm-7:45pm
6 at 51st St.; E, M at Fifth Ave.-53rd St.; E, M at Lexington Ave.-53rd St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
When the neighboring Waldorf and Astoria hotels joined in 1897, a New York Herald editor dubbed the 300-foot marble promenade conjoining the two "Peacock Alley," for the elegantly coiffured socialites on parade. Dining today at the Peacock Alley, now located in the lobby, similarly allows views of hotel guests in transit. During the sumptuous Sunday brunch buffet, the restaurant annexes part of the lobby for a cruise-ship-worthy spread. Lunch at Peacock Alley is a more understated affair. The historic Waldorf salad, devised by a Waldorf maitre d’ at the turn of the century, is now delicately deconstructed with tart slivers of green apples, two grapes and a few candied walnuts. Equally light and satisfying, the jumbo lump crab cake has a crisp breading and fresh interior. Main dishes are more heavy-handed; the steak on steak, a small fillet served alongside beefsteak tomatoes, could use more moisture and flavor. Throughout the meal, the original Waldorf bronze clock chimes on the quarter hour, reminding diners that outside the sleepy hotel lobby bar that time marches on.