The Oak Room
- American Nouveau $30-$50
10 Central Park S.
New York, NY 10019
- Neighborhood: Midtown East
- Phone: 212-758-7777
The stagy, oppressive atmosphere at the new Oak Room is not greatly relieved by the quality of the food. On my first visit, the menu was an overlong, slightly ham-fisted compendium of the kind of luxury-hotel grub savvy New Yorkers don’t much eat anymore. It’s now been pared to a more manageable size, although the quality is still various. My Parmesan-laced mushroom risotto was almost worth its $22 price, although the Dover sole that followed ($43) was overcooked in knobby chunks and apparently someone forgot to debone it. The duck did not benefit from either the kumquats or the bok choy it came with, and my desiccated braised short ribs resembled a sad imitation of corned beef. We waited roughly 25 minutes between the courses, and the desserts included gimmicky chocolate “cigars” touched with armagnac, and tired little triangles of carrot cake so tortured-looking they prompted one of my guests to put down her fork in exasperation. “I’m sorry, I wouldn’t serve this food to people who came to my home,” she said.
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