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  1. We had a lovely lunch though it got off to a bit of a rough start. I've checked and re-checked the website and I did not seeing anything about a dress code, and nothing was mentioned when I reserved or when I confirmed. Alas, my guest's gray pants did not fit the bill the hostess informed us as she suggested we sit in the cafe. Which was loud, crowded and it was unclear who our server really was. But the food was lovely. We had the bruleed foie gras, the crab dumplings and the yellowfin ribbons to start. The yellowfin ribbons were in a delightful sauce and plated so they looked like a rose. It was lovely. For entrees we had the veal scallopine and beef tenderloin. The tenderloin was cooked perfectly but the veal had wonderful depth of flavor in the sauce that elevated it far ahead of the beef dish. For dessert we split the harvest plate and the chocolate plate. The desserts were enchanting and just the right finishing note. We got out for $100 each and felt we had just the right amount of food and a glass of wine each. Next time, we will clarify the dress code in advance though!
  2. Location and Rates for Tonight - Website with Best-Rate Guarantee Early March is a very slow time in Manhattan, and hotels in Midtown West can often be found for relatively good prices. I just spent three nights at the Park Central Hotel, catty corner to Carnegie Hall (where I got to watch Matt play the other night!), and almost right next door to Carnegie Deli - which was so close to my room that I walked over there for a snack last night, and was back in ten minutes. I notice that tonight, the price has fallen to an absurdly low $105 a night (not including fees). This is a strong 3-star hotel, despite there being a couple of problems: the southern elevator banks were wonky, and this morning, for example, I walked down 16 flights of stairs rather than wait any longer. They have a non-negotiable $30 nightly "resort fee" (are you *kidding* me?) which covers nothing more than the fitness center, WiFi, free long distance calls, etc. - in other words, add $30 onto whatever price you can find, and then add tax on top of that. Even with these issues, Park Central is on the high side of 3 stars - call it 3 1/2, but I'm rating it 3 since I'd rather you be pleasantly surprised than somewhat disappointed. Still, this 1920's hotel has a *huge*, gorgeous bar, a good little snack area with quality coffee, and most importantly, quiet, comfortable, borderline-luxurious rooms that are surprisingly large. My king-sized bed was so big (I believe it was a California King) that I had to walk sideways to walk between the foot of the bed and the dresser. I could see Carnegie Hall right out my window as well. This was doubly fun for me, as Matt's band from Indiana University stayed here as well, and one night we walked over to Yakitori Totto and had dinner. I paid an average of about $133 a night to stay here, not including the $30 fee (which is clearly advertised, so there are no surprises), so it worked out to about $163 a night plus incidentals and taxes. Housekeeping is unobtrusive and does a good job, and the front desk staff is friendly and a pleasure to deal with. I would absolutely stay here again at the same rate, and recommend Park Central very highly to anyone wanting to stay just three blocks south of Central Park.
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