A few weeks ago I wrote about my desire to dine at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant at the London Hotel in NYC, but with a 3 month old baby at home it didn't really seem to be in the cards anytime soon. At least I could enjoy watching him whine and scream in the meantime - of course I'm talking about chef Ramsay on his television show, Hell's Kitchen, not my well-behaved son. So you can imagine my surprise on Fathers' Day when wife and baby told me to get in a cab because we were going out to an early dinner at an undisclosed location - and make sure you dress sharp!
Oblivious to where we were headed, visions of Per Se and Masa danced in my head as we approached the Time Warner Center. We did have a baby carriage in the trunk, though, so I wasn't surprised when the cab took a left downtown on 7th Avenue. But then a quick left on 54th street put us smack in front of the London and I couldn't have been happier.
Arriving at an unfashionably early 5pm, we were the only ones in the London Bar's restaurant - which we discovered had just been renamed Maze after his restaurant in the actual City of London. An attempt, I'd guess, to shore up what has been a less than blistering success since it opened a few months ago. All blue-grey upholstery and mirrors - imagine a cross between Cary Grant's suit from North By Northwest and a 1966 Ford Galaxie if you must - the decor is slick enough to catch the eye, but not so outlandish as to distract from the food or company. Of course, behind a pair of mirrored doors in the back, lies the more formal Gordon Ramsay At The London restaurant and the long-desired Pressed Foie Gras and Game with Port Sauce and Pickled Mushrooms that started this adventure. However, whether it be divine providence or that pesky Secret again, the dish is not currently on the menu so I didn't spend the entire meal longing for entry into those gilded confines.