This stylish restaurant is on the top floor of the Museum of Art and Design, overlooking Central Park and Columbus Circle. The room is sleek and contemporary with mirrors angled to catch park views and a flat panel screen with a light display brightening up what would otherwise be a dull corner.
The food is as chic as the atmosphere and the vibrant pink, orange and lavender decor, sparked with an ample dose of Lucite, attracts plenty of “ladies who lunch” as well as tourists with money to spend and museumgoers looking for a terrific meal. Mussels, served as an appetizer get a kick from chorizo while the pear and walnut salad is better than most variations on this theme.
The shrimp gracing my Caesar salad were the largest I’ve ever seen and the white anchovies on top add a flavor note that’s far more subtle than the typical, oily anchovy. The Cobb salad sings with great bacon and a poached egg. Besides a juicy cheeseburger, you can satisfy a burger craving with versions in lamb or turkey, each with inventive, unusual accompaniments like the turkey burger’s onion marmalade. There is a $32 lunch prix-fixe menu that’s a good deal if you are up for three courses. Sunday brunch is also $32 with offerings that include a wild mushroom omelet, steak and eggs and a lobster Benedict. The “Sunset” menu offers small plates including the mussels, a burger and fois gras mousse. Instead of dessert at both lunch and dinner you can nibble cheeses from home and abroad priced at a selection of three for $15 or six for $22.
A reservation is almost a must as the room is fairly small. Ask for a table next to the window which you may or may not score. Robert is a great place for a special occasion but one involving six or eight people at most –don’t go with a huge group. Service is gracious with waiters who don’t don’t hustle but serve at a civilized pace. There are special cocktails of all kinds as well as a very decent wine list, wines by the glass and ‘special’ soft drinks including one made from elderberry flower. You can also have a diet Coke or the Robert version of standard iced tea which is anything but. Even if you don’t need it, check out what may be one of the most charming restrooms in an NYC restaurant.
Some complain that prices at Robert are a little high but, given the quality of the food and overall ambience, cost is not out of line with restaurants of similar quality. For pure scenic drama and beautiful food, Robert is a winner.