Bull & Bear at Waldorf Astoria NY | New York, United States | Last night invited by my dear friend Michael Romei, Chef Concierge at the Waldorf Tower and General Secretary of UICH Les Clefs d’Or, along with our other friend Alejandro, we shared and enjoyed a lovely evening at one of the most iconic restaurants of New York, the Bull & Bear Prime Steakhouse. VIP treatment right from the start, when we were informed that we were seating at the Waldorf Astoria’s General Managers table, and the excellent service, efficient and professional, but yet friendly and relaxed. We even had the joy to have Celso Moreira, Concierge and Manager on Duty, to stop by and have a little chat with us. There is so much history and myth in these two rooms, that makes the whole gourmet experience even more enjoyable and rich. Every week, when the three of us are in New York, we get together to try a new restaurant and share week with each other.
In the late 1800s, the New York Stock Exchange was the place where astute businessmen and burgeoning industrialists staked and won their fortunes. At The Waldorf Astoria Bar, New York’s giants of real estate and finance hammered out deals while drinking elbow to elbow with Diamond Jim Brady, Buffalo Bill Cody, Bat Masterson, and other colorful characters. Behind the bar, in honor of this patronage, the hotel placed two magnificent bronze statues–a bull and a bear.
When The Waldorf Astoria opened in 1931 from its original location where the Empire State building stands now to its new location on park Avenue, it united two beloved watering holes – the clubby Men’s Bar and the convivial Old Waldorf Astoria Bar – into a new, and equally welcoming Men’s Bar. Manhattan’s financial and Wall Street elite immediately embraced their new gathering spot. The new Men’s Bar featured magnificent bronze statues of a bull and a bear, brought from the original Old Waldorf Astoria Bar. These powerful figures, which represented the significance of the Men’s Bar in the financial life the city, caused patrons to nickname it “The Bull and Bear.” Over time, so many deals were struck “at the Bull and Bear” where the gilded pair now stood sentinel that regular patrons adopted the moniker as the bar’s unofficial title. Today, the bronze bull and bear remain masters of their domains in a newly energized setting, surveying the scene as the staff at Bull and Bear serve New York’s most generous cocktails, its prime steak, and some of the city’s most delectable game and seafood.
But this is just the beginning of it all. Once you open the menu, the story continues, with iconic options, nobody can miss to try. Like the classic and worldwide renown Waldorf Salad. The salad was first created between 1893 and 1896 at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City. And the story goes, that the Oscar Tschirky, who was the Waldorf’s maître d’hôtel at that time, had to prepare a meal for an event, and they realized they had run out of lettuce. Out of panic, they gathered some apples, coconut, celery, grapes, walnuts and mayonnaise among a few other ingredients and improvised this salad, which over the time became a classic. So of course we order one for the table.
My choice for started was the Onion Soup Gratinee Gruyere, Brioche Croutons (USD 14), I can never pass on it, specially during winter. I am obsessed with any type of soups, but Onion Soup is one of my favorites. As for the main course I had the Ocean choice of a Dover Sole Meuniere Lemon brown butter (USD 59). All along a fabulous dirty vodka martini to start and a bottle of Sancere to share with my two great friends.
Now dessert was a debauchery itself. Of course the chef sent some of the best classics to try, including the original recipe for the Red Velvet Cake, another signature dish by the Waldorf Astoria, made with beets. which give the original color and they also serve to retain moisture. So we shared a Red Velvet Cake Waldorf Astoria Original with Mascarpone cream cheese frosting (USD 19), a Warm Toffee Bread Pudding salted caramel ice cream (USD 14) and a Dark Chocolate Budino with peanut butter ice cream (USD 16). Of course after that I decided, mind the low temperatures, to take a long walk home along 5th Avenue and after the Central Park. Such a lovely night with my two great friends. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
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