Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

August 25, 2007 9:37 AM

Restaurant: Sarabeth's Kitchen (East)

Sarabeth's Kitchen (East)

At the Hotel Wales
1295 Madison Avenue
New York, NYC 10128
Guest review by Carol Berman

I went to New York for the day with a few girls, stayed at the Hotel Wales, and felt that WW readers should share the experience. The rooms in the hotel are very small, but it's comfortable, quiet, located near good shops, restaurants, and museums (at 92nd and Madison), and perhaps best of all, houses Sarabeth's.

Sarabeth's has branches at the Whitney Museum and on the West Side, and also is known for wonderful jams that are sold around the country (in DC, a good place to buy them is Rodman's).

I was joined at lunch by Anne, Sharon, Jo Anne, Nancy, and Lou. Lunch selections were typical fare for ladies who lunch (chopped seasonal vegetables with field greens, bleu cheese, and sherry vinaigrette; roasted chicken salad with walnuts, and chives; grilled tuna nicoise with baby greens, grilled red onions, baby carrots, haricot vert, and roasted shallot vinaigrette). Iced tea is served in a generous pitcher and is lightly flavored with mango.

There is a daily market soup, and the plates arriving at nearby tables also looked very appealing: chicken pot pie, one great burger, jumbo lump crabcake sandwich (served with a mound of matchstick fries, salad of red beets, watercress, apples, and pears), and some great looking desserts.

We lingered for two hours without the threat of being displaced, and thought the atmosphere was entirely pleasant.

On the following morning, I had "staggered" breakfast with Anne, Rita, and Lou. Sarabeth's is famous for its extraordinary breakfasts, which include "Four Flowers Juice" (a blend of orange, pineapple, bananas, and pomegranate juice), a variety of cereals, eggs, omelettes, muffins, and croissants. Anne had "Popeye" eggs with spinach, while Rita and I ordered from the "three bears porridge" selections. Lou was along for the conversation, having picked up an early continental breakfast from the hotel's second floor lobby.

There is a small dining area upstairs, and a combination of booths and tables at street level. The two unisex bathrooms are a few steps up from the restaurant, at the lobby level of the hotel. Both bathrooms have a sign "for single occupancy." One is a small bathroom with an ordinary commode and sink. The other could accommodate at least six people, and, in addition to the commode and sink, is cheerily decorated with red floral wallpaper, a very large carved-wood framed mirror that probably once resided over a fireplace in a ballroom, and an antique sewing machine table that holds a stack of high-quality paper towels.

Sarabeth's offers breakfast (8-5:30 M-F), afternoon tea (3:30-5:30 M-F), dinner (5:30-10:30 M-Sat and 5:30-9:30 on Sunday), and brunch (8-4 on Sundays).

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