The building itself is only ’80s-old, but its history predates even the Gatsby era levels of grandeur. The service follows suit, as immediately apparent from the courteous complimentary valet under the porte–cochère that sheltered the doormanned entrance of this AAA Four Diamond hotel.
We walked in to a sparkling lobby where, immediately to our right, were the open door and smiling hostess and manager of Polo Steakhouse (once known as Rein). Having arrived a few minutes early, we literally peeked behind a billowing curtain to preview what was in store for us at Long Island’s answer to the Rainbow Room in New York City. Set up in a semi-partitioned space with tasteful decor, ornamental fireplaces, and streaming sunlight with stations set up strategically along the passageway, the layout belied the variety and quantity of choices on which to dine. The flow was such that despite the crowd, you didn’t feel crowded; despite the tremendous selection, you felt relaxed and not overwhelmed.
We’d also like to note that sharing lobby space with a semi-enclosed brunch spread can be challenging since bacon and its like tends to waft, but clean air circulated throughout the space and kept scents neutral–an impressive feat.
We were escorted through the tasteful Polo Lounge space, where a large bar was capped by large TVs and coffered ceilings. Stately in a country club smoking lounge kind of way, it was upscale without excess and very classy. From there, we were led past a second hosts’ stand to the main dining room, where rich reds and golds, leather trim and heavy oversized seating, and an ornate chandelier set in a tray ceiling set a tone of posh, masculine tradition befitting a high-end steakhouse. The setting was intimate and extremely luxurious, but again, in a discreet manner that makes one simply feel important just for being there without being able to state why.
And so we began.