Celebrating a Birthday in Classic NYC STYLE: The Finale at The Pool

Who To Take: Someone who loves luxury and pampering or the person who appreciates modern design

Having had dinner at The Grill a few months back, I was heavily anticipating a dinner at The Pool, their seafood-focused partner. As advertised, they kept the space true to its origins, including the somewhat corporate-looking ceiling, the lovely center pool, and signature beaded window treatments. There is something about being in a room with cube-like proportions that feels very grand, and the space definitely gives one room to breathe. Utensils and dishware were elegant, and wonderful to dine with, and had quirky touches here and there.

We started off with some bubbly in the Pool Lounge, where you can count on someone from the front desk to guide you to your designated spot. I noticed that at the bar it was standing room only at about 6:15, so I was happy to have booked an early dinner. So far feeling pampered and delighted.

For dinner, the decision was to eat light, so we ordered only from the appetizer section. The bread was the joy and highlight of the meal which came with three spreads: smoked eggplant, white bean, and my absolute favorite taste of the night: smoked salmon butter. (forget lox and cream cheese!) From the Raw section of the menu: the Fluke arrived in a lime mole oil, which sounded great but the oil almost turned the raw fish into a ceviche, but not quite—which was a little confusing. We also got the special of the day, a fish from Japan, which came adorned with thin rings of jalapeño pepper, but was a bit naked otherwise. Charred Octopus with aji dulce was very good. Disappointing was the Tuna Carpaccio with baby gem lettuces because of its unusual gelatinous texture not normally associated with a sashimi-type dish, and was topped with an odd spice mix as well. There was also something resembling a poached cherry tomato adorning the plate which looked so tempting, but in essence was a surprisingly tasteless blob. I don’t really like to speak poorly of a place, but I have to say this night the food was underwhelming. Not bad, just a bit weird. Perhaps it was just what we had ordered, so I’m not writing it off as of yet. Will have to go back and try an entree to be sure! Let me officially state, though, I have completed the birthday celebration for 2018.

The Pool, 99 E 52nd St (betw Park/Lexington)