Exclusive dining at The Polo Bar

Getting the reservation for our group of customers, prospects, and fellow employees was not easy tonight. One of my colleagues happened to have a father-in-law who owns a food distribution company that distributes to The Polo Bar, so he was able to call in a favor for us. We got a corner table that was semi-private. I knew this place was a trendy, celebrity-type hot spot as soon as I got out of the car in front of the entrance. There were two hostesses waiting outside with clipboards. They asked me what party I was coming in with, then asked me to check in at the front podium. I went to the front podium and shared my party, then was told to check in at the SECOND podium towards the bar. At the second podium, I was asked to then walk downstairs to check in at the THIRD podium. So in the end, I had to check in FOUR times before I was escorted over by a host to my company’s table. That, plus they asked me if I wanted to bring my coat to the coat check (um, no thanks. This isn’t a night club!).

It is no wonder to me why this place is a celebrity hot spot: as soon as you walk in, it’s clear from the ambiance they’ve created, plus the clientele, that this is a place people go to see and be seen. The bar was glittering gold. All the countertops were granite and gold. Even the bathroom mirrors and sinks and fixtures were all gold. It was a little bit ridiculous how over the top everything looked, but it was clear that the vibe they were going for was old-school New York uppity vibe, even though I believe this restaurant opened just seven years ago. The service was also very good: they constantly hover over to ask if you need anything or would like a drink, a second or a third; they are so discreet as to always top up your glass of water or wine so that you don’t even realize they have done it until you look at your glass, wondering why it looks so full since you’d already had half of it.

The food and drink were excellent, as well. The drink menu was absolutely nuts. I asked for a cocktail menu, and the server handed me the menu and opened it directly to the page with “reserve cocktails.” I got so confused for a second and wondered, why are all the cocktails $90+ each???? And then I realized that “reserve” meant that these cocktails were being stirred or shaken with the top, TOP shelf alcohol. The bottles were likely hundreds if not a thousand dollars each. And I asked the server, “So, how can I see the… regular cocktails?” He flipped the page for me. Oh, okay, got it: those are $23+ each. I guess my company can stomach that cost better.

It was a fun night of good food, service, ambiance, and decent company. I could get used to these events again. And yes, that $23 anejo tequila cocktail was likely one of the best cocktails I’ve ever enjoyed.

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