If ever there were a restaurant lavatory befitting a bathroom attendant, surely the loo at the Rainbow Room (30 Rockefeller Plaza, 212-632-5000) would be it. Aside from said attendant, however, neither gender's quarters are what I'd call lavish, hidden one flight up from the landmark ballroom's perch near the pinnacle of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, accessed by narrow stairways that necessitate an awkward shimmy when more than one person traverses them. The archaic staffing choice still smacks of classism, even in the rarefied air up here. It's an awkward practice for modern times, but thankfully it's one of the only retro touches that rings obsolete rather than charming at this newly overhauled bastion of New York style. I have no quarrel, for instance, with the jackets-only policy for men. It classes up the joint a bit, though unfortunately they're not equipped with loaners just yet, so a surprise call letting me know I'd been upgraded off the waitlist occasioned an emergency shopping trip. Women aren't so restricted -- everything from formal dresses to knit sweaters are allowed. All that said, not even patrons clad in potato sacks could detract from the elegance of the iconic space.
|All photos by Bradley Hawks for the Village Voice|