Rock Center Cafe, New York City

3.5 out of 5 stars 3 Reviews

20 West 50th Street New York, NY 10020 (212) 332-7620

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  • tvor's Profile Photo

    Rock Centre Cafe: Splurge in Rockefeller Centre

    by tvor Written May 17, 2013
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    We were late for lunch and wanted somewhere decent. We'd already looked around some of Rockefeller Centre and decided to see what was available in the concourse shopping area. Most of what we found were more or less take out places and we found the Rock Center Cafe near the outdoor plaza. We saw the menu outside the door and the prices took us aback but then we decided to splurge on a really nice lunch. This is an expensive restaurant by our budget and it's definitely not the type of place we usually go.

    The restaurant looks out onto the plaza, where, in winter, you'd see the ice skating rink and the Christmas tree. In the spring, the other restaurants have outdoor tables instead. There is an elevator nearby and you can also get to it through the underground shopping concourse in Rockefeller Centre.

    We were not seated by the window as they were all taken but we were quite comfortable in our booth in the middle of the restaurant which has modern decor and style.

    The service was very good. I ordered a filet and it was a bit underdone. I sent it back and it still was not really my preference when it was brought back but i didn't want to wait any longer. It did taste very tender and nice but could have used a little longer on the grill. The mashed potatoes were beautiful and the Bernaise sauce was perfect. We shared a shrimp cocktail to start and ended with cheesecake. The food was all wonderful. I would recommend the restaurant but only if you've got the budget for it. The location in Rockefeller center is easy to get to and in the middle of all the action. In winter it would be amazing to be able to watch the skaters and see the Christmas tree right there down in the plaza.

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  • Dutchnatasja's Profile Photo

    Rock Center Café: Best view Christmas tree at Rock Center Café

    by Dutchnatasja Updated Mar 19, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    It was Christmas Eve, when we decided to give the Rock Center Café a try. First we had another restaurant on our mind for dinner. We decided on the last minute to go to the Top of the Rock.

    Rock Center Café is located at the Rockefeller Center. The restaurant is on the same level as the skating rink. When standing in front of the tree you have to take the elevator on the right side. When you step out of the elevator you’ll see the entrance of the restaurant. We asked the lady at the door how long we had to wait for a table and she said 20 minutes. I found that very acceptable. At the end it was a 30 minute wait.

    We were very lucky, because our table was by the window with a fantastic view of the ice rink and the Christmas tree. Like I said, with this view on Christmas Eve, what more could you wish for. The only complaint was that the place is not very well ventilated. I was pretty cold during my dinner. I don’t know why it was cold, maybe because we were sitting by the window.

    Most tables are close to the windows and give you enough privacy. It can be crowded when you sit in the middle of the restaurant. The light is good, not to bright and not to dark. There are candle lights on the tables. If you’re lucky you’ll witness a marriage proposal on the ice rink.

    The restaurant serves their regular menu on Christmas Eve. On Christmas day they have a special Christmas menu. On Christmas Eve is on a first come – first served base.

    Overall, the food isn't anything to write home about but the restaurant and view has a nice atmosphere. Location, location; It is all about the location. You can eat and be entertained by all the people skating or falling down (the first timers) on the ice outside.

    Highly recommended for the view. Recommended for the food.

    Favorite Dish: I ordered the seared daily fish, which was Mahi-Mahi, served with braised trio of beans, chorizo and tomato ($27). It was good and tasteful. My spouse had the 10 oz. Filet Mignon, served with mashed potatoes, shiitake mushrooms and port wine reduction ($38). He wanted the Filet Mignon medium prepared, but when he got his Filet Mignon it turned out to be well-done. The waiter agreed with him and did take the plate back to the kitchen. In about 3 minutes or so, he came with a new Filet Mignon. My spouse looked at me and had his doubts because this was very fast. The waiter asked him to cut open the meat to see if it was right this time and it was. Overall the entrée was decent, but not the best we ate.

    For dessert we both chose the Apple Strudel with vanilla whipped cream ($9). The Apple Strudel was a little bit cold. It must be warm when served.

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Business Travel
    • Food and Dining

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  • trvlhke's Profile Photo

    Rock Center Cafe: Not really worth the view...

    by trvlhke Written Dec 21, 2004

    The food was "ok". All was well prepared and came in a timely manner. The selling feature of the restaurant though is that it looks out onto the Rockerfeller Center ice skating rink. There are a lot of seats though where this is not the view though (like ours). I can't say anything bad about the food, however, for the prices (set minimum $18/per person for lunch) I think you can find better. As for the view, you can enjoy it for free from the outside or from behind the glass in the coucourse outside of the restaurant.

    The restaurant does not take reservations and all in your party must be present for seating. Keep that in mind if you are trying to go somewhere or see something, especially if you are in a larger party.

    Favorite Dish: The salmon and crab cakes were very good. Truely native Marylanders probably won't like the crab cakes (not lump meat) but others will. The steaker were well prepared also.

    The mixed drinks were generous. A Long Island Iced Tea was in at least a 12-16 oz glass (with a price to match I'm sure). There is also a good wine list.

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Theater Travel
    • Business Travel

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