What a disappointment! The Aristocrat is supposed to be elegance in fine dining. When I made reservations I asked for 6:00 p.m., the maitre d insisted that only 6:30 p.m. was available. I said okay, arrived at 6:30 p.m. and found only one table dining. Guess the 6:00 rush was already over!
The Aristocrat, which used to be a wonderful venue for dinner as well as lunch, was sold to a new owner about one-and-a-half years ago. The new owner flaunts his history of food and beverage experience from Hilton Hotels and of late, the New York Plaza via newspaper clippings in the restrooms. Obviously he didn't carry that talent here. The service was excruciately slow and the good crystal they used years ago turned into Libby-ware.
The waiter could barely pronouce the dishes let alone understood anything of their preparation. He must have let the food sit under the warmer for a long time as the vegetables were shriveled, dry and tough. A feat hard to accomplish with baby fresh asparagus. My chicken was overwhelmed with raspberry sauce to the point that no chicken flavor remained. The overhyped filet mignon was tough and chewy and the bernaise sauce was lacked flavor. Dessert was also dispappointing. The once popular chocolate mousse in a dark chocolate cup I remembered from here years ago, had transformed into an inside out "Ding-Dong". But the best part of the meal was yet to come, when the waiter had the audacity to add an automatic 20% gratuity for a party of 2 to the check!!
There is a good side to this review though. The Aristocrat has a strolling accordian player in the dining room named Romeo. He is delightful! He knows all the old familar songs and seems to be somewhat of an expert on Cole Porter. He rumored that he worked with the old "Rat Pack", and he probably did. Then, just before we made our departure a pleasant Irishman, named John stopped by our table. It was obvious from his demeaner and the way he serviced another table, that he is the waiter of choice...too bad we didn't meet him until the meal was over, I'm sure his service would have improved this review.