Monday, October 22, 2007

In Defense of the Regency

The modern power breakfast originated at the Regency Hotel in New York City. I'm not sure why (perhaps because of the location -- 61st and Park -- perhaps because the Regency was owned by Loews, whose CEO, Larry Tisch, was one of the movers and shakers in the business world while he was alive), but for the past twenty or more years, the Library restaurant at the Regency has been a place to peoplewatch on weekday mornings, if you think that powerful people in the business world are interesting. Saturday's Wall Street Journal has an article by Raymond Sokolov about power breakfasts at various different locations around the country, and he completely slams the offerings at the Regency:
That is more, much more than you can say about the same dish [eggs Benedict] for nearly twice the price in the city of its birth at the Regency. There the eggs were cold and overcooked. The muffin was soggy. This was true of the classic Benedict with Canadian bacon and the $29 salmon Benedict with smoked salmon. ("The Best Power Breakfasts", October 2o, 2007, p. W1).

I have had both the regular eggs Benedict and the salmon Benedict at the Regency, and both have been very, very good. The eggs were not cold or overcooked, and the muffins were not soggy. Maybe my judgment was impaired by the fact that I wasn't paying -- $29 for salmon Benedict plus $4 for orange juice would probably put me in a bad mood and make me more critical of the offerings -- or maybe the kitchen staff was less rushed and more careful on Saturdays (when I have eaten there) than during the week (when evidently the article's author ate there), I don't know. But I can say that my Benedicts there were among the best that I have had.

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