In the evening on the busy streets of Manhattan, as designer boutiques begin to close, The Polo Bar opens their doors eagerly awaiting the Manhattan elite. As 7 pm rolls around, we have entered prime time for the restaurant scene. For miles, one has their pick in cuisine from traditional American to Asian Dim Sum. Essentially the finest cuisine of the world is available just steps away. In these chic restaurant spaces, world-famous chefs show off their dazzling culinary skills in the kitchen to the glitterati that awaits their meal. However, of all the popular restaurants in NY, there is one spot that has everyone scrambling to get a reservation, and that is Ralph Lauren’s The Polo Bar.

Lined up outside the Manhattan hot spot, are a line of Rolls Royce’s and S550’s with drivers waiting for their diners to finish their meal. As one walks up to the door they are greeted by two young men dapperly dressed in the finest Ralph Lauren apparel from head to toe. Holding out a clipboard, they politely ask if you have a reservation? This is where we are introduced to the most important rule of the bar. Rule number one, no reservation means no entry, not even for a drink at the bar. Ralph believes that the complete dining experience at The Polo Bar should be reserved for diners.  Might I suggest securing your reservation in advance, as some have even waited months attempting to secure a coveted reservation.

The Polo Bar NYC

As my mother and I are granted entry into the elusive space, we wait for our table in a dark lit bar area. The members only atmosphere features a small group of people waiting till they are guided to the main area. Equestrian symbols of horses and polo riders are scattered throughout as we get cozy in the plush leather seating.  We then nibble on chips, olives, and bar nuts as a prelude for the meal to come.

After a few moments, the time comes for our Polo Bar experience to begin. When walking down the winding stairway, images of equestrians lead the way to this exclusive club. Contrary to the quiet and subdued vibe of the bar, The Polo Bar is at its liveliest. The room is filled with exuberance and laughter as patrons are left enthused by their satisfying meal. Judging by everyone else’s expressions, I knew we would be in for a treat.

The Polo Bar NYC

As we sat down in our cozy space, I spotted at the corner of my eye what had to be the largest display of shrimp I had ever laid eyes upon. Of course when I spotted it on the menu, I knew we would begin our meal with the shrimp cocktail. Served on a giant hunk of ice were 5 pieces of shrimp. Based on the size alone, the shrimp could have been a sufficient meal. The shrimp was fresh and delicious. But I am still curious about where one can find shrimp that large. Wherever they found it, I have no complaints as it was the treat. Since the appetizer was of a ginormous proportion, I guess I knew what to expect with my meal.

For the main attraction, I couldn’t resist not ordering the most popular item on the menu and that was Ralph’s Corn beef Sandwich. This fine specimen consisted of melted swiss & horseradish  on marble rye and it came complete with a large order of fries. Much like the gargantuan shrimp I had just devoured, the sandwich was also a sight to behold. The sandwich was stuffed to its fullest potential with beef making it a task in itself to finish just one-half of the sandwich. I now see why it’s one of the most popular items because you are certainly getting more than one meal from ordering Ralph’s Corn beef Sandwich

While I was full, I couldn’t resist not ordering dessert. My server guided me in the direction of The Polo Bar Brownie. This chocolate delight was served complete with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream with a drizzling of warm chocolate sauce poured by the server. Each bite was just as delicious as the next and before you know it, my brownie was gone.

With enough leftovers to last for a few days and an incredibly satisfying meal, I think it’s safe to say I had a wonderful experience at New York’s prestigious The Polo Bar. If you are a little taken aback by the price, based on the portions and the experience I would say it’s definitely worth it. You don’t go to Polo Bar for a snack, so prepare to be well fed.

And as an added bonus, I have forever bragging rights that I was able to secure a reservation at pretty much the last-minute. Now I just need to go to the one in Chicago and Paris and my foray into the world of Ralph Lauren dining will be complete.