In keeping with the Ralph Lauren aesthetic for relaxed hospitality and entertaining with family and friends, the design brand is opening a brand new restaurant in midtown Manhattan close to its flagship Polo Ralph Lauren Store at Fifth Avenue and 55th Street.
The Polo Bar has been inspired by classic New York restaurants of old as well as 75-year-old designer Ralph Lauren’s signature style of casual yet refined entertaining. Nothing has been forgotten, including the polo match-inspired mural by Henry Koehler outside to the detailed saddle leather and equestrian art in the green-walled interior. The restaurant is indicative of Ralph Lauren’s distinguished and distinctive signature, a sporting lifestyle with equal parts cachet and style.
Both the 178-seat restaurant and adjoining bar have a cosy, old-fashioned clubhouse feel. Both are welcoming enclaves, offering a choice of experiences. Savor a selection of cocktails and light snacks (a variety of fresh oysters or garlic potato chips) at the beautiful brass-topped bar, or find yourself a quiet, intimate corner downstairs in the main diningroom filled with aged leather furniture. If you prefer a private nook you can hire the 14-seater private dining room. Wherever you choose to sit, the food is superb, a classic menu featuring some of the designer’s favorite American fare. Food changes according to the season and is sourced using Ralph Lauren’s signature beef produced at the designer’s Colorado ranch as well as special recipes for Ralph’s famous Coffee Ice Cream, made with his custom coffee blend. Of course, the staff is stylished dressed in custom Ralph Lauren grey flannel trousers, leather wingtips and silk repp ties.
Of course, this establishment is very retro, a nod to Old School tradition. You’ll expect to find Downton Abbey’s Lord Grantham dining here. Ralph Lauren is not interested in making this a trendy place, but rather a favorite spot that you visit regularly, where the food is tasty and wholesome, and a far cry from fashionable. The menu will include iconically American dishes such as corned beef sandwiches, steak, burgers and crab cakes.
This isn’t Lauren’s first restaurant venture. His inspiring flagship restaurant, Ralph’s was opened in Paris on the Left Bank in 2010 (apparently Kanye West celebrated Thanksgiving there last month), and he has another, which has been a Chicago stalwart since 1999. Apparently the designer decided to go into the restaurant business when he couldn’t find a decent hamburger in Paris. Now Parisians, Chicago residents and New Yorkers enjoy Lauren’s superb beef from his cattle ranch.