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The Ralph Lauren Restaurant Is 'Mad Men' Meets 'Downton'

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Photo: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/10/dining/a-ralph-lauren-restaurant-the-polo-bar-comes-to-new-york.html#">The New York Times</a>
Photo: The New York Times

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Though the Polo Ralph Lauren flagship, which opened early this fall, has always boasted an in-store café (with surprisingly good coffee), the long-anticipated adjacent restaurant has been just an idea—until now. The New York Times reports that later this month, Polo Bar, located just a few steps down the block from the flagship, will open its doors.

Though the restaurant's Old World vibe and hunting gear can be described in many ways, the paper seems to struggle with which cultural touchstone one should refer to when discussing it. Is it Gatsby? Is it Downton Abbey?

Riddled with nostalgic relics like noble paintings of horses and polo trophies, "[it] looks like a place where the Earl of Grantham might repair for a porterhouse and a brandy after a brisk woodland romp," says the Times.

"He may as well have been channeling Jay Gatsby," it continues.

So, the Roaring Twenties in New York meets pre-war England? That sort of makes sense. But wait, the Times isn't done yet: "To call the Polo Bar clubby would be a meek understatement. Aglow with amber light and dense with equestrian paintings and trophies, it feels like a country club as staged by Steven Spielberg."

As for the food, the paper muses that, "The Polo Bar wouldn't be out of place in the Eisenhower White House." (Menu highlights: crab cakes, corned beef sandwiches, and burgers.) And this is all before Simon Doonan chimes in with a Mad Men comparison and the Times goes off on a fox-hunting-in-the-Scottish-highlands tangent.

Final metaphor count: Pre-war Downton Abbey England-meets-Roaring-'20s-Long Island-meets-'50s-White House-meets-'60s- Midtown-meets-fox hunting in Scotland. To sum it up? Jack Donaghy.

· Ralph Lauren Creates His Clubhouse [NYT]
· Polo Ralph Lauren: Come for the Clothes, Stay for the Coffee [Racked NY]

Ralph Lauren - Rhinelander Mansion

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