Fraunces Tavern is a national historic landmark, museum, and restaurant in New York City, situated at 54 Pearl Street at the corner of Broad Street, in the Financial District. The location played a prominent role in pre-Revolution, American Revolution and post-Revolution history, serving as a headquarters for George Washington, a venue for peace negotiations with the British, and housing federal offices in the Early Republic.
Its only about 15 minutes to walk from the World Trade Center, and I wanted to really give this place 4 stars because of its historic charm, but the place needs to get their organizational and people skills in order. We had a 12:30 reservation for 14 people, and when we walked in, we found the place relatively empty and no hostess at the station. We waited for about 5 minutes (at this point, really thinking it was seat yourself!) when the hostess, Renee, walked up to the podium and asked if she could help us.
We checked in, and she told a staff member to prepare our table. Rather than putting us in the dining room that was in front of the hostess station, she said she was putting us in a semi private room (which is wasn’t). Considering it was pretty empty, it took 15 -20 additional minutes to get our table. My group was literally blocking the foyer while visitors came to eat at the bar, and the girl didn’t have the common sense to move us to the bar.
Finally we were seated in the back room which was very charming, and there was a mural which was dated back 200 years ago. Unfortunately the room was too bright, and the glare on the picture made it impossible to take a decent photo.
While looking through the menu, we found out that half of my group had the Brunch menu, while some of us had the dinner menu. We had to ask our server, Lisa to locate more brunch menus.
The food was good, but not great. Apparently the brunch menu changes seasonally, so what we had today may not be back the next time. Our server, for most part did an OK job. We had to ask her multiple times for things (ahem, like butter!) and even had to ask her for refills, which she didn’t do automatically.I also found out that Fraunces Tavern has the strangest refill policy on soft drinks. You only get ONE refill. The cups are about 14 ounces, normal drinking glasses so a diet coke full of ice really isn’t 14 ounces but more like 9 ounces. Stingy policy on refills for such a small glass! So, on my 2nd refill she said she would charge me, until my friend said she didn’t get her refill (we both had diet cokes) and I could have hers. Lisa then replied “OK, I’ll let you do this… this time” Considering we are tourists, its highly unlikely we’ll be back for her to remember she’s letting us get away with refills the next time.
So, I’m glad I came here (its checked off my bucket list).. but overall service could be better, as it was a 2 1/2 hour brunch. I would be upset if I were in a hurry, though. Well, it seems its a tavern that is a better place for drinking instead of eating.
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