Cons:buildings exterior a bit too eclectic in looks
The Bottom Line: I suggest this restaurant as a romantic destination on a weekday evening. It is absolutely charming inside, the waitstaff excellent, and the food and prices good at prix fixe.
Dining in Delano Mansion is fine dining in casual style.
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My wife and I were recently invited to go to dinner with close relatives. The name of the restaurant of their choice was the Delano Mansion. It wasn't familiar to me but in getting directions I knew I have been to this place before. It's then I realized I went to a wedding there and worked a huge event when still in the entertainment business just a year or so ago. I knew it as the Woodlands, that the catering part of this mansion, situated in the middle of a golf course. The Delano Mansion is the name of the upstairs restaurant.
The Delano Mansion Restaurant
The Delano Mansion (the physical building, not the restaurant) was designed by Delano & Aldrich an architectural firm that drew up the blue prints for many NYC buildings for the richest of the rich including the Vanderbilt's, Rockefellers, Astor's and Whitney's. The Oheka Castle also on Long Island is one of his works. He also designed the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia Airport.
The Delano Mansion Restaurant occupies the upper section of the Federally designed building that over the years was, as read in the Woodlands web site redesigned "with fireplaces and accessories from all over the world". The circular driveway with the fountain was also added later.
The house became a wedding present for a Mellon. As also taken from the Woodlands web site in reference to Alisa Melon. "upon her death in 1969 at age 68, Alisa was the only woman in the United States whose personal wealth soared over 500 Million Dollars."
We chose to visit the restaurant on a week night where they continue to advertise "Restaurant Week, Every Week." That means prix fixe 3 course dinners. The fare for this night was $24 95. One could also bring their own wine with no corking fee on stated weekday nights. The menu on their site was different than what we were offered. This is all a special that may change. Check the Delano Mansion site for the most current information before going.
The entrance invites all upstairs via a grand staircase. (an elevator is available). I couldn't help but notice the white and black marble floors of the first level. The dining room had perhaps twenty tables in an elegant setting. This is a casual/elegant dress restaurant.
There's also rooftop alfresco dining under a tent/pavilion radiating romantic charm. On a summer's night, with a refreshing breeze, I would recommend it. It was too hot the night we dined so we opted for the indoor A/C room.
The service as is the atmosphere and dress code, upscale yet casual. Our team of waiters were attentive yet, not overly so to distraction. The weekday evening was quite relaxed. with just one other couple in our room and a few others outside. The service, though attentive was quite slow in coming out. I'm not sure this was purposeful or simply their way of being sure you have a relaxing, non-rushed evening. We happened to enjoy the leisurely conversation for nearly three hours. I'm sure weekends are different when I understand they have a crowd and reservations are a must.
We did stick with the prix fixe a @24 and change each. We had a choice of a pan roasted chicken breast that my wife thought well prepared and delicious. My North Atlantic salmon was overcooked but the presentation was attractive and an orange sauce delicious.
We did bring our own white wine, thanks G and J. It was corked, poured and put on ice for us. The staff continued to pour wine throughout the dinner.
I cannot forget the first course of a corn soup where the waiter places a small ladle full of corn in the bottom of the bowl and then from a small pitcher pours in the most delectable creamy sauce one could imagine. It was heavenly.
The cream brulee ending was predictable in serving dish presentation and taste. I suppose that's a good thing when that is exactly what I would have ordered prix fixe or not. I love the stuff.
Upon leaving we picked up a pamphlet indicating the Delano Mansion is part of the Singh Hospitality Group. The Delano Mansion was one of seven restaurants listed. The group seems to hold a smorgasbord of tastes in cuisine including BBQ, Seafood, Steak House and other type restaurants that includes an eatery on the bay on Long Islands south shore under tent or alfresco at the Singleton's Seafood Restaurant that we tried last week. A review should follow in a week or two. I have also dined at the Singh Hospitality Groups, Water's Edge Restaurant, that has one of the best views of Manhattan one could experience.
Though the mansion stands regally it is a little sloppy looking to my eye in its eclectic mix of styles trying to blend together. I'm no architect but I don't believe Delano would be happy with this current overall look. That said, we enjoyed our evening in the very quiet weekday night. Do call ahead if you do not want to be one of hundreds when an affair is going on downstairs. The car situation, even with the service, when people are arriving and leaving is horrible. I experienced it when at an affair there at the downstairs Woodlands. The sounds and crowds can make the dining experience upstairs, in the Delano Mansion, completely different.
We did enjoy our evening in leisurely conversation with a fine mix of good service, good food at the prix fixe. The evening was also quite economical due to the no corking fee and bringing our own wine. Ya can't beat that! Again, check their offerings before expecting some of the values at their website.
I suggest this restaurant as a romantic destination on a weekday evening. It is absolutely charming inside, the waitstaff excellent, and the food and prices good at prix fixe.
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Notes, Tips or Menu Recommendations I rate this restaurant above average at Prix fixe