Occupation: Real Estate Broker
Favorite Restaurant: The Rotunda of Neiman Marcus
Reviewed The Rotunda of Neiman Marcus: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Usually the better the view, the worse the food, right? But this is definitely not the case at The Rotunda! You get a world class view of Union Square, under a sundrenched stain glass dome and impeccable service and wonderful food. As an added bonus, it is located in Neiman Marcus, so you’ll have an excuse to pick up some fabulous outfit after lunch! Who can complain!?
The setting is just glorious; the circular layout is such that almost every seat has some view. They also have private rooms and a bar too — perfect to bring clients, business associates or shopping break! Anyone you bring here will be impressed, not just from seeing all the couture wear on the way up to the restaurant, but the atmosphere is classic SF. It’s effortlessly elegant. The staffs from the front desk to the servers are all polite and well versed on the menu and the ingredients. The customer service is top notch (it’s Neiman’s, so I would expect nothing less!)
As for the food, there is great variety, so there is something for everyone! Whether you bring your cousin from the Midwest who only eats burgers or foreign clients who want food with international flair, you can’t go wrong. Not only do they serve lunch, but they also do tea time! The only drawback of this place is that I wish they served dinner too!
Occupation: Television Producer
Favorite Restaurant: Bocanova
Reviewed The Rotunda of Neiman Marcus: Saturday, February 23, 2013
The minute you step into the Rotunda, the experience feels special and truly unique. There are two entrances to the restaurant, either using the escalators through the main Neiman Marcus store, or directly from the street level using an elevator. Immediately, you notice the open, airy space with the most magnificent stained glass dome above. This architectural centerpiece (with more than 2000 pieces of stained glass) is stunning, once a part of the City of Paris department store. The dining room is elegant and comfortable, offering seating at a booth or at a table in front of large open windows overlooking Union Square. The service was outstanding! Our server was incredibly friendly, knowledgeable about both the menu and the history of the restaurant/store, and really made our dining experience the best it could be and lots of fun. The noise level was ideal. We ordered a few salads, sandwiches, the afternoon tea and desserts. The presentation was nicely done, very well prepared. The crab and shrimp Louie salad was fresh, with a good serving of crab and shrimp, along with egg, avocado, tomato and cucumber. Tasty, but it was simple and slightly bland. The other salad we tried was the Asian All Natural Chicken. It had a Chinese mustard-soy vinaigrette, adding good flavor to this dish. The lobster club sandwich was good, but what you might expect with a club sandwich. It was served on a toasted brioche, but not quite as flavorful as I was expecting. The grilled barbeque Portobello sandwich had probably the most unique taste amongst the items we ordered with a barbeque sauce: slightly tangy and spicy with delicious horseradish pickles and crispy sweet potato fires. My favorites were the warm and freshly baked popovers (fantastic, served warm out of the oven and perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside) with strawberry butter (surprisingly good considering I only like a little bit of butter and I’m not typically a fan of fruit mixed in) and the desserts! The caramel butterscotch Budino (apparently the chef’s own original creation) was not too sweet, but just the perfect blend of ingredients with sea salt and crème fraiche whipped cream.
Occupation: Hotel Sales Manager
Location: Santa Rosa
Favorite Restaurant: Willi’s Wine Bar
Reviewed The Rotunda of Neiman Marcus: Sunday, February 24, 2013
We lucked out with a great parking space on Geary right next to Rotunda side entrance with direct elevator and it was free parking on Sunday. I used Open Table for reservation and added “Handicap mother uses walker” in comments, so having covenant parking was a blessing. The restaurant is such a beautiful space it’s very ornate with 4+ floors of windows that are topped by the Rotunda famous stained glass ceiling with lots of window tables, booths and private rooms.
The restaurant was busy this Sunday with lots of big groups. We gave name to manager and were told that the table was ready. I asked if it was handicap accessible and I was told the table was only three steps down to the next level she would have a server available to assist us. Parents needed to use the restroom before going to the table; I was led to the table. Nice spot, great for people watching. While waiting for parents to return it was hard not notice drab carpet that has lots of stains and the upholstery is torn and faded, it looks like The Rotunda is due for a make-over. I assisted Mother with walker down steps to table, no server or manager to help.
The water quickly arrived but we waited 20 minutes for the server. The server asked if we had seen the daily featured and that everything was available on the menu except the grilled shrimp. The server then started to leave the table, when I ask if I could order a drink, I requested a Bloody Mary $11.00 and was told “I’ll put you order in.”
A small demi-cup arrived with chicken consommé and a small crostini, excellent flavors. When picking up empty cups the table attendant asked if we would like more, nice touch. Brioche and flavored butter arrived, very nice. When the server the returned to take the lunch order he offered no menu guidance or suggestions and had forgot to bring the Bloody Mary. We ordered Apps. Fried Lobster egg roll w/lettuce wraps $18.00, two egg rolls sliced in half with butter lettuce, mint and Thai dipping sauce. Nice presentation, OK flavors, a little heavy. Crab & roasted red pepper soup $9.00 again nice presentation with good flavors a little oily.
When the Bloody Mary does arrive it has a strong black pepper flavor with way to much Worcestershire Sauce (almost brown in color) and the celery salt crusted rim didn’t help. I tasted it twice to make sure, it was not good. I asked the server for not as spicy replacement and was told “that’s the way our mix is, but I’ll see what I can do.” I’ll put your order in”. We ordered entrees; Crab Louie $26, big with a huge mound of fresh crab, lots of goodies, cucumber, hard boiled eggs, mixed greens. Louis dressing a little thin requested extra dressing on side. Wild Mushroom Ravioli w/Shitake broth, edamame and snow peas was wonderful, best dish with big fresh Ravioli stuffed with wild mushrooms and a beautiful broth. The server noticed he had forgotten to bring a soup spoon “I’ll bring you a spoon” The special grilled Skirt Steak Sandwich w/potato puffs $18.00, grilled a perfect medium rare, which was how I wanted it even though I wasn’t asked what temp I preferred. Tasty mix of beef and peppers, onions and mushrooms with great bread, potato puffs a little weird, but OK. The soup spoon and replacement Blood Mary finally arrive but by this time our entrees are more than half eaten. This time Bloody Mary was better, drinkable. Enjoyed dessert we shared a Vanilla bean, macadamia nut bread pudding w/hard sauce$ 8.00 nice warm bread pudding with a velvety sauce and nutty crunch was loved by all. Coffee was good but nothing special.
Unfortunately, we were not pleased by our experience at The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus SF. The food was very nice but at those inflated prices you should expect excellent food and great service. Also we were not planning on spending over two and a half hours for lunch. On departing I walked by a table with a guest in a wheelchair facing the wall, so while our table was more difficult and challenging to get to and from it did have a much better view. No view for you. So while it looked like many people were having a nice time at this restaurant, we did not and will not return.