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Halycon Restaurant, Royal Righa Hotel

Many executives who spend the night in The Big Apple rely on word of mouth or a concierge's recommendation when it comes to selecting restaurants. "You must eat at. . ." says a friend back home or "I suggest . . ." says the hotel's support staff and that is the address to which they ask the cab driver to take them. Visitors sometimes have little interest in hotel dining unless it is at the place where they are staying or they are tired and not inclined to leave the premises.

However, Halycon Restaurant in the Royal Righa Hotel offers an innovative menu in spacious and handsome surroundings. Tables are set far apart for maximum privacy and comfort. Award-winning Executive Chef John Halligan's impressive menus and a fine wine list to match has garnered praise from food critics and from patrons whose opinions landed him a most positive rating in Zagat's New York City Guide.

If you happen to visit the restaurant during the month of October, you can enjoy the Octoberfest menu, which includes five courses and accompanying beers at reasonable prices. During this season the hotel also hosts prix fixe winemaker dinners. Every holiday is an occasion for another festive meal, Valentine's Day, Father's Day and so forth. Depending on the season the following dishes might be served–appetizers: peppered beef and lobster carpaccio with whole wheat tabouli salad, maple-cured minature pumpkins with rock shrimp and silver queen corn, duck liver with sliced duck breast and apple coulis, prawn cassoulet with white navy beans and lobster butter; entrees: roasted lobster with capellini pasta and orange-saffron broth, smoked roasted rack of lamb with mascarpone risotto, filet of beef stuffed with Roquefort and walnut s wrapped in pancetta, filet of salmon wrapped in phyllo with duxelle of mushroom; and desserts: warm chestnut souffle, diamonds of white chocolate and macadamia and crispy basket with blackberry plum sorbet and apricot coulis.

Halycon Restaurant, Royal Righa Hotel, 151 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019. Tel. 212-468-8888. Expensive. Open for dinner. www.righaroyal.com

Spring 1994