It’s a tall order, reinventing a restaurant whose claim to fame is, in fact, its claim to the famous. The walls of Booth One are overflowing with grainy photos of countless stars who have graced its best booth over the decades, from Judy Garland to Mick Jagger. And while visiting celebrities nowadays may migrate elsewhere, Booth One—formerly the jumpin’ Pump Room—wants to make every guest feel like they’ve got the best seat in the house.
The display of celestial orbs hanging from the ceiling is offset by the rest of the dining room, refined but simple—which, incidentally, is an apt way to describe the food as well.
Ordering scrambled eggs for dinner at such a glitzy establishment might feel a bit odd at first blush. But the entree comes highly recommended, dusted with black truffle and heaped with poached crab and fines herbes ($25). One bite of the rich, velvety eggs scooped onto dainty rectangles of toast, and we were sold. Other recommendations from the polished servers are similarly reliable. To wit: the Japanese snapper ceviche ($18) pleasantly calls to mind a chilly late-spring beach day, with light passion-fruit sauce and briny sea urchin rounding out the delightfully fresh snapper. The nicely dressed Caesar salad ($14) is another smart pick for a starter, with grated Parmesan clinging to the lettuce as white anchovy adds a nice balance of flavor.