One of my favorite NYC holiday traditions. The over-the-top holiday lights -- some 70,000 light bulbs in total -- and Victorian-era tchochkes went up at Rolf's last week. For the last month, a few members of the staff at the French-Bavarian eatery at 231 Third Ave. at 22nd Street have been putting up the decorations after hours...they'll be on display until the middle of January. The restaurant opened in 1958, and the lights apparently started going up a few years after that...(at times, it still feels like 1958 in here...). Anyway! The lights!
It gets horribly crowded at Rolf's during the holidays, of course...Just grab a seat at the bar (if you can during off-peak hours)...the food is too heavy for my tastes (hmmm, suckling pig), unless I'm trying to spike the LDL level in my bloodstream. In any event, if Rolf's is mobbed, Paddy Macguire's down the street -- between 19th and 20th -- is a decent alternative for drinks during the holidays. They have some lights as well -- and a much smaller carbon footprint.