I just returned from a four day trip to NYC with my mom to celebrate her 75th birthday. It could not have been a more enjoyable trip.
I was worried about the reception at the Marquis because my experience with staying on points in the last 18 months or so has been much less than positive. The Marquis broke that streak, I'm happy to say. They gave us a bigger room on the 31st floor (one of the concierge levels and one floor up from the lounge) directly overlooking Times Square. It was amazingly quiet considering the location and when the curtains were closed when it came time to sleep, the ever present lights were not an issue. The staff was really nice and welcoming. The only issue we encountered was housekeeping did not come until 4 the first day and not until 7 pm the second! This was not a particularly busy time for the Marquis so I didn't get that. We had a 10 pm flight the last day so they gave us a late checkout with no problem. The lounge is really pretty overlooking Broadway and was not at all crowded (again time of year and not the weekend). The food was plentiful and okay. They were VERY strict on getting it up and out right at the specified time.
The first night we ate at the View. I've seen a lot of mixed reviews on the food there but went with the 'special occasion' idea. I made my reservation on Open Table a couple of months ago and put that we were celebrating my mom's birthday. I did not mention it when we arrived. I was a little surprised at how few people there were in the restaurant, but considering the reviews on the food on Insiders, Trip Advisor and Open table and the fact it was a little early for Manhattan, I guess it made sense. We sat at the window and enjoyed the 360 view. Our server, Rita, was absolutely perfect! She was right on top of things and was so friendly. I was very surprised at how good the food was, given the reviews. My appetizer was the melon/tomato/goat cheese salad and everything was perfectly fresh and flavorful. The filet mignon was done just right and seasoned well, and the side dishes were also good. The desserts had beautiful presentation but the cheesecake was just ok. The creme brulee was very good. At dessert time, Rita showed up with a small, decorated chocolate mousse cake with Happy Birthday and a lit candle. It was a very nice touch, especially since I'd forgotten to mention it since my reservation. Before we left, the manager came by to wish my mom a happy birthday and brought over two souvenir glasses for her. Now this is a VERY expensive restaurant given the limited menu choice (it's a $79 price fixe), even for Manhattan, but they gave me the 20% Platinum discount with no issue, plus treated my mom like royalty. It was a really nice night.
We also ate at Max Brenner's on Union Square one night (again reservations through Open Table). Got seated immediately, even with a big crowd waiting. We split an entree to ensure room for the chocolate desserts they are known for, and that worked out perfectly. The lemon chicken was so-so tastewise but a more than enough to share and the European fondue (@$22.95) was amazing! Two types of melted chocolate, a toffee sauce and fresh strawberries, bananas, chocolate chip cookie and brownie pieces and marshmallows plus a little fire grill to toast them made this an exceptionally delightful dessert! Pretty reasonably priced (one entree, the dessert and a beer for $51) and great dessert.
Thanks to some of the tips fellow Insiders gave, we ate at Junior's deli (twice!) and really really enjoyed not only the sandwiches but quite possibly the best cheesecake I've ever tasted (we even took a sandwich and cheesecake out to JFK for pre-flight dinner). We also used Carmel Limo Service to and from JFK--thanks for the referral guys! They were right on time, nice cars, personable drivers and a very reasonable cost considering the other options.
All in all, it was a wonderful trip--thanks to all of you who shared your wisdom. I really appreciate it.