Polo Bar vs Ralph’s: the Battle

Do you know that Ralph Lauren is not just about fashion and home décor? The brand also owns three gorgeous restaurants around the world : the Polo Bar, in New York; the Ralph’s in Paris and the RL in Chicago. Of course it’s not just about dining out. Eating in a Ralph Lauren restaurant is tasting for a few hours the signature lifestyle promoted by the brand. Exquisite decor, delightful food, perfect service, it’s a whole experience on its own.

As you may know, we were in NY for a few days last Autumn so I was really looking forward to give the Polo Bar a try after having read so many glorious comment about it. I can say that I wasn’t disappointed. Our last weekend in Paris was the occasion to live the RL experience again but in the beautiful surroundings of the St-Germain-des-Prés located Ralph’s. I was curious to discover if I’d love the second as much as the first and if we would live the same experience in these two very different places.

So here we go for the contest!

The building

Both restaurants are located in a chic neighboordhood and building: Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris for the Ralph’s, and 1 East 55th Street in New York for the Polo Bar.

The Polo Bar

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The Ralph’s

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Ralph Lauren store Saint-Germain Paris

Ralph's restaurant Saint-Germain Paris

On this aspect, the Ralph’s won undoubtly the point with its gorgeous terrace, beautifully decorated with tartan pillows, candles, pines trees…

Ralph's restaurant Saint-Germain Paris

Ralph's terrace restaurant Saint-Germain Paris

Ralph's terrace restaurant Saint-Germain Paris

This terrace, quickly filled every sunny day in the Summer, is famous for its gorgeous blue and white decor.

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But the winter version wasn’t disappointing neither.

As we came to the Polo bar at night, I couldn’t say much about the building but there was obviously no terrace. 🙂

So Ralph’s/1, Polo bar/0.

The decor

So difficult to choose! The Polo bar has a gorgeous, very dramatic decor inspired by a kind of old-fashioned polo club. The whole place is covered with beautiful wooden panels and moldings, leather seats and accessories, horses inspired artwork, vintage polo accessories… It gives to the place a very American, masculine and luxurious athmosphere that I really really loved.

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The Ralph’s has more a kind of “French castle” feeling with its high ceilings, stone floors and dramatic stone open fire.
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Ralph's restaurant Saint-Germain Paris
Ralph's restaurant Saint-Germain Paris

Both had beautiful oil painted artwork, luxurious details, fresh flowers…

Funny detail :the tartans cushions were the same in both.

Both places are gorgeous but the Polo Bar really stole my heart. But maybe you might have a very different opinion as I am more accustomed to the French décor so the American one seemed more special to me.

So here it is : Ralph/0, Polo Bar/1.

The food

It’s a complete ex aequo here as the food was very similar in both restaurants. Don’t expect French food at the Ralph’s: it’s, as its name suggests it, an American Restaurant. So you’ll find in both the famous casual chic American classics such as Cobb Salad, Cheeseburger, Caesar Salad… You can find the Ralph’s Menu here, and the Polo Bar’s here.

What did we ate?

At the Ralph’s

2 cocktails: a Margarita and a “Brown Derby” (with Bourbon and grapefruit juice, so damn good!); beautifully served with appetizers : fried green olives.

Ralph's restaurant Saint-Germain Paris

Then my husband enjoyed a Ranch steak and I chose a delicious Cobb Salad.

Ralph's restaurant Saint-Germain Paris

Ralph's restaurant Saint-Germain Paris

And we finished with the exquisite “Favorites desserts” from the Ralph’s with a cup of coffee.

Ralph's restaurant Saint-Germain Paris

At the Polo Bar

My apologizes here because I could’nt remember exactly what we have eaten. I chose a Ralph Lauren cheeseburger and my husband a Vitelo Tonato. Both were delicious. Can’t remember our desserts neither :-/ But I know that they were very good. I think it was cheesecake and apple pie.

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We really enjoyed both menus that were delicious, prepared with first quality ingredients and beautifully dressed on the plates. Of course, it is quite expensive but you don’t only buy food, you buy an experience (anyway it was the way I considered it!). (But I noticed that the wine was much more expensive at the Polo Bar).

Ralph/1, Polo Bar/1.

The service

Excellent. Our waiter even told us a few words in French at the Polo bar. And they were all very kind and smiling at the Ralph’s which is a miracle in a Parisian restaurant.

Ralph/1, Polo Bar/1. 

The winner is…

It’s so hard to choose as we really LOVED both. But the magic of the Polo Bar really catched me. So I guess it’s my winner 🙂

But both were amazing and we had a fabulous time there! So I highly recommend it if you have the chance to try it! Hoping myself to be able to write you one day about the third restaurant in Chicago (Who knows? A girl can have dreams :-)).

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