INFORolf's French-Bavarian Restaurant
281 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10010
Tel: 212 473 8718
New York, NY: Twice as many lights as the Rockefeller Center tree (also: sauerbraten)
Let's face it: You're probably not coming to Rolf's for the food. You won't starve, what with potato pancakes, sauerbraten, and wursts aplenty—plus holiday-season guest stars like roast suckling pig and stuffed pheasant—but this place's appeal isn't really the "French-Bavarian" menu.
You might be coming to Rolf's for the beer. The 19th century tavern's lineup of German specialty brews rivals most in New York City for sheer exhaustiveness—still, if all you were after was a frothy hefeweizen or chipper pilsner, you could always head to the much more low-key Molly's Pub up the street.
But really, you're coming to Rolf's (in December, specifically) for the lights. Sixty thousand of them. That's about twice as many as there are on the very famous tree about 20 blocks uptown. Dangling from the ceiling in a forest of birch twigs and pine garlands, studded with dozens of nutcracker figurines, feathery birds, glittery balls, antiqued roses, and apple-cheeked dolls in lederhosen. You're coming to Rolf's so you can feel what it would be like if the Rockefeller Center tree came to life, smothered you in your sleep, and left you for dead in Liberace's closet. With a beer in your hand.