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David Bowie

Magdalena's bar is swanky and inventive -- with pricetags to match

Magdalena's bar is swanky and inventive -- with pricetags to match

A rule that always applies, no matter the restaurant: The higher the cost, the higher the expectations.

I was reminded of this on a recent weekday night while seated at the bar inside Magdalena, the section of the luxurious Ivy Hotel in Mid-Town Belvedere open to the public. I enjoyed a night of good drinks, food and conversations with strangers, and yet couldn't help feeling just short of fully satisfied.

Wanting to be wowed, I left content. A $90 tab, before tip, will do that sometimes.

To be fair, the high prices were expected before I arrived since I knew the Ivy's basic story. It opened in mid-June with 18 suites, and nightly rental rates ranging from $475 to...

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