I'm a bit of a control freak. When I organize large-scale events, I select venues based on very specific criteria, and I always visit the location beforehand to meet the manager. When wedding planning (for a good friend) coincided with my birthday, time was limited. So I chose this place for a large birthday dinner based on the 155 reviews from the old location, 3 reviews from this location, and... sheer luck, because this place was perfect!
Still across from the MOMA, the entrance to the new location is just a few steps below street level. If you can, ask to sit in the lower level dining room (private dining hall). We were turned off by the stuffiness of the main level dining room and its stark white lighting. Instead of a clean, minimalist feel, it seemed like an outdated (1960s style?) dining room with wooden basket-weave chairs. (Sad, since they just renovated this place.) On the other hand, the downstairs space is GORGEOUS (see photo). With a high ceiling (skylight on top), dim lighting with flood lights in the floor, more spacing between tables, and mirrors and books bordering the room, the ambiance was much better. The white, sun umbrellas stretching over the tables gave us the impression that we were sitting outside, but inside haha. They also have quite a few large tables downstairs; the night we were there, there was a large 20-person table.
Their diverse menu focused on Southern Italian cuisine has something for everyone. In addition to 9 or so different, good-portioned pastas ($20-25), they have fancier main courses ($24-46) e.g. fish, steak, chicken, veal, lamb. I'm not going to go through every dish we ordered bc that would take forever. But we all agreed that our favorite plates of the night were:
1. Linguette with Manila clams and cherry tomato - The sauce was light and fragrant, the linguette was perfectly al dente, and the tomato added a touch of sweetness to the dish. There was also a good ratio of clams to pasta (usually restaurants skimp out on the seafood).
2. Rigatoni with a very spicy anduja sausage and sweet onions sauce scented with rosemary - The sausage wasn't "very" spicy, only a little bit. I thought this dish would be too heavy, but it actually wasn't! The sauce was on the sweeter side, tasting like my mother's pastas sauces. (Asian-style Italian food...?) And the rigatoni was bigger than I was familiar with, so definitely very filling.
Our server was so sweet and always smiling. He cracked jokes when we were indecisive about the wines and each time he poured our waters. The entire night, he stood watchfully near our table in case we needed anything. My friends surprised me with a Momofuku cake and they PLATED each of our slices with mint sprigs, strawberry slices, and powdered sugar! It's all in the details, ladies and gents.
I can't describe how appreciative I am to the staff at Il Gattopardo for such a lovely evening. I've been raving about this place to friends and family, and I absolutely cannot wait to come back again. See you soon!
I've never liked wine bars. I feel like they're there to weasel more money out of me. As someone who gets hungry every 20 minutes regardless of how much I eat, sipping on a glass of wine only further stimulates my appetite, making me feel starved. And then I'm forced to buy a handful of overpriced, mediocre tapas (or cheese platters, gross) that don't fill me up. It always gets ugly.
Corkbuzz was different because I heard that they appointed Phil Conlon of Swine as their new Executive Chef a few months ago. I knew I had to make a trip here and give them a chance.
The two of us stumbled in on a blustering Tuesday evening to counter rainy day blues and work stress. Even though we didn't have reservations, the hostess quickly seated us at the last seats available, at the bar. (Definitely make reservations if you don't want to wait.)
None of the wines by glass stood out so I randomly selected the Beaujolais. As I took my first sip, I probably made the ugliest face of all time because the barman quickly offered me something else. Oops. It wasn't terrible, just a lot more bitter than I expected. He excitedly whipped out something that wasn't on the menu yet - a FABULOUS, dry, spicy red wine his colleague recently discovered in South Africa. I was enamored.
Then we got the menu. Everything sounded so fancy and delicious! We ordered:
- Crispy pork belly with sweet chili glaze and cabbage slaw - AMAZING. It was perfectly crispy, with just the right amount of fat that melts in your mouth. The sweet chili glaze evoked memories of my grandmother's cooking. We actually ordered two dishes of this because it was so incredible.
- Tagliatelle with jumbo lump crab, jalapeno, corn - The pasta was good, but there was too much corn, not enough crab, and we couldn't taste the jalapeno at all.
- Beef tartare with dijon mustard, salsa verde & couldn't figure out the last sauce (special of the night) - We really liked how the three sauces melded into a complex flavor palate. Unfortunately, the bread was so burnt that it was inedible.
- Fernet root beer float with fernet ice cream - So disappointing, it tasted like Chinese herbal medicine to us. I tried to chug it but to no avail. #stillawimp
I was very VERY impressed by the knowledge of the sommeliers and barmen. They clearly knew their wines, but more importantly, they transitioned easily between technical "winespeak" and layman's terms for people like myself. Thanks for coming down to our level!
The bill was hefty, but I was so surprised by the food and the creativity of the menu that it didn't hurt as much as usual. While there were a few misses in the food, I would still return, especially for that pork belly and the lovely service.
- They have armchairs in the front, bar seating, high-stool tables for two, and long communal tables in the back. If you're on a date or want more privacy, try to request the tables for two in the front.
- Casual ambiance. Thankfully it's pretty well-lit so that you can actually see your food!
- They are now open for brunch! Currently #1 on Eater NY's Brunch Heatmap!
I cut my finger on a piece of glass in the beginning of the night and it took them 20 minutes (after three people came to check in on us - "it's coming," they said) to bring over a band-aid. That should've been a tell-tale sign of what's to come.
The space, especially downstairs, is absolutely gorgeous. There is a bar with TV screens on the main floor but also fancy salon-type armchair seating for diners. The lower level has the feeling of a cigar lounge or a men's den. Overall, the entire place feels very upscale for a nice dinner or date.
The food, however, was another story. After a lovely engagement surprise, a bunch of us dropped in here to celebrate in high spirits. We ordered a couple dishes of the duck pappardelle, oxtail ragout, and brussels sprouts. The duck pappardelle was quite wonderful, especially topped with the poached hen's egg, but that's where the fun ends. Half of the brussels sprouts were only partially cooked, but we figured we would let that slide. But the oxtail ragout! It was SO uncooked that when you sliced the Gemelli pasta in half, the inside was still white!!! TWICE, we sent it back, and it was more cooked the second time, but then it was just 50% of pasta that was cooked (instead of 25% before). I know they tried because cooking it the second time took so long that everyone was done eating by then. When it came back and still wasn't cooked, we told the server and she agreed to take it off our check.
Overall, the flavors of everything were pretty decent, but how can you expect to run a restaurant if you have difficulty cooking vegetables or pasta? I hope the lighting in the kitchen was just extra dim that night or the usual chefs were all on vacation. Or something.
I might come back to get drinks in that cellar bar, but I think I'll pass on any food dishes, thanks very much! For the sake of the kind, apologetic service (you aren't to blame for kitchen mishaps), 2 stars.
I had my eyes on this place since I first read about it in an NY Times article in August. They opened just over a month ago after Labor Day weekend.
Named after 16th century Irish pirate queen Grace O'Malley, Grace is not your average Irish pub. They have an exquisite cocktail menu created by some of the most famous female mixologists (from world-renowned bars/speakeasies) in NYC. Think big, like Jane Danger of Nomad (also of Jane's Sweet Buns before it closed), Meaghan Dorman of Raines Law, Lynnette Marrero of Astor Room and Rye House, Ivy Mix of Clover Club, Eryn Reece of Mayahuel and Death & Co, Franky Marshall of the Dead Rabbit and the Tippler... the list goes on. Their "classic cocktails" menu (Negroni, Old-Fashioned, Whiskey Sour, the Sazarac) was researched by the award-winning Derek Brown from DC's cocktail scene (not a female, obviously).
They are also a restaurant! Ryan Schmidtberger, formerly of Lure Fishbar and River Cafe, runs their kitchen. Although their dinner and brunch menus have a little something for everyone e.g. burger, chicken, pork, they definitely seem to prefer seafood. I'm totally okay with that haha.
The gorgeous Grace is made up of three sections. The entrance invites you into a bar area with stool seats. Then there's a lounge area with dark wooden paneled booth seats and short stools. Note the impressive, overhead, lit-up map of the fortresses Grace O'Malley took over. The back section is the restaurant complete with photos of Ireland. Bathrooms are located downstairs. Overall, it feels classy casual (does that make sense?) but completely unpretentious.
I recently organized a party here for about 30+ people, and the entire staff (Rory, Antonio, Emily, Jeff) actually went out of their way to make sure everyone was having a good time! Rory, the manager, was an absolute sweetheart, making the booking part the easiest thing I did all month haha. He continually checked in on us all night, even giving us more space when it got a little crowded (thanks, Antonio!). The guests commented on how sweet the hostess Emily was (she directed them to the lounge area reserved for us). And Jeff, our server, (and later a girl whose name I didn't catch, sorry!) worked tirelessly in ensuring that we got our drinks, despite our attempts to mingle and confuse him tremendously. It appeared that the drinks of people who ordered from the server were all put on one tab, but if they wanted to pay individually, they just bought their drink at the bar.
I am incredibly thankful to the gracious staff, especially Rory, for accommodating us. From their five-star service, exquisite cocktails, comprehensive drinks list, & potentially scrumptious brunch/dinner menu, my friends and I are now devoted fans of Grace and we're counting down the days of when we can come back!
- The staff's Irish accents, hellooooo haha.
- Be forewarned, the bartenders are heavy-handed with the alcohol. The White Seahorse (gin, egg whites, plum eau de vie, lemon juice, almond syrup, absinthe), the Blind Abbot (coffee and whiskey mmm), Gallow Glass (grouse, cherry liqueur, campari, punt y mes, bitters), and Black Tom (rum, sherry, ginger, date molasses and lime juice) were big hits of the night.
- I did get to try their oysters, they were incredibly fresh!
- They have a DJ (perhaps only on Fri/Sat nights?), but the music wasn't overpoweringly loud, especially in the lounge area. Still able to talk with ease!
This place is great for two reasons:
1. Good for groups
As a frequent organizer of large birthday dinners in college (20+ people), this was an easy, reliable backup. They have different sized tables upstairs that seat about 2-15 people. But they also have private rooms in the basement, perfect for huge celebrations e.g. birthdays, family reunions, karaoke machine included. Note that they only take reservations for parties of 5 or more, but you'll have to wait anyways.
Most of the dishes are pretty cheap, and when shared family-style, you end up paying about $20-25 for your food coma. Drinks are inexpensive, but you can also BYOB ($10 a bottle).
However, Congee Village serves Americanized Cantonese food; it's extremely oily, oversalted, & full of MSG, but it gets the job done. They have a ridiculously comprehensive menu from your usual "Chinese takeout foods" e.g. fried rice, lo mein, to the more atypical traditional foods e.g. frog legs, shark fin soup (NY shark fin ban starts summer 2014), and intestines. Definitely try their congee (rice porridge)! My favorite is the thousand year old egg with salted pork congee, but the abalone is good too.
- There is ANOTHER location on Bowery. I can't tell you the number of confused guests I've had when I forget to be specific.
- They have a $20 credit card minimum.
- They have a lounge?? Weird.
"What do you recommend, the fennel or the mushroom salad?"
"Well, they're both pretty different..."
"Okay, I'll get the fennel then."
And she still brought out the mushroom salad. What? We were in a rush to catch a film premiere, and considering it took them nearly 20 minutes to send over a server in a completely empty restaurant, why bother.
Yelp said that they opened at 5PM that day, so my sister and I waited in front for 15 minutes for them to open, with multiple staff eyeing us as they walked in and out. At 5:05PM, there was still no hostess to be seen so I walked in and asked if they were open. The guy said, "Yeah, we opened at 4PM but we're not ready, as usual." ....... (And if anyone needs a place to loiter without questions asked, come here!)
We picked our seating outside, and 20 minutes later, after several attempts of requesting staff to get our server, she finally turns up. We were handed these handwritten, oversized Serendipity-like menus. (Note: their specials e.g. kale gnocci is listed on a board in the front, so make sure you glance at it BEFORE you come in.) Pasta entrees ranged from about $11-26 and they also had "Supper Specials" for each day of the week. When I asked her about certain Italian terms I wasn't familiar with, she wasn't particularly good at hiding her annoyance that I wasn't fluent in Italian.
My sister seemed to enjoy her fennel, I mean, mushroom salad. And my $16 Tagliatelle al Ragu Bolognese was pretty tasty (1 star for that), but my homemade pomegranate iced tea tasted just like Starbucks' iced teas, but twice the price. My friends ordered the veal meatballs and the $11 spaghetti al limone, which they decided to mix together to give it more flavor. The lemon spaghetti tasted exactly like how it sounds; if you know how to cook pasta, squeeze lemons, and toss in parmesan cheese, it's not worth it for you.
I didn't get a good look of the inside, so I can't attest to the cozy atmosphere, but I surely will not come back nor recommend this place to anyone.
We wandered in after an exhaustive search of moderately-priced restaurants in the area after a Yelp event. Pleasantly surprised that there was no wait, we followed the hostess from the dimly lit main room to the brighter, more spacious skylight room in the back.
I actually didn't expect to eat anything besides a salad because I wasn't feeling well. But once our server began to list the specials, I was sold. That homemade black squid ink pasta with a spicy meat sauce (he said it's like chorizo), squid, and bread crumbs was PERFECTION. Although the dish wasn't visually pleasing (thank goodness I don't have arachnophobia), the saltiness of the pasta and the spiciness of the sauce juxtaposed with textures from the dense, al dente pasta, chewy squid, and crunchy bread crumbs progressed into a culinary adventure in itself. The honorable mention goes to the ricotta donuts with chocolate cremeux (and hint of espresso). You couldn't taste the ricotta, but you could definitely see the difference in texture.
The octopus a la plancha appetizer was good, but not as mind-blowing as the aforementioned. They also brought out rye bread with olive oil but my stomach didn't agree with it.
We mostly really appreciated the fact that the server never rushed us. Whether it was me eating at a sloth-like rate or us staying an additional 30 minutes after dessert because of a most engaging conversation, not once did he express displeasure, frustration, or urgency for our table. In fact, he'd peek in non-intrusively, refill our waters, and then back away with a smile. Too cute.
Next time I'm not feeling well, I'm coming here. Recovered instantly, haha! (I'm sure good company helped a lot too ;])
I thought I'd never say these words in my entire life. Actually, I never wanted to say them; I enjoy being free and noncommittal too much. But after seeing you three times in less than a month, I realized that it's unfair to you (and the rest of the world) if I'm not honest. So here goes.
Cuba, you are officially my favorite restaurant in NYC.
I'll never forget the first time I tried your mahi mahi dish. There are days when I dream about that oh-so-creamy cachucha pepper sauce or tender scallops and fish (Tip: pour the extra sauce over rice). Or when you seduced me with your sweet (but not too sweet) sangria. White or red, I've knocked back too many glasses/pitchers (jk) to count. Or how you tricked all of us with your seemingly tiny exterior, but then you have stairs that lead into a dimly lit, cavernous underground TWICE the size of upstairs. Or how easy it was for me to introduce my friends to you (parties of 6 or more need credit card info to reserve).
I'll just pretend I wasn't mad when I got an allergic reaction from your heavenly ceviche or that time I had to yell across the table because your live music was too much. But it's okay, I forgive you.
Yours 4 lifez,
Other notable dishes: any of their paellas, arroz con pollo criollo, pollo a la havanera
Stay away from: all their desserts, hongo habanero
- service is always impeccable, borderline too attentive! Except if you're downstairs & they're super busy... then you may or may not be neglected.
- free soda for checking in on yelp!
The Park is where my friends and I go when we're wearing 6 inch heels (or casual clothes), need lots of seating, want to enjoy the nice weather, and don't want to pay a cover.
Don't get me wrong, the Park is gorgeous and I absolutely love the decor + outdoor patio overlooking the Highline. But one, the sound system upstairs is terrible. I don't usually notice these things, but their speakers sound like iphone speakers - you can even hear the static! Plus, there's no visible DJ. Just a fish tank, it's so odd.
And two, the number of aggressive, sketchy (mostly Asian) guys here is off the charts. If you like the attention / feeling like a piece of meat, girls, this is your place! There are those guys who'll sit and stare at you dancing the whole night, grind up behind you nonstop, or refuse to let you leave, asking "Is there anything I can do to make you stay?"
Uhhhh, no thanks.
Just come with a good group of friends (who are willing to fight off any predators), enjoy the top 40s music, and dance the night away.
It makes me sad to see such a wide spectrum of ratings here for such a great place. Perhaps my expectations for coffee shops are too low? Bah well here's my criteria:
1. Good, strong coffee - Check.
I'm still working on expanding my coffee knowledge, one barista and coffee blog at a time. However, I know this: they make a mean cappuccino and their baristas travel to barista conferences (one time, they couldn't make any of the "fancier" drinks because they were all away... so they're learning!). Also, according to Tasting Table, Elizabeth Lapadula's staff makes their brewed drinks on an Alpha Dominche Steampunk brewing system -- less than 50 of these exist in the world! Fancypants.
2. Diverse menu - Check.
With their drinks, they have most notably the Es Alkupat (avocado-coffee shake), which is quite interesting in taste and texture. The bitterness of the espresso highlights the sweetness of the condensed milk + chocolate, but complements the avocado and vanilla. Plus! Instead of just measly pastries for the weak (half kidding), they have a complete food menu that is actually satisfying! In the back, they have an open kitchen so you can watch them make everything.
3. Plenty of seating - Check.
I absolutely hate it when I buy a drink and then there are NO SEATS LEFT. What am I supposed to do, drink it standing up? No! Kopi Kopi has a ridiculous amount of seating. There are high stool seating + ottomans in the front, and plenty of tables (+10) in the back. Even when there's a board games (or was it just Go?) club convening here or students sprawled out on the tables doing a poster project, you'll STILL find a seat. And you never have to feel guilty about it.
4. Fast, strong WiFi - Check.
Self-explanatory. But no password required, either! Sometimes I get bit of anxiety trying to ask the baristas what the wifi pword is, but no issue here, thankfully.
5. Bathrooms - Check.
Two of them actually! Perfect for enjoying that cup of joe until it (caffeine) inhibits the release of ADH in your collecting duct...
6. Friendly service - Check.
Since there is SUCH a huge gap between the front door and the counter, the baristas often greet you as you walk in the door, haha! But also, they're just all really open, nice people.
Now tell me again, what is wrong with this place?
PS; Their current Yelp deal for checking in is Buy 1 Get 1 Free!
Given the criticism behind the restaurant, namely Eddie Huang in his NYO article, I can't say I disagree with it all. For a restaurant trying to make a positive impact on the community, how can you justify spending $28 for jerk chicken or $17 for a po boy, especially when most of the people along 125th Street can't afford to enjoy the food themselves?
Still, I think what Marcus Samuelsson is trying to do here is admirable. In opening a restaurant with Southern, Swedish, and Ethiopian influences and themed nights for each night of the week e.g. Gospel Sunday Brunch, Latin Night Tuesdays, Soul & R&B Fridays, he attempts to bring a bit of art, culture, and diversity to his restaurant-goers. He also hires staff from the local community and hosts events such as free cooking classes for kids.
People can argue that it is restaurants/businesses like these that gentrify neighborhoods, but it also draws celebrity-chef-crazed tourists out of their comfort zones, beyond 61st Street, for once. (It's okay to be a minority! Embrace it!) On the flipside, this restaurant allows (upper-class) Harlem residents a taste of fine dining mere blocks away, rather than needing to go all the way downtown.
That said, fully aware of the accolades that Samuelsson has collected over the years, I was quite disappointed in the food. No mind-blowing moment, no explosion of flavors, no lives were changed. But our server/bartender was fabulous! We decided to eat our food at the bar, which I highly recommend. Not only did we get to watch her technique, Athena was an absolute doll in answering all our questions about mixology, the restaurant, and the neighborhood. In fact, when we mentioned that the Yardbird was too raw for us at the end (we didn't want her to take it back into the kitchen), she still took the plate and came back with a complimentary sampling of desserts for each of us!! Totally unnecessary since we weren't dissatisfied. (She also explained that the Yardbird is cooked in a brine that keeps the color of the meat, but in actuality, the meat is cooked well -- Good to know!)
Irregardless of how "authentic" the food is or how much "value" I might not get from any future visits here, I would still come back to support the "Empire of Marcus Samuelsson" and remind myself that there is more to NYC than SoHo and Greenwich Village. I definitely plan to try out more local spots around here - next up, Spanish Harlem, anyone?
3.5 stars for the food, 5 stars for ambiance, 5 stars for service.
PS; the restaurant also has a takeout window (called "The Nook") for coffees, teas, sandwiches, and pastries by their pastry chef, Deborah Racicot
PSS; the Earl of Harlem Cocktail (Alibi Bourbon, Earl Grey Tea, Spiced Coriander Syrup) was INCREDIBLEEEEE
It's Saturday morning, nearly 12PM. You're in the East Village. & You have group of at least 8 starving girls. Where can you possibly go?
In fact, it was completely empty. If we had noticed that beforehand, we didn't mind because we were ravenously hungry. Maybe predatory. We had all woken up at 7AM to serve at a soup kitchen and we needed food FAST.
Initially enticed by the brunch deal, most of us ended up deviating from that because the deal menu was rather limited. I did get the Eggs Florentine and it was runny and tasted okay, but the portion was unusually small. The other girls ordered pancakes, huevos rancheros, and omelettes -- they seemed neither displeased nor excited about the food. Overall, okay.
The coffee was expensive ($4), mainly because it's refillable. The service felt disorganized, but the girl who took our orders seemed genuinely sweet, tried to get our orders straight, and made sure our waters and coffees were refilled properly.
I wouldn't come back expecting to get a 5-star meal. But if I needed a place to kill time especially in the middle of the night, knowing that they have free wifi, I might drop by again.
PS; they played some great music! mainly Édith Piaf
PSS; they also have outdoor seating! Perhaps it'll be more popping in the summer.
Located at the edge of Ktown, this place seems trendier and more spacious than other Bon Chons with its high ceilings, some stool seating, full bar, and TVs & even a projection showing sports games and music videos.
But in terms of chicken, I still prefer the other Bon Chons. Mainly the St Marks one (in Boka). The fried chicken was extra dry and the skin was not seasoned nor crispy enough. They also charged us extra for the radishes (free at other locations). And they didn't have sweet potato fries!!!!! They did have zucchini fries that were just passable.
You'll only find me here after 2:30AM, when all the other Bon Chons & Korean fried chicken places in Ktown have closed.
You guys. Toshi & Co are the coolest.
After being disappointed by a 2+ hour wait for the Nomad Hotel Bar, we stumbled into this place. There was a live band playing that night and we wandered in not knowing what to expect. We also thought the logo (Toshi's head) was super intriguing haha.
Immediately, some Asian guy (who we later found out was Toshi!) kindly found space for our large party on the second floor. There are couches for lounging, a bi-level fish tank (with real fish inside!), a menu with photos of his family and dog, and TVs (streaming what was going on the stage downstairs).
Sadly, on the second floor, there is only a makeshift bar. But to make sure we (and everyone else upstairs) got our drinks, the super friendly (and cute) bartender had his associate run down the stairs to get some ingredients: "Don't forget watermelon puree, jalapeno, vodka, strawberries... now repeat it back to me."
And not to mention the adorable dogs running around. LOVE the concept of the place, their attentive and friendly service, their fruity drinks, their food (guava cheesecake!), and just Toshi for making this all possible!
I would only come here for Happy Hour or Drunch bc of the deals.
Huge space for LES. They have a long bar area with TVs when you first enter, lots of tables + booths in the back, then two sets of stairs for upstairs seating in "loft" areas.
The food itself was okay. The manchego mac & cheese was too cheesy for me, and my Angus Burger was WAY undercooked. I asked for it be cooked medium and it looked raw, maybe rare. I would've made our server bring it back, but I was being a wimp / he was giving us a hard time already & I didn't want him to stop by our table again (see below).
My friend and I came at the end of happy hour mainly for the mussels, not the drinks -- We both had to get up super early the next day and wanted to get a good night's rest. When we didn't order drinks, our server confirmed that we didn't want drinks. We said, "Yes, no drinks, thanks," which is totally cool.
But then, throughout the entire night, he KEPT coming back to ask if we wanted drinks. At least 5 times. NO, DUDE. You must get some commission if your customers order drinks, but, listen, NO MEANS NO. You coming to ask us every 5 min isn't going to change our minds. Ugh I was so annoyed, we just wanted him to GO AWAY PLZ.
If it weren't for those delicious mussels, I would've ran out of there.
Authentic Taiwanese restaurant with traditional "street" food, of course with NYC prices.
It's an extremely spacious place with smaller tables in the front and larger 10+ people round tables in the back. It's really perfect for groups & Asian banquets as they even have private rooms with tables. My family asked to sit in the back area where we saw a beautiful photo mural with images of old Taiwan blended together (see photo).
Anyways, we ordered some of the basics eg the oyster pancake, fried stinky tofu, stir-fry water spinach (kong xin cai), pork braised rice (ru rou fan), and beef noodle soup. And customary to many Chinese restaurants, they also provided complimentary red bean soup for dessert. Surprisingly, none of us had any complaints. All the food was spot on and made my family quite nostalgic of our times in Taiwan!
Since my mother was here previously with some Taiwanese ambassadors, I think the waitstaff was more attentive than normal with us; they were all very friendly and even tried to make small talk. That's quite impressive in an Asian restaurant haha.
Place was pretty empty for a Saturday night, I imagine because of how pricey and how fairly new it still is. I'm not sure how long this place can last, but I'd only come back for special occasions or if my pocket doesn't mind satisfying my craving for good TW food. :P
Came here for an office holiday dinner, and we were very impressed with the quality of food and service we received!
Faced with a long bar with you first enter, the maitre d' will greet you and can take your coats and extra bags for extra comfort while you dine. A seemingly small restaurant that fits about 30-40 people on the main floor, they also have a narrow/steep stairway downstairs to a more intimate, dimly-lit setting.
In the appetizers, the sauce that came alongside the calamari was amazing! The calamari, unfortunately, was a bit soggy and hopefully was just a bad batch. The arroz con pollo and black cod were excellent, and the chaufa de costilla was pretty good. They have a fairly extensive cocktails + wine list -- I highly recommend the Desert Rose (rose-infused plymouth gin, prickly pear puree, lemon juice) and advise that you avoid the chocolate tequila one (can't find the name on their website, tasted like cough syrup)
Ultimately, a lovely dining experience with some superb food.
A true hidden gem in the midtown/tourist district! I can't believe I discovered this place only recently.
Originally just a "European-inspired" fancy food court collaboration with Todd English, the Plaza Food Hall has now expanded to include a dozen more gourmet vendors. From Francois Payard Patisserie (Chocolate Bar), Luke's Lobster (no explanation necessary), Maison du Chocolate, Lady M (you MUST get the green tea mlle crepe cake!), Billy's Bakery (LOVE their cupcakes), No. 7 Sub, Pain D'Avignon, Tartinery, William Greenberg Desserts, Yo Art... there's no shortage of good food here! And there's really something for everyone- there was a bar for people drinking and I also saw a sign for Stumptown coffee too! Gosh, overachievers! I honestly wanted to get everything lol.
They also have plenty of seating and clean restrooms, perfect for getting some work done or killing time - a pit stop for tourists or an all-in-one place to wow foodie friends.
I WILL BE BACK!!!
With the latest buzz about Chef Simpson Wong, I was eager to host my birthday dinner here. The staff at Chef Asean was a pleasure to work with to make reservations. I called about three days prior for a Wednesday evening, and they were extremely accommodating for our party size changes and request to sit in the greenhouse.
The front section is such a contrast to the back room. While the front is warm and dimly lit with paper lanterns strung across the ceiling, the greenhouse in the back is larger, more chilly, bare, and brightly lit with white christmas lights.
Everyone mostly shared the food, and all of them were intensely seasoned, just as we liked it. But the highlights were definitely the clay pot, noodle, and curry dishes. I also ordered a sangria drink which was yummy.
Thank you Chef Wong and Cafe Asean staff for a successful, and smooth night with a delicious, decently-priced dinner and perfect service!
The Guinness Stout Coppetta is TO DIE FOR. Highlight of the night complete with overly salty food and detached service!
Spectacular views of the NYC skyline + Hudson River (if that's your thing)! That in itself was enough for me, I didn't want to ask for too much lol.
The entrance to the rooftop lounge on the 16th floor is a single door to the left of the hotel's main doors outside. You should see the elevators + doorman/bouncer on your left.
Drinks are pricey of course ($15-17 for cocktails), but they are strong so you can argue that you get your money's worth. While the outdoor area is spacious with plenty of standing room & seating (via couches, basket chairs, and the ledge around the standing pool), the indoor area is a bit more crowded. As it gets colder, they do provide blankets so feel free to ask for those. Girls with high heels, watch out for the bathroom as you have to walk up some stairs to get there.
And yeah their drinks aren't in actual GLASS cups, but who really cares. It's not like they're red solo cups, just clear acrylic glasses. It's dark, people are buzzed/tipsy, everyone has the same thing... Nothing to cry about it, kids. Unless you want shattered glass on the floor or over the sides onto the sidewalk (Heads up, New Yorkers!), let's find something else to whine about. :]
This is the perfect, chill place to wow friends or out-of-towners with the view. You can dress casually, just be wary of the doorman/bouncer and his rules. He denied entrance to a woman with flip flops and a group of clearly over-21 men without IDs.
Listed on their website, they do not allow:
- Flip Flops (including rubber and plastic thongs)
- Fitted Caps
- Torn Clothing
- Athletic Tank Tops and T-Shirts
Dimly lit but spacious space on the corner of bowery & 4th, a bouncer guarded the entrance to O AWESOME HAPPY HOUR (OAHH) where he requested our IDs to pass. Hostess to our right, she led us to a table by the window, score!! (But later we found out that it was a terrible spot bc it gave us so much privacy that we couldn't ever flag down our server...)
Apps (*cue Aziz in his "Apps & Zerts" monologue in Parks & Rec*) during OAHH, ranging from $6-11, were half off. Between the two of us, three apps were more than enough. The sliders were delish topped with their own pickles, but the crab cakes with corn and mango tartare were my absolute favorite. The nachos were truly epic proportion-wise, but there was too much sour cream for our liking.
$3 Bottled beers, $4 drafts, $5 wine & mixed drinks (I think) but specialty cocktails were not discounted.
Overall, decent service (albeit the difficult seating), great OAHH priced drinks & apps, perfect place to chill after work and/or host a large party.
Came here on Friday night around 11PM. No line, but incredibly packed inside. Took forever to get to the bar & the drinks were expensive, weak, & badly mixed. If I'm ever back, I'd just stick to getting drinks neat or beer. The Tequila Sunrise was all OJ & the Fuzzy Navel tasted like.. I don't even know.
Besides pool, no one played any games. We wanted to play foosball but the people in the room gave us dirty looks for going near the table.
Crowd looked to be mid/late 20s to early 30s & pretty diverse. The music was average - a bit of 80s? music & some top 40 stuff. Minus a few already-inebriated women, no one was dancing.
If I just wanted to get drinks & lounge (& not play games), I'm sure I can get better tasting & better priced ones elsewhere.
PS; no coat check that day! not sure if it's a summer thing or what...
There were a couple months where I'd come here at least 3 times a week. Yeah, I know, I was addicted.
My regular and most favorite drink is the milk tea (half sugar) with grass jelly. It's so much less fattening than tapioca -- or so I'm told! But the tapioca is always done perfectly, so you won't be disappointed. I love that they have actual food now (other than desserts). The food isn't mind-blowing but it's decent and the rice dishes can fill you up.
Great place to do work during the day, but it can get pretty noisy at night when groups of people start coming in.
Note: table service after 5PM! and cash only! & they have bubble waffles!
So Saint's Alp isn't really Taiwanese. I mean it is modeled after a Taiwanese tea house, but Saint's Alp is actually a chain based in Hong Kong.
I used to always come here during college because of the cheap prices and its ability to accomodate groups. After some event, all my friends would always find ourselves here... more out of convenience. The food is okay (not as good since the change of ownership a few years back). The bubble tea is pretty good, but I do miss the Juliet. Regardless, I don't like coming here because I always leave feeling hungry.
Basically, I would only come here for bubble tea not actual food.
Also I always find it weird that during the day, there are way more non-Asians than Asians here. Does that mean the Asians don't find this place authentic? (I don't.) or do these non-Asians really know how to appreciate Asian food?
Cute place, fresh ingredients, okay food.
When I saw the bicycle/wheelbarrow outside, I knew this place'd be lovely! I came here with reservations for brunch on a Saturday in late September and we were lucky to be seated in the greenhouse/patio (indoor?) in the back. The plants were a great addition, I truly forgot I was in NYC!
I ordered the spit-turned ham leg, two poached eggs, cheesy jalapeno grits, bourbon jus. It sounded delicious in print, and it tasted pretty good, but everything was a bit too subtle and light for me. If I didn't know exactly what I ordered so that I'd be looking for those tastes and flavors, I'd probably miss the flavors altogether. I was also still hungry after my meal, so that's not good either.
A good place to woo the easily-starry-eyed!
Alas, I didn't notice that the battery level on my iPad ran dangerously low until it turned off ("WHAT THE, oh"). So here I am, procrastinating from studying by spending the wee hours of morning on Yelp. Yay.
We dropped in here at the conclusion of a sick (in a good way) EP release party nearby. The Beloved was packed that night so he brought us to "this unmarked new place" instead. For a couple of hipster musicians (HA, excluding myself), this was their jam. Funny, this place was opened by a bunch of Minnesotan musicians. Hence, the Midwestern/music theme.
Saunter in, grab a drink at the bar, sit at the bar or wherever you like; they don't have a host/hostess to limit your seating choices (at least not that night). They have about a dozen taps as well as a full liquor bar, including wines and ciders, and a selection of Midwestern brews of course. Compared to the other bars in the area, Lake Street was fairly empty, but it was perfect for our large group to take over the nook by the front windows. And surprise surprise, they played great music (wasn't too loud!). I'll certainly be back to sit in on their live music nights (check their FB to see who's playing).
With $2 Old Dutch Traditional chips (apparently that's very Midwestern) as their only nibbles, we sadly had to leave to find more substantial grub elsewhere. Not too difficult in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Now getting home was another issue. G/Ghost train? No thanks.
Came here for his company's launch party so we were whisked to the second floor past the yuppies and "bros." Whew.
The second floor space had wall-to-wall TV screens, each airing a different sports game. ('Twas unfortunate for me that the NBA game was out of my sight, ugh.) They also had two beer pong tables. Yeah, it was that kind of a bar.
They have your usual on tap (Stella, Guinness, Coors Light, etc), but they also have bottled beers eg Angry Orchard and Abita (Purple Haze)!! His friend from Louisiana and I were super excited about that one. Food is your typical bar food eg wings, chips with dip, nachos.
Not my kind of scene, but def a chill, inexpensive place to grab a drink esp during their happy hour when the whole bar is half off (M-F 2-8PM, Sat 11:30-8PM)!
It's places like this that make me love New York / miss Paris.
I don't know much about wine or cheese, but I love coming here on Mondays. Why? They have some great live music, and last time we were here, we heard Marine Futin, a French singer-songwriter. Think Norah Jones meets Sara Barielles with John Mayer playing guitar in the back (her guitarist was amazing) - all in français, bien sûr.
Her music was the perfect soundtrack to us sipping our wines (their mulled wine is FABULOUS, some of the best I've had) and eating duck mousse (oh so creamy), country pate, duck rillette (oily but yums), and venison (a bit gamey) with our baguette slices. I think they also have more dinner-type foods, which I'll def be back to try.
With bar seats and dark cherry wood benches in the front, they have lots of space for larger parties in the back with black leather couches and communal tables. Did I mention they have a ton of books? It just feels like the homey basement of a cabin. Love it!
After a disappointing meal at Saxon + Parole (review coming!), I was wary to try the Public. Although it's been around since 2003, I am still distrusting of the trend of Asian fusion restaurants (see: the Cecil, Shalom Japan). They don't usually turn out well. Australasian? I mean, is this food that Youtube singing sisters Jayesslee eat?
But we were pleasantly surprised. Rocking food and drink, fantastic service (dashing and attentive bartender/server!), classy but lively ambiance, and great company - that's always a recipe for a lovely dining experience, no?
Bundled in layers of scarves and sweaters, we managed to stumble in and snag the last two seats at the bar sans a dinner reservation on a busy Saturday night. We ordered the Rosie Derby (the bitterness of the grapefruit and the, well, bitters, were offset by the sweetness of the bourbon) and Mezcal cocktails. Inspired by Daniel B., I requested a dash of chili pepper in the Mezcal cocktail before the bartender sprayed it with liquid smoke. Smoking hot, it was perfect.
The foie gras spiced French toast with mango chutney took Mom's Sunday morning french toast to a whole new level. (Not my mom - we ate dumplings for breakfast, noms. Hahaha.) Instead of a fluffy breakfast French toast, theirs was much more dense, seemingly more appropriate for dinner. The foie gras was pan seared, almost unrecognizably creamy. And did I mention the bacon?? It was definitely sliced by robots because it was soso thin and crispy. AND it wasn't soggy from the maple syrup glaze - how you do that???
The Berkshire pork tenderloin and belly seasoned with coarse ground black pepper literally melted in my mouth. The dashi broth was out of this world with its subtle taste of truffle, transforming into a creamier broth when the poached egg oozed in. (A fancier spin on Musket Room's dashi broth.)
The Risotto Cavatelli with carrot Bolognese, Thai basil, and cashew pesto was so tasty that it could fool any non-vegan adult and picky child over the age of three. It tasted just like regular tomato sauce with very al dente pasta! Had I not taken a photo of the menu, I would have been tricked too.
We were too full for dessert, but we will most certainly return for their ridiculously awesome cranberry and cumin bread and try kangaroo and brunch!
- They have coat check! Thank goodness.
- Sitting at the bar is fun until people start shimmying between the two of you to order drinks.
- A tad loud when there's a full house. Not a place to take dear nana who's hard of hearing.
- Please cut these bartenders some slack for "taking so long with your drink." If you and everyone else order drinks with more ingredients than you have fingers and can't sit quietly, stick to your Budweiser, old sport.
I couldn't understand why such an internationally reputable name could get such low Yelp ratings. Now I do.
It's a real shame. For such a fancy place that serves +$20 salads (expensive, but quite delicious) and world-renown pastries, you would expect much better service. We didn't have any trouble making reservations, but we had to deal with a snappish server who wouldn't let us finish our sentences, another server who couldn't tell the difference bw a cappuccino and espresso cup, and a manager who interrogated everyone who served us (less than discreetly) to verify that we actually DIDN'T order those sliders...
Aside from the service though, everything else - food and ambiance - was perfect. It has the potential to be a great, classy spot for dessert, brunch, bridal or baby showers with its gorgeous tea parlor and huge outdoor patio space. But until the staff is trained better, I'll take my macarons to go, merci beaucoup.
|reviews from two oh one four||Sick of studying in the library all the time? These are the places I always go to find some productivity.|
|These places have the oh-so-critical trifecta of wifi, electrical outlets, and bathrooms.||"Nunc est Bibendum"|
The mission: Write 100 reviews during 2013 - Completed!
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|fave chill and/or classy drink haunts in NYC|
|"What tho' youth gave love and roses, age still leaves us friends and wine [and beer]." - you may or may not find me at these happy hours more often than I care to admit.||dessert-y places in NYC|
|Yelp Elite & other Yelp-related events||best places to get that live music|
"Dress Classy, Dance Cheesy... Eat Constantly"
New York, NY, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
Oktober 2011Dinge, die ich mag
green tea, animated movies, cello, Boston Celtics, minimalistic design, grass jelly, languages, sriracha, blueWenn ich nicht gerade yelpe, dann ...
I'm studyingMein erstes Konzerterlebnis
John MayerMein Lieblingsfilm
Le Scaphandre et le PapillonIch schwärme gerade für
Dumky Trio No. 4, Op. 90