Cluny is a high end cafe in a great location. Good vibe, good servers and decent food. It will never win a Michelin star but its a nice breakfast and lunch option. End of story. However:
About 3 months ago I went in with my partner on a quiet morning, for a quick breakfast. The front room is my favorite, and some nice 2 top tables were empty, so I asked if we could sit at either of them.
"Sorry they are reserved"
"Oh, I didn't know you could reserve a specific table"
"Yes just ring up and ask, and we'll do our best".
Cut to 3 months later and I'm in for an important for breakfast meeting. I call 2 days before and ask for a better table in the front room, and get told they'll do their best to accommodate that.
Walk in to find myself in a bad cramped table at the back.
"But I'd asked before to reserve a window or other table in this room"
"Sorry sir, all these are gone" (they were empty)
So... Cluny has 2 classes of customers, those who are "in" and know the owner or maitre d', and the rest of us, who can't get good tables and will always be sat wherever, no matter how regular a client or how much business they have brought.
Cluny have had about $25,000 of my money over 5+years but won't get anymore. I know where I stand to them. There's better places to eat locally. Try Frankies 570 or the ever reliable Barbutto or Del Anima.
Charged me nearly $400 for a 30min visit, to fix my cooker.
There is a technician time, and service charge,(why the 2 are different I don't know) and parts: the part needed (a simple igniter) was charged at $108, its list price from GE is $50, Amazon sell it for $20. So parts are sold at DOUBLE list price, and FOUR TIMES discounted pro/ Amazon price (all were official GE parts).
Technician was ok and decent young man, but I will not use them again, and would not recommend you do.
BEWARE! The Sidecar app steals your contacts.
I recently went through the App Ops seeing who had asked for what ridiculous permissions from my phone. Most were ok, some had asked too many permissions but never accessed them. Sidecar was the one and only app that had abused this, and accessed my contacts on installation. Very bad. They basically stole my friends & contacts info for their future use. Guess what? - I'm angry about that.
Do not trust them. Check App Ops to see what 'permissions' they grab for themselves. Evil.
They're off my phone and out of my life after such terrible behaviour.
We arrived as a party on time for our reservation to be told our table would be ready soon, and please have drink at the bar. 50 minutes later, we were still there. No apology, no complimentary glass of wine. Nada. Good restaurants look after their clientele, they want them to be happy, to have a good memory of the experience. Its what places like Little Owl, or Wallse do. They look after their customers.and realize that if the restaurant is holding you for nearly an hour, when you have a reservation, they have to make it right. Beatrice obviously does not care about your experience that much, which means word of mouth gets bad, like this.
You may be reading this expecting a food review, but I won't bother, as to me a place with a 'who cares about the customers' attitude, does not deserve your business. Skip it.
Reservation system utterly hopeless.
I eat out a lot in the Village/ West Village. I mean a LOT. Lunch and dinner - everywhere from Wallse to Barbuto to Little Owl to Scarpetta to Sant Ambreous to Marys Fish Camp to Beatrice to Minetta Tavern to Del Posto .. you get the idea. Spend an absolute fortune on dining out, most night a week, and know the deal about reservations, party size, private rooms, etc. I've booked whole restaurants for special occasions, private rooms, back rooms, family style dining in the chef's kitchen table, etc. I also often just walk in and eat at the bar at all these places. The point is, I know the ups and downs of eating in busy downtown places.
Was in Perla to meet someone for a drink and thought it looked promising- asked about making a table reservation for 18 days time. They explained they had a strict 2 week limit for reservations and it was all done online. Ok sounds fair enough - Momofoku Ko is like that (online only, very strict) and I've eaten there many times, no problem. Go online at 7am 2 weeks out - zip. the only option is a table at 4.30pm, on any day. Try again at 8am, 9am, etc, but there is no option for any other time. I send them an email note, and am told they only give 4.30pm reservations online. WTF - why bother with an online system at all? They say I must call. Spend the entire day trying to get through, but there is *never* anyone there to answer the phone. Finally succeed after dozens of attempts late afternoon, where I'm told its full, but "they are accepting walk ins". Is there any way to get a table for 4 at a mid evening time in the 2 weeks time? "I'm sorry we're a small restaurant - the 4,30 pm slot is online to reserve"
Its a totally screwed (non) 'system'. I have flexibility, but need a reservation for a mid evening time slot. I went to Beatrice Inn website and booked exactly the time and day I wanted online in 2 minutes. Done. It seems Perla don't want our business, or that of anyone who is not buddies with the owner and can get the inside track. Fine, I'll take my money and business elsewhere, till they get a working reservation system, with available tables, or actually pay someone to answer the phone.
Been here sporadically over the last few years, and went again this weekend with friends. You know - its expensive here for what it is. The plates are small (Yes, I know its Tapas-y-style, I've been to North Spain many times) the wines are highly priced, and you will be lucky to get out of here feeling satisfied for less than $75 each, with a couple of drinks.
The place has that ethnic-cafe vibe, located in an odd little mini mall on 9th Ave/25th, it's too brightly lit, the tables that don't balance that well, plus they are not averse to putting those tables and chairs away while you're sitting there finishing up (before 11pm!) all of which is fine if it were a cheap ol' funky foodie diner, but, again, its full price here. Service is varied, our guy was kind of quiet and competent, but seemed to be running the place to himself. I've had other decent servers past times too, nothing to write home about, but all fine. Plate prices seem perfectly reasonable, but you need a *lot of them. It adds up quick.
Foods pretty darn good. Different. Some dishes are positively exceptional. But they don't vary the menu that much, hence my slow down on coming here. Yes there's a 'specials' board, but its often the same specials you've seen last time you were here. Or varieties thereof. All in all I'm very glad Txikito exists, it should be 25% less in price, or up the rations, plus the ambiance. This place rocked when it first opened, but now needs to find its mojo again.
Eaten here about 5 or 6 times. Its good, but a lot of your pleasure will depend on how lucky you are with seating. They have literally jammed some seating in here so tightly you cannot move or enjoy the evening for getting up and down.
The round tables for 4/5/6 along the wall are a delight,
The canteen tables are too much of a crush.
Yes I know its NYC, yes I know they want maximum covers, max $, max turnover, but when it hits the point the meal is spoiled, you don't come anymore. You tell others not to bother, so it becomes self defeating. Alas: I doubt they care. The place is rammed.
Our party of 4 got squashed into a canteen table this time: We had to get other diners up to get to our seats, then get up ourselves to let others out. then get up again to let the next guests in, then make other people get up to let us out. Ridiculous. Food came slowly and erratically. Drinks were forgotten. Deserts took 30+ minutes from ordering.
The food is decent, I travel to Spain a good bit, especially the north, and this holds up, but is not remarkable. It is pretty good for NYC Spanish that's the best you can say. If you luck out with your table and can splurge, its great fun.
If there is a 'next time' I will decline a canteen table and wait longer, or go at a late hour when there's an easier choice of seating. Or... I'd go to Wong around the corner and enjoy that more.
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