All Reader Reviews of...
50 Commerce St., New York, NY, 10014
nr. Bedford St.
LONG WAIT, CRAMPED
By ahamilton on 4/27/2013
Commerce is a great place to go if you're looking to spend your evening standing packed like a sardine at the bar area while waiting for a table that you had "reserved" for an hour earlier... alongside 50 other people who are annoyed and constantly looking over their shoulder hoping to see the staff come and tell them that their table is ready. Anyone in the establishment who is not actually SEATED is more than likely brushing up against some who is. This is due to the fact that the tables are packed so closely together it's almost like some comical scene out of a six year old's birthday party at chuck E cheese. If you dine here, please be prepared to have someone's buttocks brush up against your chair, your arm, your table, or perhaps even your plate of food as they try to squeeze themselves through the 1-5 inches of space between tables. Not sure why anyone would come here. I realize that in New York we have become almost accustomed to this kind of atmosphere in restaurants, but this is getting to be just a little ridiculous.
Long Wait/Overpriced/Small Portions
By Jen11112 on 3/15/2013
Commerce is run solely like a business, not a welcoming, warm restaurant. They clearly overextend themselves with reservations in order to make the most money for the restaurant, without caring about their customers experience. It is a small place and they squeeze as many tables in as possible. The food is good (as good as many of the other good ny restaurants) but the portions are very small and wildly overpriced. We waited over an hour for our table (did not finish dinner until past 11pm on a Thursday night when we have work early the next day) and all they did for us was take off 2 drinks and 1 dessert from the bill - which we had to ask for, they did not offer. They ran out of the fish I wanted and rather than comp my main dish (had we sat at our original time then the fish would have been available) the manager said that it was not possible to comp that, not sure how something like that is impossible. If you want to stand in a crowded restaurant for an hour waiting for your table only to receive very small portions of good (not great) food that is overpriced, then Commerce is your spot!
By mburke12 on 10/12/2012
definitely a happening place, tables are a little close together but the vibe is energetic. food was excellent, try the ceviche, red snapper or venison (fall special). breadbasket was a doozy... could crush the whole basket and leave happy/full. overall, great experience for a date but there were also a few larger parties. service was better than expected.
good food, bad service
By maoanan on 4/17/2012
Excellent food, great cocktails; would have been a great dining experience except for the ineffeciency of the hostess named Emily who had us wait for 1 hr and 15 mins, no update or apology given by her. Wise for owners to know the the paying clientele go to a restaurant to eat, dine, enjoy company no matter the cost and are not after "freebies" once the staff realize the client had truly been inconvenienced.
very friendly place-only open restaurant on hurricane night!!!
By Fabianenyc on 8/28/2011
I discovered this restaurant on the night of hurricane Irene, as I was taking a walk with my family. The lights were on inside and it seemed to be a cozy place to drop in for a drink. Plus, it was probably the only open restaurant in the entire city!! Let alone the fact that they did not overreact and opened their doors for the hungry and thirsty was very sympathetic!! We sat down and ordered a few cocktails, which were all very delicious..and we also ended up ordering a salad and foie gras- both delicious. The best part of the dinner was however the chef's famous coconut cake, which was just beyond all expectations. As for the crowd, it was a very relaxed and harmonic atmosphere. I will definitely come back here :)
Your "reservation" may be for a spot in the 1 to 2 hour queue (not a table)
By pmenasco on 2/14/2011
Last Friday, we secured a last minute reservation through OpenTable but found no table ready (or anywhere near ready) for us when we arrived at the appointed time. $200 at the bar (where everyone was comparing how long they'd been waiting) and well over an hour later, we were seated. We received our cold appetizers promptly and they were delicious. Our server was super nice and attentive. We started to think the evening would turn out well after all, but that was not to be. After waiting for our main courses for over a half hour more (and more rounds of drinks to fill the void), we decided to cut our losses and leave. Just then, the mains arrived, along with the chef, who offered not an apology for our poor treatment, but merely to comp the meal. We didn't want free food, just good food and honest service. Commerce has the former. Unfortunately, you have to go through hell (and a pricey bar tab) to get to it. I will never go back.
Terrible Service at Commerce
By lacarruk1 on 11/15/2010
This is the 2nd time in a row we have been treated terribly from a seating perspective at Commerce and we will not return. We walked in on Friday for a 6:30pm reservation. The restaurant was EMPTY. We were a party of 3. Two of us were present and my wife was 5 minutes away. They refused to seat us until all parties arrived (as most restaurants do)... But - when the place is stone cold empty, why not let us enjoy drinks at our table we will be sitting at anyway... After getting a drink at the bar, our 3rd party arrived. Mind you, the restaurant has maybe 3 out of 20 tables sat at this time. We ask to be sat and they proceed to walk us to the far right side of the bar where people's asses are in your face who are standing over your table at the bar.... I requested to sit in the main area of the restaurant as there were so many empty tables and they said this was the only 3 top they had and the rest of the tables were for 2 or 4 tops. I said since its empty, please make an exception. They said it is policy and they cannot. So - we ate our meal in the crowded bar corner sat with lots of asses in our faces while we ate and lots of loud conversations at the bar that we could barely hear ourselves speak.... On our way out after leaving 20% on a $200 bill (cause I do not blame the waiter), I noticed there are still over 10 4 top tables wide open. I mentioned it to the hostess and she just made a face like too bad.... Commerce - You lost a customer.
One of the worst restaurant experiences I've had. Possibly the worst
By inkjoe on 10/1/2010
We had a reservation for 7 people at 9. When we called about it, the host was like "sure!." So we get there at 9, and they told us it would be a little wait....which is fine.....but a little wait turned into an hour and a half wait. Nowhere to really wait inside because it is FILLED to the brim with tables--resembling a crumby lounge at a Holiday Inn in like Boston or something. It's like they are trying to squeeze every last drop of money from customers while completely sacrificing the diners comfort. When we were finally seated, it was a table made for 5 at most, but there were seven of us........ The waiter was hurried and it was so loud we were literally yelling at each other to talk about the menu. When we were ordering, two people in my party had to change orders because they had run out.......and neglected to tell us when we got our menus... Asked for wine FOUR times after it was ordered, and before getting it 20 minutes after sitting. Appetizers were very good. Entrees were ok -- that is after they brought me the correct one. They got it wrong the first time--brought me the wrong pasta dish..... At the end ot was a complete farce. And the biggest fault is management. It is obvious that the most important thing to them is making money. If the restaurant took out 1/4 of the tables, it would be tolerable. So tacky.
great food, but a madhouse on the weekends
By LMartinez on 9/26/2010
I've been there for brunch and it was great, so decided to try it for dinner - we had a reservation for five people at 9.30 pm on Sat night. The place was an absolute madhouse when we arrived - the bar was ridiculously crowded, unpleasantly so (you are basically standing on top of people eating their dinner) so we waited outside for the 20 minutes until our table became available. Once we sat down, it was really hard to hear anything and generally was not a pleasant ambience. On the upside, the food was excellent, and the service was good (after a long initial wait for menus and drinks), and after most of the madding crowd left around 11 pm, the place had a much better vibe. My hot tip to the owners/managers is to turn away some people, rather than over-crowd the bar area. I would still recommend this place, even with a group, because the food is so good - but only Monday through Wednesday for dinner, or after 11 pm on the weekends if you are willing to eat late. And expect a 20-30 minute wait for your table, even with a reservation.
I love Commerce
By celebrate on 6/28/2010
I've been to Commerce at least 5 times. The staff recognizes me and is very friendly and professional (they'll even hold the restroom door open for you). The reason I keep coming back is because I can't stop the cravings. Fresh ceviche, barely cooked beef japanese style, fetuccini with tomato sauce, and the show stopping things for sharing. I've had the chicken for two with my hubby, lamb for three with my parents, and I'm going back with two girlfriends to attack the porterhouse for two (but it looks plenty enough for three women) THE FOOD IS SOOOO GOOD. The chef knows what he's doing...the staff cares about what they're doing,..the interior designer spared no expense (Black walnut tables!!!!). My new favorite place.
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