All Reader Reviews of...
133 E. 61st St., New York, NY, 10065
nr. Lexington Ave.
how can they treat patrons like this?
By pdtrshn on 4/17/2005
There appears to be a trend from the reviews of this restaurant- they do not care about honoring reservations. We made a reservation for 9:30 on a Friday night, arrived promptly, and were told "15 more minutes" at least 3 times. A party that arrived after us was seated and I was told that they had 9:00 reservations- not true. After no attempt to offer anything in compensation for the unreasonable wait we left at 10:15 and had a very good meal at Circus across the street. This is not the way a first-class restaurant (and we have been to many in Manhattan) will survive by treating its patrons with such disrespect.
Overdone, overpriced, over the top plastic surgery
By zeecee on 7/1/2004
As I entered the crowded bar area to stand in line while the maitre d' spoke on several phone calls and juggled people waiting, I had a feeling this might have been an overtouted place. Donatello was nearby but I had to give my name twice and assure them we were all there. It was not a professional way to greet customers. I looked around and saw the sort of people whose esteem is built on designer noses and surgery, leathery tans, a lot of cleavage, less taste. Appetizers were tasty enough and the roll was promising. But main courses were all below par. The lobster steak did not compare to a good boiled lobster, too cloying, too precious. Vegetables are served in microscopic portions. The tuna main course was salty and otherwise tasteless. Desserts were too sweet, nothing worth the calories. We were seated in the middle room, crowded into a table. Service was not gracious, simply efficient. The place is trying too hard at everything except coming through and creating a warm, comfortable, authentic restaurant. It's a scene not unlike Palm Beach. Dinner was about $80 apiece without wine. We didn't get the tasting menu, much of which is illegible.
By stellaparone on 3/19/2005
i went in expecting great food, decor, and service because of the great things i've heard about the place. service is confused and sloppy. the decor tries way too hard to be sexy, but fails miserably. the food is WAY overpriced and fell flat. the only good dish was the "crisp & angry lobster cocktail" appetizer. the rest of the entrees were ridiculously small and forgettable. overall the place is way overrated- i have no idea how it got such great reviews. don't waste your time- much better food & service to be found in manhattan.
By Marshallbux on 12/11/2008
Recently tried the lunch special with a friend. started with the tomato soup which was basic and he started with the calamari which he enjoyed. Then we moved onto the entrees, I had the veal saltimbuca and my friend has the pasta.The veal was over salted and overcooked, unoriginal and uninspired. The pasta was good in concept but the chickpeas and peas were overcooked and the pancetta was grainy. Overall both dishes were pedestrian and I could have cooked it better. The deserts however were delicious I had the panna cotta and he had the ice cream assortment. It may have made up for the entree's but upon finding that the two bottles of fiji water which they BROUGHT to us without asking cost us 18 dollars. Overall we felt robbed and upset.
Restaurant Week Disappointment
By kml408 on 7/18/2010
To be honest, the overall meal was underwhelming. I hate to blame it on Restaurant Week, but I think the discountedť prix fixe menu really didn't make the busy servers too happy, nor did it motivate the kitchen to prepare dishes on par with the a la carte menu. Chris ordered the Tuna and Salmon Tartare with a delectable creme fraiche topping. I enjoyed the presentation of the dish, which sat on a heavy black slab of rock and included carved out holes for various sauces. The pretty decorative potato chips were a nice design touch as well. The tuna was chopped into centimeter-sized chunks, which may have limited how much flavor got into the fish. Regardless, the tartare was delicious mostly due to the velvety layer of creme fraiche that sat on top and a thick aioli-type sauce on the side. I had the Pretzel Crusted Crab Cake topped with a Sweet Chili prawn. The dish sounded great on paper, but the execution was way off. My crab cake was coated in a very thick and crunchy layer of what seemed more like rice cake than pretzels. The crab didn't taste particularly fresh, but I'll just assume the strange pretzel coating messed everything up. The chiliť prawn was completely unseasoned and bland besides its natural shrimpy taste. It was literally a piece of cocktail shrimp mislabeled as a prawn having some distinguishable flavor. I need to try the restaurant when it's not restaurant week! Read more at http://lestorydefood.com/2010/07/18/nyc-restaurant-week-coverage-day-2/
RUDE AND INCOMPETENT MANAGER ruined the evening despite good food and decor.
By SuperDuper1111 on 5/13/2012
I'm not a foodie but I thought the food was decent. The townhouse-feel of the decor is nice. The disaster didn't strike until the end of the evening. When I picked up my leftover entree (they give you a claim check for it), they gave me someone else's leftover. After a few minutes of search, they failed to find mine. Then a manager intervened. He kept asking "what do you want me to do about it?" as if we were inconveniencing him for no reason. In fact, he accused me of making a big deal out of nothing - his words. He eventually offered to pay for our entrees next time, but he refused to put anything in writing. His attitude was completely unexpected for a manager at a four-star restaurant, and I will not return to this restaurant. As it turns out, he is one of the managing members of his restaurants, which means ARROGANCE AND INCOMPETENCE run deep in his organization. AVOID.
By AliciaMoore on 12/3/2008
My husband, mother and me had lunch on Tuesday (Dec. 2) and had mixed reviews. Overall the experience was pleasant but not up to the standard that I expected. It took too long for the waiter to take our order and my husband had to send his hamburger back- he asked for it medium rare and it arrived medium well - not acceptable in a restaurant of this caliber. My dish was the saltimbocca - my father's is better and he is not a chef ! My mothers dish, however, was one of their signature dishes (lobster "steak") and it was delicious. The price was right especially seeing as the portions are huge - don't know if I will be returning but glad we tried it.
heaven with a capital "H"
By hungryjacq on 7/6/2004
As The Simpsons character Comic Book Guy would say, "Best. Meal. Ever!"
By foodobserver on 12/8/2004
Shocked at dinner earlier this week to find them running 45 minutes behind for confirmed appointments at 6:30, 8:30 and 9:00PM. We compared notes with 4 other groups waiting-Front desk lied about "only 10 minutes" to all who came in from 6-9:30PM!!!. Very rude to see several parties come in past their reservation time but get seated AHEAD of those waiting because they were friends of owner, well known or in one case palmed a large tip. Back room could do with one less table and AC turned on. Food was excellent! Waiter service seemed not very attentive and 45 minute wait was BAD way to start evening. Maybe they should have offered a glass of wine or cookie or something to apologize but the ladies at front desk seemed rude and oblivious. Friend in our party writes for major mag and will return once more to see if David's success has gone to his head, over booking and poor time/table management. Otherwise look for major reduction in opinion. Suggeston-call ahed to seeif they are seating on time and take name of lady who talks to you so when you arrive they can not give you a lie about wait time.
good,but expected better
By NICKY on 3/7/2005
I had very high expectations for this restaurant.As far as the service,i found it to be excellent.The hostess(a very beautiful woman),bartender,waiters,and busboys were very gracious and helpful.I was slightly disappointed in the food though.The scallop appetizer was excellent,but the tuna sashimi appetizer was kind of salty(probably because it was served on top of a salt rock.The angry lobster(which i had heard good things about )was very spicy and didnt have much edible meat.I love spicy food,but it just didnt seem to be right for lobster.The canneloni with braised rib had the potential to be delicious.The meat was perfectly cooked and melted in your mouth,but it was just too salty.We tried the cheesecake lollipops for dessert.They didnt really taste like cheesecake and were very sweet.I would try this restaurant again,hopefully i will enjoy the food better next time.By the way,David Burke made an appearance in the dining room,chatting with some of the customers.I personally thought he looked a little like Chris Farley,the late comedian.
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