All Reader Reviews of...
239 E. 5th St., New York, NY, 10003
nr. Second Ave.
Best tasting NYC
By LilyJ on 9/21/2009
I was treated for my birthday last weekend, and I am comfortable claiming it the best dinner I've had in the city. The 10-course tasting is independent of the menu, but whatever you order, it's a foodie's dream to sit within 2 feet of the grill and plating areas. The combinations were creative and surprising, and I more than once unabashedly scraped my plate to get every bit of the enormous flavors. While these are billed as "tapas", more often than not, the portions were perfect for the 5 or 10 tastings (highly recommended!) and even generous for some plates, like the mouth-watering sweetbreads over chantrelles and a tomatillo corn salsa w/ fried okra. Degustation was upscale in its food and service, while remaining low-pressure in ambience. The best part of the dinner was being told that the chef had Â“received a giant squid from California [that day]Â” and then see Chef Genovart come over with his iPhone and show us a picture of the comically large squid Â– and then get to taste it in its exquisite glory. The dinner was equal parts delicious and interactive, and I wouldn't change a thing!
By delikado on 7/7/2009
My meal at Degustation has become one of my most memorable dining experiences in the city! My boyfriend and I chose to go with the 10-course tasting menu, which was a great choice because it allowed us to sample a lot more of the menu (which all sounded too good to pass up) without filling us up too much. The space feels very intimate, and encourages food ogling!
Great Food in a Small Place
By kallenyc on 6/17/2009
We made the mistake of not ordering enough food to start out. After adding dishes to our initial order, our bill came to $140. This included 8 dishes and 3 glasses of wine ($11/each). I wasn't hungry when we left but also wasn't quite full. I'm typically a small eater (i.e. 1-2 slice pizza person) but was starving when we arrived. We would have been better off ordering the 5-course tasting menu for time and $ sake. We got there early (6:15pm) so our first dishes came in pairs spaced well. However, as more people arrived and we added to our order, the wait increased causing us to be a bit pressed for time approaching an 8pm show. We got the poached egg which was phenomenal, an octopus salad special (not on the menu) which was delicious, the tortilla which someone previously said came as 4 pkgs--now comes as 2 pkgs (rectangular wonton wrapped scrumptiousness lightly fried) and the quail. We also had the lamb, croquetas, carbinero (shrimp) and one other thing which I can't remember which isn't on the current menu listed online.
still one of nyc's finest
By ddk101 on 1/24/2009
the asparagus, egg, jamon, chorizo & cheese foam dish remains one of my all-time favorite dishes. i'm always recommending the tasting menu at degus to my friends and coworkers who are looking for a unique dining experience but don't want to splurge. it's perfect for dining in pairs but not for a group larger than four. service is always solid and attentive and great concise wine list. my favorite out of jack lamb's restaurants.
The BEST "small plates" restaurant.
By shalinipatel on 10/8/2006
Had dinner there---absolutely loved it! French small plates, we did a mix of recommended dishes and a few of our own--- everything was outstanding! The jamon serrano with a poached egg, rabbit, lamb, and stuffed squid are excellent. The chef, Wesley Genovart, and his staff are very attentive and friendly. It is a 16 seater around the "kitchen", so it's very cozy---a great date place!
Best Fine Food Bang for Buck
By Cellarmann on 12/29/2008
We haven't had a less than delicious dish yet here, and several have been downright otherworldly. Great variation, well thought out. The wine list is heavily weighted toward (if not all) Spanish and is quite thoughtful. I was reluctant to order the wine pairing with the tasting menu, but it turned out to be the best I have ever had. Seeing everything prepared is a real treat for me. And at $50 for a 5 course and $75 for a 10 course tasting menu, Degustation is a remarkable value.
Better then people are giving it credit...
By LinLaLiLa on 5/9/2008
I think that Degustation is better then people are giving it credit. But I love that it isn't more known or talked about because I continually am able to make a reservation with no problem. It is very intimate and the service is designed around the customer. I had great service every time I went. The food is great. A lot of the food is based on Spanish cuisine, where the chef Wesley Genovart is from. The rice cracker-crusted asparagus with the poached egg and Serrano ham is, I believe, one of their best dishes. The croquettes are well worth the $4, and quail too was fantasticÂ… much of it is fantastic. The 5-course $50 tasting menu is worth the price, however, 3 plates would be enough for me. The chef loves his foams, and so did I. The 'Torija' dessert is really great and interesting. They describe it as a 'French toast', but I see it more as the richest bread pudding with a caramelized top, served with frozen grapefruit and foam, delicious. I hear the cheese plate is fantastic, next time for me.
By FatBastard on 9/28/2007
One of the best dining experiences I've had in NYC: four of us sat right in front of the grill and watched raw materials transformed into artistic, balanced small plates. We tried everything and the waiter's recommendations tended to be our favorites as well, so be sure to ask. As a former sushi bar, the atmosphere doesn't leave much of an impression other than the open kitchen, which is great. Add all that up and the price tag is surprisingly palatable -- didn't hurt that the most expensive wine on the menu didn't run much more than $50-60 but absolutely danced across our tongues.
Degustation Wine & Tasting Bar: Too Serious for the E. Village?
By SocialistaNYC on 5/17/2008
Degustation's menu and concept is intriguing, but in practice I thought that the place took itself a little too seriously. Though the staff is attentive, I felt awkward being addressed as "miss" and having someone appear every five minutes in such a small and intimate atmosphere. Each dish was well-conceived but I wished that they were more robust and shareable, as how real tapas are. The Slowly Poached egg, JamÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â³n serrano, chorizo, Smoked Cheese and Rice Cracker Crusted Asparagus dish--which sounded nearly orgasmic to me--ended up being a yolky soupy mess, though the flavors mingled harmoniously. I had to ask for bread to soak it up--which they thoughtfully grilled freshly in front of me. Don'tt be fooled into thinking that the Spanish tortillas are anything like what they traditionally are--these are served as four tiny postage stamp-sized packages. You would need to order at least 5 dishes on your own to satiate hunger pangs. I would return next time for nibbles instead of expecting a real meal.
above-average food, lousy service
By yanivnord on 7/6/2007
Even though we showed up on time for our 8pm reservation, we sat for half an hour in a cramped hallway waiting area, wincing when the maitre'd climbed over us every two minutes to get to other parts of the restaurant. We were lucky - there was another group there who waited for an hour. Once seated, the waitress ignored us. When we asked for some help she responded, "Sorry, my priority is to get the food out." When we asked for some assistance with the wine list, we were told, "The descriptions are on the menu." All that aside, the food was pretty good (meticulous; delicately flavored; don't miss the cheese plate at the end) but certainly not good enough to overcome the lousy service.
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