All Reader Reviews of...
45 W. 81st St., New York, NY, 10024
nr. Columbus Ave.
never again/ over-priced
By aquagirl22 on 2/1/2010
First of all, a restaurant without any customers is nothing but sad. If I am going to spend my hard earned money in this dismal economy on an expensive meal, it had better be good. Not the case at 81. I felt as though, I didn't get any value for my money. All the food was average at best. I wan't impressed with anything. The ravioli was the only positive part of our meal. I wish I stayed home and ordered pizza. Not going back
No longer upscale
By matthewpeters on 10/8/2009
wasn't this an upscale restaurant? Why am I paying $40 for an entree while there are people in the next room eating $9 burgers and cheering for the Yankees? If I wanted this, I'd go to TGI Fridays
Life is unfair
By VaninaG on 7/2/2009
81 deserves better than this. I have been there at least seven times, and I wonder why this restaurant is so underrated, compared to an Upper West Side rival like Dovetail (which is, in one word, awful). The service is impeccable, the meat is always topnotch, (the hanger steak is succulent and I have a dreamy remembrance of the cÃ´te-DE-boeuf). The desserts are excellent; the wine list is reasonably priced and diverse, the decor is cozy yet fun, the cocktails are inventive... their risottos are creamy and copious, their crabe cake special one night was amazingly lumpy, fresh, and flavorful, with the perfect balance to enhance the crab without overpowering it. The amuse-bouche of orange and olive salad was a rapture. What else can one ask for? Is it that NOT waiting an hour for a table makes it feel too little exclusive? Lastly, the recently added bar menu items, like the steak sandwich or the po'boy, even though a little too much loaded with a nonetheless zesty mayonnaise, make for a fine, unexpensive and substantial meal, for those who complain about the size of the portions. 81 is the Upper West Side gem.
Amazing meal on UWS
By felby on 5/29/2009
had an amazing meal! beautiful room and attentive service
A Wonderful Experience
By tcorri on 2/4/2009
A lovely experience, from the friendly greeting to the warm, cozy and pleasingly quiet and softly lit room. The waiter was charming, helpful and extremely knowledgable. Each of the 8 to 10 appetizers and mains were tempting because they contained unique ingredients or combinations. The appetizers and 3 out of 4 mains were outstanding including the vegetarian "cauliflauer steak." Desserts were truly exceptional, as was an incredible cheese plate - which could have been a bit more generous -mainly because each selection was so delicious and four of us shared it. While this isn't a place for budget dining, I don't mind the cost when the dishes are so skillfully and inventively composed of such superior ingredients. Given the warm, quiet and cozy atmosphere - it's a great place to dine when you want to talk to your dining companions, rather than be entertained by your fellow diners.
a big waste of money
By kayweisel on 9/15/2008
I was able to get a reservation at Eighty One at the last minute for 6 people for Thursday at 8pm....now I know why.....This place needs work and apparently, EVERYONE knew this but ME!!! Our meal was awful from start to finish. Overpriced, small portions, limited menu, slow and rude service. I can not say ANYTHING positive about Eighty One. All I know, is this place is not long for this world. Now I know why I couldn't get into Dovetail!!!!
Overall a Big Let down
By carrieben on 9/8/2008
My husband and I had dinner at Eighty One with another couple. We are all self described "foodies". We were all equally disappointed in our experience. The waiter seemed rushed (perhaps he was given too many tables?) He barely spent any time checking in on us. There was a huge lag in between courses. The chef/owner spent the entire time we were there sitting at the table next to us. Perhaps there would be better timing in between courses if he helped out in the kitchen? We were very annoyed and considered saying something to him but he never aproached our table. The food was incredibly average and not worth the pricetags. Portions are incredibly small. We left hungry. None of us would ever go back.
not happy with the food and service
By sarahkern on 9/6/2008
my husband took me to 81 for my bday and I've gotta tell you...neither of us were happy. We felt as though our business was not appreciated. The host that greeted us at the door seemed like he was annoyed and our waiter had the same negative attitude. I found the menu to be very limited. I had the striped bass which was okay..not great. I had the corn soup for an appetizer..okay but nothing great. It was very pricey and the portions were really small. The service was really slow. We were not impressed at all and will not return. Definitely not a special occasion place.
Eighty One is a disaster from start to finish
By staceyjak on 9/5/2008
had the worst dining experience of my life. The woman at the front desk could not be ruder. She told us to wait at the bar when our table was ready. I have no idea what that was about. The portions are really small and I found the menu to be limited. The prices are absurd. The tuna tartare was okay but my osso bucco was incredibly bland. You can have truffles shaved on anything for $42 additional..Our waiter sold us on that but didn't tell us about the surcharge. Here is the worst part: There was NO SOAP in the bathroom! Totally unacceptable. We will not be going back.
Never Going Back ...Worst of the Upper West Side
By karenchn on 9/5/2008
the service was incredibly slow and the restaurant was totally empty. I have no idea what went on in the kitchen. We kept on asking for bread and water but that was a huge challenge for some odd reason. The ravioli was good but that is the only positive thing I can say about my experience. Portions are really small and thge prices are high. Zero value for your money.
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