All Reader Reviews of...
19 E. 26th St. , New York, NY, 10010
nr. Madison Ave.
By stinapessa on 7/21/2011
Dined here last night for restaurant week. Farro spaghetti with vegetables was good, not great. It lacked kick. A side of escarole with olive oil and garlic was bland. Some red pepper flakes could have gone a long way. The service was fine; although it was hard to keep track of who exactly was serving us as a barrage of different men cleared our table. Is it the best Italian in New York? Definitely not. Al di La is far superior. I'd even venture to say Le Zie is more authentically Italian and a hell of a lot more economical.
My Favorite Place
By guychirico on 1/25/2011
It is difficult to understand the negative, nasty reviews of this wonderful place; one can only wonder what some people's agenda must be. I have the perspective of more than 10 years of dining at the former San Domenico and easily a dozen meals at SD26. It goes without saying that Mr. May is a true gentleman of the classic school whose contributions to fine Italian dining in New York are legendary. His daughter, Marissa, continues the family tradition and is just the picture of charm and grace. Being a great admirer of Chef Odette, I wondered what would happen with changes in the Kitchen, but I am happy to report that every meal I have enjoyed at SD26 since her leave has met the high standards she helped to establish. There are a lot of really good restaurants in NYC. I don't get to as many of them as I would like to, though, because I can't resist the temptation to keep coming back to my favorite, SD26.
SD 26 - Wonderful food!
By LottaU on 12/1/2010
Had a wonderful evening with my husband at SD 26. We had booked a table in the dining room and were seated in a booth which overlooked the whole dining area - lovely. The much criticized dining room design was loved by my husband and I thought it sort of worked... I guess, art and design are subjective. All the chairs are really comfortable and have armrests and the tables crisp linen. Anyway, the star of the evening was the gorgeous Italian food - what a treat! Ravioli with egg yolk and truffle butter... superb... braised beef cheeks, veal tenderloin with wild mushrooms and perfect cheese for afters to finish off the wine. It all tasted really superb and I struggle to understand why this place comes under so much criticism! The service was close to flawless and the couple next to us had one smiling waiter explain pretty much every dish on the menu:))) The daughter Marisa came to chat to us... nothing contrived... just pure passion for Italy and the restaurant that she runs with her father, who was away in Italy hunting and gathering truffles at the time. SD 26 offer small or large portions of pretty much all dishes - up to you if you want one, two... or create your own tasting menu - don't see anything wrong with that! They serve food in both the wine bar and the dining room, personally, I wouldn't choose to go to a busy winebar and expect a Michelin star experience, but brilliant that you can have a meal or a snack if you fancy it with the drinks. We will be back!
SD 26 Was Outstanding
By novictim on 11/15/2010
In a city chock full of mediocre Italian restaurants, this restaurant stands head and shoulders above the rest in every way. The bar area is beautiful, clean and modern with plenty of lounge space for quiet conversation and plenty of bar stools without the usual pushing, screaming and shoving we've come to loathe. The wine list is deep and varied and surprisingly full of affordable options and the salumeria choices and light bites are perfect for pre-dinner snacking or for a casual drinks date. The restaurant itself is an absolutely beautiful soaring modern elegant space where everyone is attractively lit and the service is attentive without being juvenile or cloying. The sound level is pitch perfect serenity. The choices run the gamut from small to larger size plates to suit any palate or appetite. The pastas are stellar, especially good are the chittari and candele, the salads wonderful and the entrees we sampled; the guancale and scallops were all just perfect. We had the apple tart for dessert which was accompanied by a fresh baked cookie plate and we left happy and satisfied.
avoid this place
By Sctory on 11/12/2010
SD26 provided one of the worst dining experiences I've had in years in New York. The space looks like something that Carrie and the girls would have loved around 2002 - bright, loud, and uncomfortable (we were seated at a table of red leather stools). I'm not sure we even had a waiter assiged to our table - we just asked the overworked bus staff for things when we got desperate. The menu was confusing, long, and overpriced. And the food was plain gross - my zucchini starter had clearly been cooked a few days ago and was plopped, cold, onto a side plate. My pasta with (frozen) clams was way too salty and far too simple (and yet not fresh tasting) to warrant the price (or those uncomfortable stools).
By scosrn on 9/21/2010
Never had I had a more horrible dining experience in my life. I took my best friend to the restaurant in order to acknowledge my husband's passing four months ago. We waited 30 minutes before anyone approached our table (besides the bread guy and someone to bring us water). We were handed an iPad for us to figure out which wine we would like to order. 20 minutes later a waiter asked us if we were ok. We said no. He walked away. It was a jumbled mess. The Manager asked us 5 minutes later if we would like anything. We said we would like to order. He walked away. I could see him on the upper balcony pacing. We received no service. We had told the manager we would like to order food but he disappeared. We said we would like to order some wine but not off the iPad. He looked at us quizzically then brought us a bottle of pino girgio. The sommelier started to pour without telling us about the wine and then we left. Its an enormous space with an enormous staff and no one cares about you. NEVER will i go back again~~
By Ortolan on 7/25/2010
Bland, expensive and loud...that about sums it up. Do not go looking to eat a meal, but definitely check out the bar if you work in the area. Don't waste your time...or $ otherwise.
Delicious and inventive food, attentive and courteous staff, overall a delight!
By ashleybrent123 on 7/15/2010
My Mom and I went to SD26 yesterday for lunch and we both were thrilled with everything. We both shared an arugula salad that had sliced grape tomatoes and a light lemony dressing and then the wild striped bass that was tenderly cooked and siting atop a mixture of vegetables and pearl cous cous. The broth that the veggies were in was amazing perfect to scoop up with the fish. All in all the whole experience was perfect and we were in and out in 40 minutes which was great since we had an appointment and limited time! The only thing that could added to the experience was if we had a bite or two of our neighbor's cheesecake that looked absolutely to die for :)
One of my favorite meals
By Alexandra Martell (NY MAG) on 4/25/2010
Went here with a friend for dinner and had a truly great meal (my friend said the egg yolk raviolo was the best thing she's ever eaten!). The electronic wine list is great, and I really liked the unconventional menu format. The service was outstanding--we were even given free dessert wine and a neighborhood discount card after the owners stopped by!
By nyc999 on 3/11/2010
My husband and I went last night. The lounge is great. Good drinks. When we went to our table in the restaurant it was really nice but our waiter lacked knowledge of the menu. He did not describe any of the entrees or answer any questions we had about the menu which was frustrating. The wine list is electronic which was annoying and didn't seem to be user friendly. The food was average. I'd go back for drinks in the lounge but definitely not for the food or ambience in the restaurant.
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