All Reader Reviews of...
264 Elizabeth St., New York, NY, 10012
nr. Houston St.
The most complete eating experience possible.
By EJStarbuck on 4/21/2008
I have never met a friendlier, more knowledgeable, more attentive wait staff anywhere. Our waiter, Vincent, could not only explain what the unusual dishes where, but how they were made and could recommend and offer tastings of red or white wines to go with any dish. The food was unusual, flavorful, and was so fresh that I could feel me feet tingling by the end of our meal, which to me is a sign that the food is still alive. The decor is tasteful, without pretension, regardless of the high profile names of artists adorning the walls. Every detail in this restaurant is well thought out and considered. I will agree that this is a special-occasion-splurge restaurant, unless money is no object, in which case I would be eating there every night of the week. This is the kind of place where you need to be open to adventure and experimentation, and a willingness to enjoy the surprises of life to really get the benefits to this unique way of approaching dining and cuisine. www.eyelasher.blogspot.com
By Elizabeth_F on 3/26/2008
We decided to take our new friend in town for a lovely Saturday afternoon brunch, and they more than impressed her! The service was appropriate - friendly but not overbearing, and they got everything right. We all got something different so that we could share and we loved everything. The menu changes constantly and everything is unbelievably fresh - our favorite was the fried duck egg, which none of us had ever had before. The yeasted buckwheat pancakes were delicious as well (we loved the maple syrup whipped cream!) As a group that loves food but isn't versed in the foodie world, they were very friendly and helpful and we had a great time. Highly recommend.
If you cant handle big parties, dont allow the reservations
By west_villager on 12/19/2007
My company had our holiday dinner at The Tasting Room last night. The food was very interesting (red tail deer, hen, duck, pumpkin salad were memorable), but the service was quite poor. Im not sure I should blame our server, who was responsible for a table of 12+, or the restaurant for not ensuring we had adequate attention throughout the meal. It took almost an hour after we sat down to get our champagne toast poured; and then another 30-45 minutes before we had our (very good) red wine. Sometime during that eternity we each received a stale dinner roll to squash our hunger rebellion. We were directed to order family style because the dishes were so small. Usually its the other way around, right? Large portions = family style dining? Not here. Anyway, once the dishes started coming, they did come fast, but it was almost three hours since we first sat down. Oh, and the back room desperately needs a fresh coat of paint and some real lighting.
By j_bk on 11/15/2007
Went to the Tasting Room for dinner with three others expecting a great meal from reviews and the track record of the East Village original and were disappointed. The duck and pork were undercooked and we were just underwhelmed. The service was the real trouble. Each appetizer and main are on average $15 and $22 respectively, which is fine, and I understand the "tasting" theme. But for 4 of us, our waiter recommended ordering 11 or 12 of these and when we ordered 6 (which turned out to be more than enough), he was incredulous. The restaurant wasn't very busy but he seemed to forget about us in the corner and it was tough to find him when we needed to. I would have had better things to say had it not been for the ridiculously pretentious service we received. If anyone in the management of the restaurant follows these reviews, please retrain your servers to be a little more cordial and to stop rudely pushing food (and hence a higher bill, bigger tips) on your guests.
Nice menu, exorbitant prices, somewhat aloof service
By ped_xing on 10/18/2007
I chose two wines, the waiter brought them out to the wait station where they sat for the next 20 minutes. A former waiter myself, I would at least expect a couple words like "Your wine will be poured momentarily" or something to that effect. Nothing. Then we order our courses. The Clam Chowder, though gorgeous, couldnt have been a smaller portion. It was about 1/32nd of an inch deep in the plate (that was not a bowl) and approximately 3-4 spoonfuls worth for 11 dollars. No bread until you ask and it comes out cold. Oysters were great, 4 in total, and the Mutton was fantastic and decently sized to share for a person with an average appetite. The waiter kept asking if we were ready for another bottle of wine, and I figured after the third "No" they would have gotten the picture but...no. This waiter was just a bit too tightly wound and arrogant for our tastes. Granted you've been working some hours already but please try to enjoy yourself, your customers will too.
By shana_s on 9/5/2007
I recently ate at The Tasting Room with my dinner club looking forward to a great meal of all different dishes that can be shared. Unfortunately their "share" size portions are smaller than most individual dishes in most restaurants. The food was good, but the prices were expensive in proportion to the size of the dish. The trigger fish came with what looked like 2 filets, but we realized that one of those pieces was bone and not fish. The other piece had around 5 bites to it, all for over $30. Plus it was so loud in the restaurant you had to yell across the table for your party to hear you. Also beware, we were originally at the bar, and had our tab moved to our table, but we tipped the bartender. When the bill came they had added a 20% gratuity to the bill because we were 6 people, this included the bar bill which we had already tipped. Overall I was extremely disappointed in the meal, and I would not reccomend it to anyone.
a memorable evening
By britt on 8/20/2007
My boyfriend and I had a wonderful experience there last weekend. The atmosphere at the bar is warm and inviting. I was extremely impressed by the knowledge of the bartenders regarding the menu, considering that it changes nightly and is quite eclectic in its offerings. The entire evening was memorable from the first glass of wine through the cheese course at the end. The scorpion fish with eggplant puree, lima beans and sugar snap peas is one of the best dishes I've had in a while. It's surprising that in a city with so many choices of restaurants, few provide a truly memorable meal. The Tasting Room is the exception and I can't wait to go back.
Great Until I Got Sick
By CSB on 7/9/2007
I enjoyed my meal until I was violently sick over the next several hours. The next morning I called the restaurant and told them. Was told that the general manager would call me back--two weeks later, that's yet to happen.
Great Food & Wine
By crull on 4/11/2007
I went to the Tasting Room last Saturday night and had a great experience. The host was super polite and even bought me a drink when my table wasn't ready. The drinks are great at the bar - the bartender squeezes everything all the juices from scratch and they even make their own colas apparently! When we sat down, the wine list was presented and it is like a bible for small American wineries. And grapes I've never heard of before! The food was great - our table tried about 10 dishes in total - fish, salad, soup, more fish, meats and dessert. Everything was great, although with 10 dishes you'd expect some to be better than others. I really liked the terrine in the appetizers and the scallop balls (flash fried - really yummy). For the mains, the angus steak was excellent, as were the morel mushrooms. Will definitely return.
By sgoldbac on 4/11/2007
Really love this place. I've gone back several times and have had consistent and increasingly good results. The chef is brilliant with mushrooms - always accentuating their earthy flavors with poached eggs or bacon or something else. Their fish dishes are subtle, and they often have very interesting meat dishes (e.g., pigeon, duck, etc.). It's a new menu every time and you order a lot of dishes (small plates) so you get to try a bunch. Great drinks too and incredible wine list.
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