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New City Bar and Grill and Lucien Blue

Caitlin Sep 14, 2000 01:28 PM

Looking for an upscale dinner very near BAM and considering these two. Any experiences or opinions?

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  1. z
    Zephyr RE: Caitlin Sep 14, 2000 02:09 PM

    We ate at New City before a movie one night. I had a very nice, though displeasingly small, steak sandwich. The atmosphere wasn't terribly warm. I saw it as a place for a pretty good pre/post-movie meal. But for a stand-alone meal, I would look elsewhere.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Zephyr
      Jeremy Osner RE: Zephyr Sep 14, 2000 02:54 PM

      Is New City Bar and Grill the restaurant that used to be called New City Cafe, on DeKalb near Vanderbilt? I only ate there once long ago (1994?) but have a very fond memory of my meal that night. I would be sad to hear it is no longer anything special.

      1. re: Jeremy Osner
        cj RE: Jeremy Osner Sep 14, 2000 03:32 PM

        i think these may be 2 different restaurants. the place on dekalb is still there and, i believe, still called new city cafe. i've just moved into the neighborhood...haven't tried it yet.

        what i did try in the area (though this should probably be a new message):
        a while ago someone posted about madiba (on dekalb as well). ate there sunday. didn't really dig it. my first taste of south african food, so i don't really know if it's done particularly well. meals start off w/ thick slices of bread w/ butter and jam/jelly spooned into the same serving tin. i couldn't really place the jam...maybe apricot? it was more tart (not really a fruity way...almost a vinegary way) than any jam i've known. i had the (chicken) bunny chow, sort of a curry served in hollowed out bread. someone else here said they liked it, but i didn't. found the whole dish a little dry and very flat tasting. couldn't differentiate the different ingredients...practically could only tell the chicken was chicken by looking closely. everything had the same taste...and i have no clue what that was...something close to nutmeg. friend had a vegetable 'stamp'...beans with corn or something...tasted exactly the same as the bunny chow. a third person, though, really enjoyed his fish special.


        1. re: cj
          David Jacobson RE: cj Sep 15, 2000 01:24 PM

          I believe the DeKalb location is only being used for catering private events now. Second the recommendation for Madiba, had a great lunch there a couple of months back. The staff was incredibly friendly, my wife keeps bugging me to go back

          1. re: David Jacobson
            Cathy RE: David Jacobson Sep 15, 2000 05:19 PM

            I can't remember exactly what I ate there, but a few weeks ago I had an absoluly horrific experience at Madiba. I believe overcooked fish and truly bad service were the order of the evening...

            1. re: Cathy
              David Jacobson RE: Cathy Sep 18, 2000 04:57 PM

              Cathy: How was the service "truly bad"? Only ate there once, back in July, place was empty except for us, we had a lunch/brunch of eggs, sauteed onions and sauteed chicken livers that was really delicious, can't remember the name of the dish. But all the ingredients were fresh, the dish well prepared and the waitress and bartender were very friendly.

              1. re: David Jacobson
                Cathy RE: David Jacobson Sep 19, 2000 02:01 PM

                There was one waiter for a full restaurant when we ate there, so that probably had something to do with it. They forgot one of our orders, we never got water despite asking five times, and then it took forever to get our check and get out of there. But more importantly, the food we had wasn't good. The fish was way, way overcooked and dry, the mussels were off-tasing and the "bunny chow" dish was tasteless.

    2. d
      Dee RE: Caitlin Sep 14, 2000 02:52 PM

      Haven't tried either of the places you mention, but you might consider Brooklyn Grill on Atlantic Avenue (between Smith & Hoyt, I think). Not quite as close to BAM as New City but not much of a hike. Friends and I have had several good meals there. Comfortable atmosphere; friendly owners. To my mind, the most upscale menu in the area is Saul, on Smith Street. Only a couple of blocks further from BAM than Brooklyn Grill.

      1. s
        Susan L. RE: Caitlin Sep 15, 2000 10:02 AM

        I enjoyed several great meals at the New City Bar (directly across the street from BAM) last summer, and have been yearning to return. I don't really remember specifics, but they have fabulous martinis, and the food,I recall, can be ordered as either small or large plates. Everything was beautifully seasoned and presented, and I thought the service was great!

        1. j
          Joyce Goldstein RE: Caitlin Sep 16, 2000 01:51 PM

          I've only been to the New City Bar not Lucien...the old New City Cafe was a more intimate space, but the staff is good too at the Bar and the location is perfect for relaxing before a BAM performance. You'll have to hustle from Saul's (which I adore) or any of those other Smith Street locations.

          I've only been to the BAR for dessert and drinks after a show. They weren't accustomed to that, but they accommodated us wonderfully. The drinks were fabulous and they had a GREAT Port that they offered by the glass. Care was taken with everything. Though the space isn't warm, the food and all makes up for it, I think. It can be pricey though.

          1. m
            Mary RE: Caitlin Sep 18, 2000 01:00 PM

            I so want to love, or even just like, Lucien Blue -- it's a really good space, good menu, good location, good folks. But both times I have been there, the waits for food have been incredibly long--I mean hours. The food has been highly variable when it came--some very tasty, others way off. You could try it--it has some high notes-- but know that it is a high risk venture, or at least a very long one.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Mary
              Caitlin RE: Mary Sep 20, 2000 04:03 PM

              Thank you, Mary! This is valuable information for me, since I'm trying to schedule a pre-show dinner. I'll go with New City and report back.

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