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St. Marks Bistro?

Denise Dec 17, 2001 08:22 AM

Some friends have told me good things about this place. Tried to do a search but I couldn't access past posts. Can anyone tell me about it?
Also looking to go somewhere for dinner on New Years Eve. Any recommendations? We live in Brooklyn, but don't mind traveling as long as the food is worth it.


  1. The Chowhound Team Dec 17, 2001 08:36 AM

    Hi Denise, An instructional email should be in your inbox about now.

    1 Reply
    1. re: The Chowhound Team
      Andrea Dec 18, 2001 12:44 PM

      We went there, too. The service (from the owner no less!) was terrible. Indifferent, brusque, almost nasty. The most memorable dish was pasta with chicken livers and figs. Everything else was tasty enough, but who would rush back to be treated that way!

    2. b
      Brooklyn Boy Dec 17, 2001 11:12 AM

      My wife and I went a few months ago. The food was delicious, but the service was the worst I've had in ages. Very inattentive and slow. But that was shortly after the restaurant opened, so perhaps they've improved since then. I recommend that you try it.

      1. p
        Paul Lukas Dec 17, 2001 01:21 PM

        I went in October. The setting felt a little sterile and cold, at least to my tastes, but the food was excellent and the service was fine. Worthwhile.

        -- Paul

        1. n
          Nina Wugmeister Dec 17, 2001 06:58 PM

          I've been a couple of times, both for lunch and dinner, although not in a month or so. I thought the food was pretty good, if not remarkable, but the service was truly lousy. I'd say it's worth a try - and please report back and let us know how it's going over there.

          1. m
            Marlene Swartz Dec 17, 2001 09:34 PM

            Eh. I did feel a little more inclined, however, when I discovered that they accepted IDine which means a 20% discount.

            I mean there was nothing bad about the food, it was just like every overhyped Manhattan restaurant.......

            3 Replies
            1. re: Marlene Swartz
              Mike R. Dec 18, 2001 11:12 PM

              Besides a comfortably prolonged (lackadaisical service, perhaps?) meal this summer, we found the portions a tad light;
              Now, I ask you this: at $9.00 and change plus tax & tip...do TWO SARDINES an appetizer make?
              Send me out to Ferry Street on Portugal Day every June (or to the Atlantic Antic if it ever returns)and turn up the charcoal grill...$9.00 will catch a boatload of little fishys.

              1. re: Mike R.
                Joyce Goldstein Dec 19, 2001 01:50 PM

                When and what is Portugal day and how do I find out about it? Thanks!

                1. re: Joyce Goldstein
                  Mike R. Dec 20, 2001 07:13 AM

                  It's a wild street festival held (usually the second weekend of) every JUNE along the length of Ferry Street in Newark's Ironbound district...which is steps from Newark's Penn Station, last stop on the PATH.

                  I've been to at least 10 of these...the streets are lined with charcoal grills, using the authentic LUMP charcoal, no briquettes, and grilling butterflied marinated chicken and FRESH FLOWN-IN SARDINES directly off the mornings T.A.P. flights for the occasion...while the "Day" lasts all weekend, Saturday Night and Sunday afternoon, when they have the grand parade are the best bets...'cause the action is hot...those wall-to-wall BBQ grills raise the ambient degrees at least by five and in 1988, it felt like 125 in the shade.
                  Come salivating, 'cause there is a healthy selection of the above PLUS chouricos, ribs and (as authentic as it gets this side of Iberia) Leitao - roast suckling pig.
                  Make your bread "broa" and watch the parade with an ice cold Sagres beer in hand; Head to Coutinho's pastry shop or Texeira's (if you can find it) for some 'pasteis de nata', delicate egg custard cups.

                  It's daylight out until 8:15 or so, which makes for a "longest day" syndrome, but I tell you, it's one of my favorite parties of the year...heavy on the pheremones.

                  For every-day (nothing-fancy, but GOOD)Portuguese fare, head to the end of Ferry Street, where it meets Wilson Avenue, flare off to the left one block and try the "Pic-Nic"...also good when paired up with a trip to the Newark Museum, and a Subway ride(actually a trolley)to BranchBrookPark and the old Cathedral where the Pope visited a couple years back.

                  MINEOLA has a hot corner for Portuguese as well, at Jericho Turnpike and Willis Avenue; Churrascaria Bairrada has most of the above, with excellent fries...pick up reasonably-priced vinho verde at the adjoining wine store, then shop at the grocery across the Turnpike, on Willis Avenue...excellent olive-oil selection at low,low prices.

                  Let me know what happens! Bom dia!

            2. j
              JessicaSophia Dec 18, 2001 01:32 PM

              where is it? and what are the prices like?

              1. b
                bean Dec 18, 2001 06:35 PM

                "Some friends have told me good things about this place. Tried to do a search but I couldn't access past posts. Can anyone tell me about it?
                Also looking to go somewhere for dinner on New Years Eve. Any recommendations? We live in Brooklyn, but don't mind traveling as long as the food is worth it.""

                because it's called: bistro st. marks. we had the same problem. ate there a few weeks ago and had a pleasant meal. we were sent a complimentary app. of a grilled sardine and then each tried a different entree. i'm sad to tell you i can't remember exactly what we had but we enjoyed it. it was professional but not snotty. not inexpensive but along the lines of al di la.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bean
                  Zephyr Dec 19, 2001 08:36 AM

                  I have to disagree regarding the Al Di La comparison. Other than the different cuisines (which we all realize), Bistro St. Mark's is considerably pricier and, in my opinion anyway, far less distinguished.

                2. b
                  Barb. H. Dec 24, 2001 02:00 PM

                  I ate here three times during the months of Oct. and Nov. I and all my guests (4 different people, one a chef at a good Manhattan restaurant) were all quite pleased.

                  The first time I went, we were early--they hadn't opened for dinner yet, but we were invited to come in and have a drink at the bar until then. I found them then, and ever since, to be friendly and the service good, if just a tad slow at times.

                  If you go (and if you're in the nabe, you should), DON'T miss the beef cheeks--meltingly soft, intensely flavored, on a bed of mashed potatoes... I've had it twice and loved it both times. Other dishes we enjoyed include duck prosciutto, scallops with fresh pasta, chocolate truffles and tarte tatin. The venison was a bit dry and the sardines a bit fishy and bony for our taste, but I'm not sure if that's the nature of fresh sardines or the preparation.

                  It's owned by two Frenchmen; one is the chef (who last worked at Bouley) and the other takes care of the front of the house. They're both hospitable.

                  The prices are reasonable for this kind of food--certainly the beef cheeks cost less than they would at Bouley-- though they are higher than in this neighborhood in general. The thing to keep in mind is that when I eat a meal like this, I usually have to get on a train and travel to get home--I walk home from here. That is, there aren't few restaurants in Park Slope that are this good--it's all relative!

                  I'm planning to go back--more than once.

                  Happy Holidays to all!

                  1. h
                    homer Jan 14, 2002 02:17 PM

                    Thought the food was good enough, but everything on the menu should have been a couple bucks cheaper for what you were getting. A friend ordered the steak frites-type item on the menu and the fries were luke-warm. a major faux pas.

                    1. j
                      jen kalb Jan 14, 2002 09:10 PM

                      St. Marks Bistro is a solid restaurant with tasty, satisfying food and offers reasonable value for money.
                      We thought the steak frites were a terrific value, and have enjoyed each of our visits, with different items standing out on different occasions.

                      Every time that people complain about prices of a Brooklyn restaurant, I wonder why they think they should pay less for a fine meal near home than in Manhattan. It was many, many years before Park Slope supported a successful restaurant of quality. Now we have several and I am just SO grateful.

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