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overrated restaurants

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i thought this to be an interesting topic. of course the views will vary. just curious to see if we can get some consensus. i have some views. tell me why you think the way you do about a certain place...

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  1. wd-50: I was under-impressed with the portions, flavors and the bread bakset.
    Prune: I don't understand the big draw to this place. I found the service to be bad and the food to be worse.
    Alias: One of the worst brunches that I've ever had. I will say that their orange juice was out-of-this-world, however.

    9 Replies
    1. re: LFeinberg

      Sorry, Must disagree with anyone on WD-50. Slow poached egg appetizer with chorizo essence and black olive powder was amazing. Ditto the porc belly main which had been brined 4 days and cooked at 155 for 24 hours. Also unlike many of the other restaurants in this thread, I felt the price was more than fair.

      1. re: oliver_selwyn

        I will agree with the original poster's disappointment with WD50. We never even got the bread basket so I can't speak to that, but 15 minutes to get a menu and an hour for our food was ridiculous - we would have walked out but were too hungry not to stay ... the entrees were TINY, and while the flavors were decent, I was really disappointed overall, since I had been looking forward to the meal for months. They even missed one dish we ordered and charged us for it on the bill...

        1. re: hewn

          I've eaten here four times in the last year and it has got steadily better. The July tasting menu is great and I've always had good service there. The complaints I hear about this restaurant don't make any sense to me.

      2. re: LFeinberg

        Agree on Prune. Was very unimpressed when we went there with the food and the atmosphere. Couldnt see what could possibly cause all the hype.

        1. re: Nehna

          I like the food at Prune just fine, but I really hated sitting in my neighbor's lap! the tables are so close together that going to the bathroom is impossible, and you are forced to hear the conversations at all the tables around you.

          Not pleasant.

        2. re: LFeinberg

          I'm not enamored with PRUNE, the place is overrated and the staff rush you out as fast as possible. It seems that they want to get people in and out asap to make a buck. The neighbors frowned at us as we waited far too long outside, what do they know that we don't?

          1. re: LFeinberg

            wd-50: ditto on portions and bread. I mean the bread is amazing but its such an additional tease to the meals other portions.
            .......and every steakhouse in Manhattan that could care less about the rest of the meal which are too many to list.

            1. re: LFeinberg

              I agree with the WD-50 posting - I was also incredibly disappointed. I didn't think the food was particularly outstanding and the portions were RIDICULOUSLY small, esp for the prices! Shame...

              1. re: LFeinberg

                Totally in agreement on Prune. Had a meal there a few days ago and both appetizer and main course were totally drowned in cream, as if shoddy ingedients needed to somehow be masked. I was dissapointed because I'v enjoyed dinner there many times before, but I always got the whole roasted fish. If I return, I'll go with that dish so i don't waste $50 on a pint of cream again...

              2. Tomoe Sushi and Poke - mixed reviews on CH, but I've tried both and think that, lower prices not withstanding, they are still overrated for the price and the mediocre sushi.

                Pastis & Schiller's - not worth the wait and at least, in the case of Pastis, not worth the prices that are marginally lower that Balthazar's.

                8 Replies
                1. re: MMRuth

                  schillers is bad, i think pastis is always good. i know i am in the minority on this site with them...

                  1. re: jsmitty

                    It's not that Pastis, IMHO, is bad - more that for just a little bit more money, I think Balthazar is a lot better.

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      ok

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        Is Balhazar better for Saturday lunch or sunday brunch in your opinion? Thank you!

                    2. re: MMRuth

                      TOMOE SUSHI - most definitely and by far the most overrated restaurant I have been to.

                      1. re: nokitsch

                        Really, that's not how it used to be. I first started eating there about five years ago, when it really was excellent. The quality has dropped precipitously.

                      2. re: MMRuth

                        Tomoe used to be very good. I was there recently and it was just ordinary. I noticed that the older guy sushi chef was not there. I suspect the change in sushi chef made a big difference.

                        1. re: MMRuth

                          I want to retract my opinion about Poke being overrated - went this summer and the rolls were very good and the new place is v. good looking. Sashimi was definitely eh though.

                        2. What are yours, Smitty?

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: LFeinberg

                            Bouley
                            Craft
                            Perry Street
                            Il Buco
                            Jovia
                            Tabla
                            WD-50

                            those come to mind...

                            1. re: jsmitty

                              Ooh, I can't agree on Bouley. I think it's a marvel. Nor, I have to say, on Tabla, which I think is excellent in every way.

                              WD-50, is another matter, and I agree with you.

                              - Sean

                              1. re: jsmitty

                                Totally disagree on Tabla - the only downside to the place is the noise level - food is fabulous!

                                1. re: aimeezing1

                                  much like il buco referenced below, we ate multiple things and consensus at the table was "eh" for tabla

                                2. re: jsmitty

                                  I must disagree re: Il Buco. I had a lovely meal there and the prices were not outrageous.

                                  1. re: rfelicello

                                    whatever the prices are not one of 8 of us were impressed. i was , although, impressed with the room at il buco. food needs flavor at a very basic level. il buco fell short... i came to this conclusion and was comfortable only after trying multiple dishes. i think it is incomplete to judge a restaurant on main and appetizer solely.

                                  2. re: jsmitty

                                    i can agree with some of these but haven't tried il buco, perry st. or bouley ... i did think that craftbar was just as good/better (and nicer service too) than craft and 1/2 the price, and the portions were bigger...

                                    1. re: jsmitty

                                      Totally agree with Il Buco. Indifferent service, and they often don't have have many of the items advertised on their menu.

                                      1. re: jsmitty

                                        I'm with you on Perry Street. Went for lunch last year for my mom's birthday and was the only unimpressed person at the table. Went again this weekned for Mother's Day (she cleaerly love it and anything else Jean Georges) and was again highly unimpressed (and left feeling not too well). Its a shame because I like most of his other resturants...

                                        I have to disagree on Bouley - I think the food there is just beautiful. The service on the other hand...Again this one was a shame, because whenever I go to Danube I'm sooooooo impressed by it.

                                        1. re: rdflig

                                          i would love to change my view of bouley with a return visit. however, as i have said in other posts, i willl only opine in a forceful fashion after having sampled a lot of dishes at a restaurant. i had the tasting menu at bouley and was not wowed!

                                    2. Boqueria. The idea of tapas in the US is another story altogether -- but I think this place is severely overhyped and overpriced.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: chowcito

                                        Agreed. Ate there last weekend and could not understand the thrill. However, will say the once exception was the bacon wrapped grilled stuffed dates. Those were excellent.

                                        1. re: chowcito

                                          I am so glad you said that. Went with hubby and 2 other friends a few weeks ago and I would say it goes down as one of our all-time worst dining experiences ever. I was really looking forward to it after all the buzz and felt totally duped. Rude, harried, and absent-when-we-needed-them service and we all hated most of the food. We got some kind of shrimp in a skillet which came out totally raw. Even the waiter said, "Eww" when we showed him. No bueno.

                                          1. re: chowcito

                                            Agree 100%. The food was so-so (I make better bacon-wrapped dates!), and the service was awful. The waitress spilled a salad all over the table, up her arm, and simply replaced it in the bowl at our table with no apologies. I'd much rather go to Sala 19 down the street for better food and far superior service.

                                            1. re: chowcito

                                              Totally agree-- its a fine place for the usual tapas rip off, but didn't think it was anything special.

                                            2. Dos Caminos - I have had Taco Bell meals that were more satisfying and the service is consistenly terrible
                                              City Crab - Never have had a meal there where there wasnt at least one dish that was unedible
                                              Agave - Even worse that Dos Caminos.

                                              36 Replies
                                              1. re: princeofpork

                                                Craft would be my first choice with Perry Street being right up there are overpriced and not good enough. I've also never enjoyed any of the tasting menus, which I've mostly had at various incarnations of Bouley. And I'd throw in Danube as another pricey place we didn't enjoy at all. I like this thread and think the opposite (great deals) would be a good idea also.

                                                1. re: tsiblis

                                                  oh my lord you are speaking my language i love you for saying craft, bouley and perry street are underwhelming...those were three i was going to list. expectations were high, yummy factor not so high...

                                                  1. re: jsmitty

                                                    I third, or fourth, the opinion of Craft. One of the most underwhelming meals I've ever had the misfortune of paying 3 figures for. The whole gimmick with the sides is annoying and the service was insulting. Just because the chef is famous is not a reason for the waiter to be snotty or the food to be mediocre.
                                                    Speaking of famous chefs, but this may just be too easy, Mesa Grill is not worth going into at all. Maybe it was good once, a very long time ago, but now it's just plain dull. It's like eating at Chevy's.

                                                    1. re: Gnu23

                                                      yes the service at craft was so surprisingly aloof and amateurish.

                                                      1. re: Gnu23

                                                        I echo all your Craft sentiments.

                                                        1. re: kiworan79

                                                          Add my vote for Craft. Worst anniversary dinner experience yet, and the costliest too. Fish with sour apple sauce?!? C'mon! The only saving grace were the hot donuts with chocolate and cherry sauces. Too bad it's not like Otto (also overrated for food but sublime gelato) where you can just get dessert at the bar.

                                                          Also way over-hyped, but less of a ripoff comparatively: Shake Shack. Take it from a midwesterner - those aren't real dogs, and that definitely isn't real custard. And yet, every summer I get dragged by tourist friends, and I order in the hopes that one day it will magically transform into actual frozen custard (which you can turn upside down) instead of the glop they serve. And my low expectations are always, always confirmed.

                                                          Another friend from Milwaukee (where they do custard right) calls it the "shake down shack" - so true!

                                                          1. re: windycity

                                                            Hey, I'm from St. Louis, home of the Concrete, and Shake Shack is the real deal. The only real difference between this and the standard St. Louis concrete is that Shake Shack uses much larger ingredient chunks in their mix-ins.

                                                            1. re: Andrew Hyatt

                                                              It's no Ted Drewes.

                                                        2. re: Gnu23

                                                          I am SO with you on Mesa Grill. I ate at one of Bobby Flay's restaurants years ago when he was just becoming a famous chef - it was on the Upper East Side and has since closed - and the food was great. I never seemed to get around to trying Mesa Grill and always wanted to, finally got around to it last summer. Oh boy, that was one seriously disappointing and expensive meal. All of us at the table chewed thoughtfully not wanting to spoil anyone else's good time so we didn't say anything, but looking at all our faces in retrospect, the mood was funereal for sure. Waaaaay too serious for a group of people enjoying their meals. Afterwards we all found out we had the same opinion. I'd go back for a quick lunch of Sophie's Salad, though.

                                                          1. re: ballulah

                                                            I found that Mesa Grill is best when you order a bunch of appetizers to share. The flavors are wonderful and the round of appetizers reasonable as a meal. Rarely do I order an entree there unless it sounds amazing, and then I like to share it too!

                                                            1. re: ny.frenchfry

                                                              I agree with that. We like to sit at the bar and have a few appetizers if we're in that neighborhood. The main courses used to be really good (years ago). But the few I've tried more recently (in the past year or so) were nothing to coo over.

                                                    2. re: princeofpork

                                                      agreed

                                                      1. re: jsmitty

                                                        Thought of one more;
                                                        Dylan Prime - what is worse the food or service

                                                        1. re: princeofpork

                                                          it's always been on my list shall i scratch it off?

                                                          1. re: jsmitty

                                                            definitely scratch it off. terrible.

                                                            1. re: kiworan79

                                                              There are so many better places for Steak than Dylan Prime I don't know where to start.

                                                          2. re: princeofpork

                                                            Dylan Prime, ugh. That place is like Friendly's. It calls itself a serious restaurant and serves fishbowl cocktails, as well as a t-bone "steak" made of white chocolate and cake for dessert. I've got to say, though - our service was pretty good.

                                                            1. re: princeofpork

                                                              My husband and I had great steaks and cocktails at DP. Service was good too.

                                                              1. re: princeofpork

                                                                Dylan Prime was SUPER unimpressive, especially for the huge amt. of money it cost. I kinda like Prune... can't go too wrong with all that animal fat.

                                                              2. re: jsmitty

                                                                Whew! Craft has long been on my wish list. Thanks for saving me the time and money.

                                                                Vong is topping my list of overrated places right now. I should have listened to you hounds and not gone there but...circumstances beyond my control.

                                                                I disagree with negative review of Agave. At the advice of hounds, I recently spent a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon there with several mates. Food and drinks yummy. A bit drafty, and we were moved to another table immediately.

                                                                1. re: fershore

                                                                  Don't cross Craft off your list just based on one person's rec. Most people like Craft.

                                                                  However, +1 for Vong being overrated. Hell, last time I checked, it had a Michelin Star. What a joke! JGV must have those guys wrapped around his finger to pull down a star for that mediocre joint.

                                                                  1. re: jakew8

                                                                    One person's rec? There are at least 6 or 7 people here who feel Craft is way overrated. I wish it was just me...I wanted it to be good but, for the money, it just plain sucked.

                                                                    1. re: Gnu23

                                                                      OK, then don't judge it on 6 or 7 peoples' recs. Judge it for yourself, keeping in mind that it has far more fans than detractors.

                                                                    2. re: jakew8

                                                                      I agree -- don't cross Craft off your list. It's one of my top 3 upscale meals in the city, so my advice is to try it and judge for yourself.

                                                                      1. re: a_and_w

                                                                        one of my top 3 disappointments along with perry street, bouley and il buco.....

                                                                        1. re: jsmitty

                                                                          Yes, I read that -- sounds like our preferences are precisely opposite. (I like Bouley and WD-50 but have never been to Perry Street.) What are some places in that price range that you like?

                                                                          1. re: a_and_w

                                                                            jean georges
                                                                            babbo
                                                                            cru
                                                                            tasting room
                                                                            annisa
                                                                            ouest
                                                                            cafe gray
                                                                            fr.og(went last night it was great)
                                                                            a voce
                                                                            degustation
                                                                            gramercy tavern
                                                                            veritas(maybe my fave of the bunch)

                                                                            oh, i should add l'impero to the disappointing list forgot them....

                                                                            1. re: jsmitty

                                                                              Damn, our preferences aren't all that different after all. Babbo's my top high end meal and I'm right with you on GT, Veritas, and Annisa (though only Veritas would make my top 5). So much for that theory!

                                                                              1. re: jsmitty

                                                                                totally forgot about my disapointing meal at cafe grey - shame. Cru is on my list, is it really not worth it?

                                                                  2. re: princeofpork

                                                                    i would go as far to say that dos caminos (soho that is) was one of the most memorably awful meals i've eaten in nyc...

                                                                    1. re: princeofpork

                                                                      Can't say I agree with those three restaurants as overhyped, poor restaurants, sure, but not overhyped. I can't recall anyone saying anything positive about them.

                                                                      1. re: princeofpork

                                                                        I disagree on Dos Caminos - at least, on the service. Had the best service ever at the SoHo location. I actually left a 25% tip.

                                                                        1. re: piccola

                                                                          the service may be fine, but the food sucks

                                                                        2. re: princeofpork

                                                                          On City Crab - I found the cervice to be awful, maybe we just had a bad apple a 50 soomething disaapointed actor type.

                                                                          1. re: princeofpork

                                                                            Agree with you on both Dos Caminos and Agave. Unfortunately for me I have two (yes two) bachellorette party dinners there this week. One tonight for a work friend and one Saturday for my cousin. blech! At least its a nice night, so maybe the margaritas will be refreshing...

                                                                            1. re: princeofpork

                                                                              City Crab is terrible. I'm not sure that it's overhyped as I don't think it has much of a reputation at all.

                                                                            2. Schillers - always bad service, and food is mediocre to poor (i don't feel that way about Pastis though)

                                                                              Momofuku (not ssam) - bland noodles, oversalting everything, too expensive for what it is.
                                                                              Vong/Spice market - tries too hard and frankly, aren't all that interesting.

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: kayonyc

                                                                                THANK YOU for bringing up Spice Market...the food was completely mediocre, at best!

                                                                                1. re: LFeinberg

                                                                                  second that. spice market is overrated.

                                                                                2. re: kayonyc

                                                                                  interesting i like momofuku, but think the ssam bar is a shade overrated.

                                                                                  1. re: kayonyc

                                                                                    Momofuku. What a fraud. Glitzed up overly fashionable overly loud noodle bar with terrible noodles. There are several places in NYC that are better, and this isn't even a good city for noodles.

                                                                                    1. re: kayonyc

                                                                                      yeah, since when does a noodle house get to even ASK for that kind of $$? I thought it was ridiculous. There are better noodles in China & Koreatowns ... In fact, I think most of the mediocre noodles in Chinatown are better than Momofuku.

                                                                                      Ssam, on the other hand, was terrific. Pricy, for the portions, but the pork was really amazing, incredible breads, too.

                                                                                      1. re: hewn

                                                                                        blech, momofuku. i keep thinking that maybe i'm wrong, because so many people seem to like it, but every time i go i can't finish even 1/4 of the ramen - so soggy and bland. but i do enjoy their pork buns and their pickled seasonal vegetables. they are, however, seriously overpriced.

                                                                                    2. Stanton Social. Overpriced and basically just tarted up junk food -- oversalted, mushy and no subtlety. Those onion soup dumplings are a particularly vile invention created for people whose palates were trained at chilis.

                                                                                      I agree the food at Schiller's ain't great, but it's got great atmosphere, so I enjoy going there. Count me in with the Dos Caminos haters.

                                                                                      1. Pastis. The only reason why its famous is because its impossible to get into and a lot of celebrities eat there. Honestly, the food is good, but its nothing I would go out of my way for or make a reservation months in advance for! Balthazar is a much better option. Its a scene, but the food is really good.

                                                                                        1. My picks of overrated (which probably include some of others' favorites...):

                                                                                          - Stanton Social, Agrave, Schillers, Norma, Prune (the brunch), Rosa Mexicano, Spice Market, Pastis, Jewel Bako, sushi at Blue Ribbons, Lure Fishbar, New Green Bo, Jing Fong

                                                                                          Probably will come up with more....

                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: kobetobiko

                                                                                            rosa mexicano and norma's are good choices. i thought normas was perfectly ok, but not transcendent......

                                                                                            1. re: jsmitty

                                                                                              i agree with stanton social and normas. went to normas for brunch once, thought it was just huge portions of overly rich, yet bland food. stanton social didn't do anything for me at all.

                                                                                              1. re: twiggles

                                                                                                I liked, not loved, Stanton Social on my only visit there.

                                                                                                But Norma's is definitely overrated. It's fine. So overpriced. On the brunch note, I don't really care for Sarabeth's either and I never did understand the crowds there. I'd rather go to a regular diner.

                                                                                                1. re: twiggles

                                                                                                  Totally agree on Norma's. It's also overpriced. I don't need $17.00 French Toast that could feed 5 people.

                                                                                              2. re: kobetobiko

                                                                                                Agree about Blue Ribbon Sushi. I went once and it was enough. Fishy smell as I walked in, and pretty bad food. The fish tasted like the last time it was alive was in a different eon. I actually had to force myself to finish the sushi I got, even though I was really hungry.

                                                                                                1. re: ow77

                                                                                                  Wow - that's very different from my experiences. I go 2-3 times a month and have never had a problem with the fish.

                                                                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                    It was late night on the weekend before Christmas, so maybe they couldn't have get get fresh fish because of the holidays. I know many people like it but it will be a long time before I'll go there again.

                                                                                                  2. re: ow77

                                                                                                    I also go the Blue Ribbon Sushi (Sullivan St) two/three times a month. It is always fabulous. There is such turnover there it is difficult to imagine that the fish has time to get old.

                                                                                                    1. re: ow77

                                                                                                      Huh... I LOVE Blue Ribbon Sushi. I know everyone's mom warns you about places that smell like fish, but this is a different story entirely. A place is allowed to smell like GOOD fish. I HAVE had transcendent sushi there.

                                                                                                    2. re: kobetobiko

                                                                                                      I ate once at Blue Ribbon sushi. The fish was not fresh enough. Mediocre.

                                                                                                      On the other hand, New Green Bo was great. Maybe it depends on what you order.

                                                                                                    3. Otto. If I were Battali, I would not want my name associated with this place. The salads were mediocre, the pizza was tasteless and charred,and the famous olive oil gelatto was good, but not great. The best part of the meal was the truffle honey that came with the cheese plate.
                                                                                                      Thanks goodness it is not expensive.

                                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Honey Bee

                                                                                                        Goodness, yes. I live in the Bronx and have eaten better pizza at Patricia's (of course, one trip to Otto was all I could afford so I don't have a wide sample). However, the bartender is not overrated. My second trip I ordered fennel salad and a cheese plate. Seeing that I was probably ordering scantily out of lack of money (I was dressed nicely, but I bet the vets can tell right off), the bartender supplied extra cheese, generous refills of truffle honey oil, and an extra free glass of wine. And he's an interesting guy to talk to

                                                                                                        1. re: Honey Bee

                                                                                                          No kidding re: Otto. The pizza wasn't bad, but it really wasn't that good. Definitely not worth the long wait and the higher prices.

                                                                                                          1. re: Honey Bee

                                                                                                            Otto is the Cheesecake Factory with tomato sauce atop it.

                                                                                                            1. re: sing me a bar

                                                                                                              Otto doesn't claim to be anything more than Batali for the masses. It's cheap and accessible for the hordes of tourists that pass through NYC and don't have the patience, bucks or palate for Babbo. The pizza is lousy, but it's still better than what you get in most of the country. I never hear anyone rave about Otto, so I don't see how it could be overrated.

                                                                                                              And to be fair, the wine list and the olive oil gelato are pretty damn good.

                                                                                                              1. re: oolah

                                                                                                                Ouch. I think you just insulted me and my friends (all of whom live in NYC) for eating there. I know that Otto has received mixed reviews on this board, but it receives plenty of press, attracts a crowd and has implied credibility because of its association with Babbo and Batali. When you look at those three things and compare them to the food quality, you get a formula for something that is overrated.
                                                                                                                I will agree with you on the wine list, but I found that the olive oil gelatto did not live up to its reputation.

                                                                                                                1. re: Honey Bee

                                                                                                                  i actually like otto, but you have to take it for what it is- 'good' not great pastas, pizzas, cured meats, and great olive oil gelatto. it's actually a good place for a festive group, especially one that is on a budget. and yes the wine list is great.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Honey Bee

                                                                                                                    I agree, Honey Bee. I too live in NYC and tried Otto after reading the good (and not so good) reviews, most of which were by NY hounds. When I was there and ate at the bar, nearly everyone knew and chatted with the bartender, implying regular visits. I saw nobody that screamed tourist. I think Babbo has more tourists, being a highly touted destination dining spot and on every concierge's speed dial.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Honey Bee

                                                                                                                      Sorry Honey Bee. No offense intended -- I eat there occasionally too, just most often with out of town guests. They get a kick out of saying they ate at a Batali place and I get to drink good wine. It's a good deal. (And that truffle honey dip for the cheese is tasty too!)

                                                                                                                    2. re: oolah

                                                                                                                      While the pizza and pasta are pretty mediocore, the salads, antipasta, cheese plates, wine, and gelato are excellent and a relative bargain at Otto.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Honey Bee

                                                                                                                    Agreed. Otto was awful when I went. Bland food and laughable service. (had to laugh or i'd cry) Tabla, Pastis, Rosa Mexicano, and Boqueria are also on my list.

                                                                                                                    1. re: fat parish

                                                                                                                      Otto can be good, but you have to be strategic about it. We wrote a piece a few weeks back outlining a plan for eating there, and I stand by it--you can avoid much of the awful service and just go straight in for the good stuff on the menu if you're crafty about it.

                                                                                                                      Nosher

                                                                                                                      NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

                                                                                                                      1. re: Nosher

                                                                                                                        I'm an Otto defender. The heirloom caprese is simple, profound and divine, as is the asparagus goat cheese pizza. Cheese plates are wonderful. Order simply.

                                                                                                                  3. L'Impero, A Voce, Danube, Degustation, Schillers, Strip House, Freemans, Cookshop

                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Lucia

                                                                                                                      a voce, strip house and degustation i could not disagree more strongly with...
                                                                                                                      l'impero yes

                                                                                                                      1. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                        Also strongly diagree. Degustation is amazing.

                                                                                                                        1. re: roze

                                                                                                                          I strongly agree that L'Impero is overrated.
                                                                                                                          Perhaps, with the forthcoming change in the kitchen, it'll actually churn out better dishes that's worth their price.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Lucia

                                                                                                                        Completely agree on Cookshop. I don't get it.

                                                                                                                        Also on Otto, but that's been the subject of a lot of discussion (mostly anti) here in the past.

                                                                                                                        - Sean

                                                                                                                        1. re: Sean Dell

                                                                                                                          yep, Cookshop's on the list too.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Lucia

                                                                                                                          Degustation and Freeman's are both GREAT and, I think, exactly what they claim to be.

                                                                                                                          1. re: beck

                                                                                                                            i agree, degustation is great. i've been a few times, and haven't had anything less than amazing food.

                                                                                                                            1. re: twiggles

                                                                                                                              Ditto - I love Degustation. Never have been disappointed.

                                                                                                                              1. re: burton

                                                                                                                                All I remember of Degustation was clumsy service, tiny space, okay food. So, in the intersted of comprehensiveness, since it appears every restaurant in Manhattan is on (or soon will be on) the list, let me add Degustation.

                                                                                                                                1. re: jasmurph

                                                                                                                                  While I take your point about the service (variable) and the space (tight) at Degustation, I find the food mostly superb and am always delighted to return. No one in my party has ever expressed the slightest hint of disappointment. Sorry it didn't work for you (and some others it seems).

                                                                                                                        3. Spark's, Shake Shack

                                                                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: LFeinberg

                                                                                                                            hmm? i like both a lot

                                                                                                                            1. re: LFeinberg

                                                                                                                              Sushi of Gari - sushi was great, but I thought it was overrated. At $130 per person, I expected to be more blown away.

                                                                                                                              Gramercy Tavern - I can't even remember what I ate.

                                                                                                                              Eleven Madison Park - I know this is a favorite on this board, but I had brunch there and was not impressed. Maybe their dinner is better, but their brunch menu was very limited and the food was just ok.

                                                                                                                              1. re: eleguin

                                                                                                                                have you eaten at gramercy with the new chef?
                                                                                                                                emp is very good, but has this life of it's own on chound
                                                                                                                                gari was one of the most memorablemeals i've eaten in nyc
                                                                                                                                so creative and fresh. $130 is not horrible for great food

                                                                                                                                1. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                  Re EMP. I had a great meal there one evening and was talking with my waiter right before closing. I inquired about brunch and he said it was good, but the one aspect of the menu they have left the same. So I do not think Humm has touched brunch and would go back for dinner.

                                                                                                                                2. re: eleguin

                                                                                                                                  Give Gramercy another try, I'm echoing jsmitty's question, have you been recently since the change of chef? I can describe in detail what I had there last week and it was marvelous.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ballulah

                                                                                                                                    Had the most wonderful lunch at GT last week under the new chef. You must try the chicken liver, and the amazing scallops. New combos are delish.

                                                                                                                                    Don't get me started about the horrid horrid service at Otto. if it is Batali for the masses let them have it.

                                                                                                                                3. re: LFeinberg

                                                                                                                                  No defense of Stanto Social. I am shocked.
                                                                                                                                  Shake Shack may be the most overrated of them all.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: princeofpork

                                                                                                                                    Not a New Yorker. But my sister lives in the city. Whenever I visit from Boston we go out to as many places as possible. I was not impressed (based on her recommendations) with Momofuku (Although I liked the Pork Buns) and Spice Market.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: princeofpork

                                                                                                                                      I know, I know...the place is one of my favorites and never disappoints!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: princeofpork

                                                                                                                                        Shake Shack has horrible hamburgers! I don't get the good press at all.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: LFeinberg

                                                                                                                                        OK--I am 100% in agreement that Sparks and Shake shack are overrated. Way overhyped...I make a better steak than Sparks all day long...

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ora

                                                                                                                                          Amen, Ora!

                                                                                                                                      3. katz's deli deserves a spot here.

                                                                                                                                        22 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                          including the pastrami?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                            it's pretty good. nothing more.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                              i tend to agree

                                                                                                                                              1. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                                me too! i always thought i was nuts!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: ballulah

                                                                                                                                                  babbo and most things batalli
                                                                                                                                                  danube (post mario)
                                                                                                                                                  stanton social (are people too drunk to notice the food?)
                                                                                                                                                  5 9th
                                                                                                                                                  Craft (stop with the sides and sauce nonsense)
                                                                                                                                                  Spotted Pig (the food isn't awful but the wait and a lot of the people are)
                                                                                                                                                  BLT Fish (the WORST meal I've ever had in NYC)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: psp

                                                                                                                                                    babbo still works for deb, chris and me. all-in-all, a terrific dinner destination. we're also partial to lupa (i like solo lunch there) and casa mono. esca is a worthwhile destination: crudo and the spaghetti neri make for a fine meal. bottom line? i'm ok with batali's restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: psp

                                                                                                                                                      Omg, yes--BLT Fish! I've had better at Arthur Treachers. Agree also with Elequin on Eleven Madison Park. Would add Le Bernardin, Telepan, Momofuku (but I admire David Chang's experimental nature--it just doesn't work for me), Cho Dang Gol and Kunjip

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gloriousfood

                                                                                                                                                        I def. agree on kunjip, momofuku.

                                                                                                                                                        Does this mean i should cancel my reservations for telepan this Saturday?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kayonyc

                                                                                                                                                          Many Chowhounders like this place, so it's a matter of personal taste. I just did not find the food to be anything better than "good" (and for all the praises it has received and at those prices, I expect much more), the service lagged and was uneven, the atmosphere on the stuffy side (see cimui's post below--"dull" describes it too).

                                                                                                                                                          But I think you should try it out yourself to see what you think and then report back.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kayonyc

                                                                                                                                                            absolutely not. you will love the food...

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: gloriousfood

                                                                                                                                                            Can't agree with kunjip as overhyped. It's service leaves much to be desired, but the food is good and at a good price. Plus it's open 24-7!

                                                                                                                                                          3. re: psp

                                                                                                                                                            I can't call Babbo overrated as I only been once. But I will say I tried a large portion of the menu on that first visit and walked out baffled over the accolades.

                                                                                                                                                            I will give them the benefit of the doubt as it was apparent to me the kitchen was stressed. Yet I'm not in a hurry to return.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: psp

                                                                                                                                                              BLT fish is

                                                                                                                                                              a) disgusting - 2 or 3 day old fish?
                                                                                                                                                              b) overpriced
                                                                                                                                                              c) slow & rude service
                                                                                                                                                              d) just not very good in general

                                                                                                                                                              I have heard BLT steak is pretty tasty though but have not tried it

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                          Yikes! Whose pastrami do you like better?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                            i am usually a corned beef person, but after sampling the pastrami at katzs, i have never been able to eat anything there other than that, or have i managed to find a better deli meat. If anyone has any recomendations for better pastrami or great corned beef i cant wait to hear. their hotdogs aint half bad either.
                                                                                                                                                            i thought second ave deli was overrated but i guess thats y they r shut down.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chimp

                                                                                                                                                              No. Sorry. They closed due to a massive rent increase. Check your facts before knocking an institution:
                                                                                                                                                              http://www.gothamist.com/2006/01/06/2...
                                                                                                                                                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_A...
                                                                                                                                                              P.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Polecat

                                                                                                                                                                fair enough, but that place is definately my personal "most overrated", it wasn't just good, but not close to the hype like alot of the places on this post....it was just bad, i dont care if it was good a long time ago, it was not even good at all the last several years of it being open

                                                                                                                                                                i tried eating there so many times b/c people sang its praise, but it was definately living off a reputation that was made a long time ago

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: chimp

                                                                                                                                                                Pastrami Queen. Lexington Ave. around E. 77-78. East side of street.
                                                                                                                                                                Artie's. Broadway and W. 82.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: asnet

                                                                                                                                                                  Was Artie's sold sometime in the last couple of years or so? We used to enjoy some of the food there, but I have not seen the owner there the last few times that we went, and the food quality has fallen.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                                              you're ALL nuts. Katz's has best pastrami on the planet.

                                                                                                                                                            3. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                              The service is horrible. I really miss Second Avenue Deli.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                the pastrami at Katz's is the best. Every time. The corn beef is dry.

                                                                                                                                                              2. Country.

                                                                                                                                                                Nothing bad about the place, though nothing great either.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Agree with everyone who mentioned Craft -- most disappointing birthday dinner of my life.

                                                                                                                                                                  EU, which is more overhyped than overrated, but my worst dinner this year by far.

                                                                                                                                                                  And.... don't shoot me... Balthazar. It doesn't remind me of being in Paris. It reminds me of being in SoHo (the modern era tourist mall SoHo, that is).

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Elaine Snutteplutten

                                                                                                                                                                    Couldn't agree more about the EU. It was also the worst dinner I have had this year. Overpriced, the food is totally mediocre, and the service is spotty. The only thing I liked about the restaurant was the design.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Elaine Snutteplutten

                                                                                                                                                                      I am totally with you on Balthazar. I did like the atmosphere, but my brunch there was totally unexceptional. I had a flavorless omelet, most corner diners do a better job. Maybe dinner is better, but geez.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Yama. Yep, the sushi there is really...big. Not good. Just big.

                                                                                                                                                                      Also have never found a bowl of soup noodles that really thrilled me, despite following the raves to SuperTaste, Rai Rai Ken, Bo Ky, Momofuku & Pho Bang (among many, many others).

                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                        Raves over Bo Ky? I think it's a solidly good, dependable Chao Zhou noodle soup joint with very quick service, neither more nor less.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Pan

                                                                                                                                                                          And you would be correct. If I could remember the names of the several sites that rated it "best seafood noodle soup" in Manhattan, I'd shame them here.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                            i really love bo ky's fishball noodle soup. what you have to do is pile a whole ton of their special chili sauce on each bite of the fish balls, and let the extra chili sauce mix with the broth. but it really isn't a thrilling meal, more of a good comfort food. it makes me think of my childhood, when i hated fishballs, and how odd it is that i love them now. if i could i would rewind and allow my grandma to feed them to me.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Telepan. Everyone loves it. I think it's dull. My sister (who loves it like her first-born child) has already expressed her great shock and mumbled about my lack of discernment.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Bouley: I kept thinking to myself throughout the tasting menu that, water is not a sauce, water is not a sauce.................

                                                                                                                                                                          Otto: Though I have had some good gelato there.

                                                                                                                                                                          Have to disagree with Craft based on an excellent tasting menu that I had there during truffle season. The entire meal was great foodwise, though I did not care for any of their wine choices.

                                                                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MIKELOCK34

                                                                                                                                                                            Agreed with you on Craft, and I also had tasting menu. Do you think there could be a big difference between ordering a la carte and tasting menu at Craft? Because it appears that everyone who ordered a la carted found it overrated, while my tasting menu was absolutely delicious from start to finish.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kobetobiko

                                                                                                                                                                              I don't think Craft has a tasting menu, and I have to disagree with all the bashing. I've always found the food to be great and the service friendly.
                                                                                                                                                                              Overrated restaurants IMO: shake shack, emp (sorry RGR), BLT Steak (blech), and five points (sometimes)

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MBShapiro

                                                                                                                                                                                Hey, MBShapiro, No need to apologize to me. If EMP didn't do it for you, so be it. For years, I went totally against the prevailing "wisdom" regarding Gramercy Tavern which, in my view, was thoroughly overrated. So, as I've said many times, "Chacun a son gout!"

                                                                                                                                                                                Btw, I also adore Shake Shack. lol

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RGR

                                                                                                                                                                                  Haha agree to disagree, RGR. Although, I do love your LES walking tour...

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: MBShapiro

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi MBShapiro,

                                                                                                                                                                                  Craft does not have a tasting menu on their standard menu, and you just have to ask the chef to create a tasting menu for you. Usually the dishes from the tasting menu are differently (slightly) or have never been seen from the a la carte menu, which might explain why there is such a big discrepancy of assessment on the restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kobetobiko

                                                                                                                                                                                    I did not have the tasting menu at craft (though that's a great idea!), but I LOVE that place. I am shocked to hear so many people say that it is overrated!

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: MBShapiro

                                                                                                                                                                                    The tasting menu is not listed, you have to ask the chef to do it for you.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: kobetobiko

                                                                                                                                                                                    That is very possible. The chefs and servers seemed to have a great time preparing and serving the tasting menu. They served me enough food to easily feed three people well.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MIKELOCK34

                                                                                                                                                                                      only half of my 7 dishes at craft were good. i did a brief review...

                                                                                                                                                                                3. Coffee Shop, Good, V & T Pizzeria, Veselka, Dumpling House.
                                                                                                                                                                                  None are bad, none are great - despite a widespread and vocal fan base.

                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                                                    that's a well-thought out group

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                                                      I LOVE V&T!!! I guess it's a personal preference...

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Nikki NYC

                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't hate V&T. I just don't think it's better than anything else in the area.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                                                          The taste (and inevitable heartburn) of those soggy grease-laden V&T pizzas is something I certainly will never miss about my Columbia days. Only I never knew it had any reputation at all outside of those old faculty members & Columbia hangers-on who hardly ever leave Morningside Heights. We used to have department nights-out at V&T, and I always dreaded eating there.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Woodside Al

                                                                                                                                                                                            To be fair, I think it has more to do with nostalgia than anything else. People are fiercely loyal to whatever hole-in-the-wall kept their belly full in college, regardless of actual quality.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                                                        Aaaaah, I forgot about the mediocrity of Dumpling House. Very very bland. And expensive for what it is. I took someone who was visiting from another country there (before checking it out myself) and I was soooooooo embarrassed. Never repeating that mistake.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. A voce! Food was fine (not great as I was hoping) the room was awful and the service was deplorable. Highlights were almost getting into a fist fight with the wine guy “I don’t know what you like how can I recommend something” and the server dropping the check before the coffee arrived cause she had to “punch out” at 10:30 .blah, I don’t get the hype at all…
                                                                                                                                                                                        I also alway want to love cookshop and leave disappointed, it's not enough for the food to be organic, it has to be tasty as well...

                                                                                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sang froid

                                                                                                                                                                                          i am protective of this place... i had two off the charts meals with off the charts service at a voce....

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                                                                            Tabla-muddy flavors-robot like service & staff
                                                                                                                                                                                            USC-??never understood the appeal-dull
                                                                                                                                                                                            City Crab-call your doctor before you eat there so he knows to expect you shortly there after
                                                                                                                                                                                            Lupa-THE WORST,terrible food,worse service and when I mentioned this to MB who was sitting there[who I have a passing aquaintance with]he shrugged his shoulders.
                                                                                                                                                                                            I will NEVER go to another one of his places.
                                                                                                                                                                                            66-??? bad move
                                                                                                                                                                                            Cookshop,5pts,Provence-dull as well,pretensions all over the menu,off flavors.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Pastis,Balth,Shillor's-ALL horrible pretty much.The food is a joke.Balth is to bistro as Macdonalds is to burgers.
                                                                                                                                                                                            But the absolute worst meal I have had in NYC was at.......

                                                                                                                                                                                            LES HALLES-OMG this place is a travesty-really it is beyond me how they can even open the doors with any pride and serve the stuff that they do.It is the pinnacle of bad dining in NYC

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: scars

                                                                                                                                                                                              We had lunch at Lupa in February. There is no way we would ever walk through that door again. Service and food and drinks were extremely poor.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MIKELOCK34

                                                                                                                                                                                                Sorry to say about Lupa - you're right. I love Babbo and thought Lupa would be at least a LITTLE similar but it was overrated. Disappointing. Also thought the Little Owl was a huge letdown! After reading rave reviews in all the mags/papers I went there only to find the food is completely ordinary at best. Really puzzled at what all the fuss was about. Jeesh!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Charmaine

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I liked the food at Babbo too and hated the food, service and loud music at Lupa. Never again. Another recent letdown Megu, what a lot of hype and attitude for an ice buddha.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: scars

                                                                                                                                                                                                Les Halles midtown or downtown? Les Halles downtown is inconsistent, loud, poor service. It is one of the few restaurants downtown/East side open on weekends. Only been to Schiller's a few times. Service is inconsistent. Haven't been to Tabla in awhile (liked it a lot) what happened???

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: scars

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I second Lupa & Les Halles. Here are some of my un-faves:
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mary's Fish Camp
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tomoe Sushi
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jing Fong
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yama
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Spice (Indian chain)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rosa Mexicano
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sripraphai

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pinkylechat

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, also Pam's Real Thai. Where does one have to go for real Thai?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pinkylechat

                                                                                                                                                                                                      To queens or to the new thai place on christopher street called Pinto. If you know Thai food - you'll know this is good. Authentic, clean thai flavors.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I thought the room was incredibly loud during its peak hour (we had to wait half an hour for a 9 o'clock reserve) and the service lagged. But at 10:30, the place suddenly emptied out and everything came up a notch. The gnocchi was excellent. Still, I would not go back at least until its buzz wears off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: brendastarlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                    yes i have heard the loud complaint about a voce and it is valid no doubt. i just take different restaurants in apples and oranges categories. as long as the food is good and service is professional i am happy. i guess some have run into questionable service at a voce. that's unfortunate b/c i now have a personal waiter there who is the best! i request him and they deliver...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree with everything jsmitty has said re: a voce. love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Mercadito
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lombardi's- has been average pizza for a while now.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Blue Hill- good, but not worth it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Craft was good, but the waitress knew way too much about everything, and was eager to show it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rosa Mexicano=Shit

                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tacosdesuaperro

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lomabardi's crust is always doughy and bready when we have eaten there. The service is always poor to. You better nurse your first drink, since you may never get a refill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MIKELOCK34

                                                                                                                                                                                                      That is so true...the most-overated pizza in NYC...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: tacosdesuaperro

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Blue Hill in NYC, absolutely agree that it is over-rated. Dull. Unmemorable. Although Blue Hill Westchester is much more special.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: laverne

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ooooh! I totally disagree, everything I've had from the little shot glass of soup, down to the vegetable sides has been memorable and delicious at Blue Hill. My favorite restaurant in NYC in its caliber...although now that the chef at Gramercy Tavern is a Blue Hill veteran, and brings the same seasonal touch to the wonderful menu, it's vying for a close second.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ballulah

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have to say I agree with you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: tacosdesuaperro

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Adrienne's pizza downtown - I just don't get it. Lombardi's has fresh ingredients (if you like brick oven pizza) and delivers to my door in 20 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Three of the above I must disagree with: Katz's because it's excellent, Otto because it's very good (esp. the wine, gelato, veggies, some pizzas, and bang for your buck), and Vong because no one ever "rated" it very highly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree wholeheartedly with Shake Shack, and I'll throw in Tasting Room, Kyotofu, Del Posto, and 44 1/2.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: D...DF

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I ordered the clam pizza at Otto once. It was served with a huge pile of clams on top. The liquor from the clams soaked the pizza and basicall turned it into pizza soup. I ordered a bottle of wine from their list. Twenty-five minutes later they told me that they were out of that wine. I ordered a different bottle. After I had finished eating with nothing to drink, the waiter asked me if he forgot to bring my bottle of wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MIKELOCK34

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree that the clam pizza at Otto is ridiculous. Why shells on the pizza????

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Davis

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think to show you how fresh the clams are. That they are not using canned/frozen ingredients. Just a guess!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: csw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hmm. Mario has this obsession with clams in shells. Describing the pasta ala vongole, he is fond of saying 'it is not about the bits of snot in the shells, it's about the flavor they impart to the pasta'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                My guess is that he figures the liqour released by the clams as they cook on the pasta has the same kind of transcendent effect as it does on pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Myself, I have my doubts, which is why I've never had the pasta with clams on my few trips to Otto, which I agree, is seriously over-rated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                - Sean

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: D...DF

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I went to kyotofu last night and definitely agree that it's overrated and overpriced. IT's a stylish conceptual space - and the conceptual menu aims too high as well. The savories weren't bad, but on the whole, bland. A lot of the savory stuff was really homestyle-ish, but mom's cooking was definitely better. Also, not sure if a western customer would really "get" some of the obsure tastes, like kinako and osekihan. The tofu tsukune meatballs and some of the sweets were the only things i'd recommend, but i would not go back again and would not encourage ppl to try it. Bill was $70 for a carafe of sake with 3-4 savory sharing plates and one dessert sampler. Service was spotty - unusually so for a japanese place - we had to ask three times to get some water and refills had to be asked for after.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Aureole: Had a dated feel. Decor reminded me of a cruise ship. Food was some hits and some misses. (blueberry creme brulee with earl grey foam? Shudder.) Service was unprofessional. The "Captain's Tip" box on the bill was annoying and pretentious. The palm pilot wine list was a stupid gimmick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Il Mulino
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Peter Luger
                                                                                                                                                                                                              anything owned by Keith McNally (Pastis, Balthazaar, Schiller's, Morandi)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              anything owned by B.R. Guest (Blue Water Grill, etc.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dos Caminos
                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Tasting Room 2.0
                                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Ninth
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Buddakan
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Freeman's
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Stanton Social

                                                                                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jonasblank

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Boathouse in Central Park
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ruth Chris - ugh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nyebaby37

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You can't argue with the lovely setting of the Boathouse, but nobody on CH really ever thinks that the food is all that great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: valerie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not exactly "nobody." lol We had lunch at the Boathouse for the first time last August. We chose it because we were in that neighborhood and it was beautiful day, perfect for dining in that kind of gorgeous setting. I had read the less than enthusiastic comments about the food, so we were very pleasantly surprised at how good it turned out to be. Really delicious chowder and a well-prepared, very tasty fish dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: RGR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ok, but I guess that when I think of overrated places, I think of the likes of EMP, Gramercy Tavern and Babbo (not that I don't like them -- I happen to like GT and Babbo and I haven't been to EMP). What I mean is more-hyped places that are constantly getting praise day after day. I guess I just don't see The Boathouse in the same category.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: valerie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I actually agree with you. Despite the fact that our meal at The Boathouse was quite good, the food usually does not get very favorable comments. In that respect, it's like Tavern on the Green and OIBL, restaurants with lovely settings but with food that gets panned. Ergo, they don't belong in the overrated category.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: valerie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I can recommend the crabcakes at the boathouse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: jonasblank

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I couldn't agree with you more about Il Mulino. That place grosses me out. The prices are ridiculous, the atmosphere is lame (my chair almost broke because a screw was loose) and the food is disgusting. I got the carbonara and it was the worst pasta I've eaten in NYC. Why is that place so popular?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jonasblank

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      il mulino and elios are perfect entries!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I think Felidia and Wallse are terrible. I will defend Prune and Bouley to the death.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tsb2001

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        terrible is a little strong... even if they are disappointing...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'd rather gouge out my eyes (a la Oedipus) than eat at Wallse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tsb2001

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Interesting to hear other views about Wallse - I've always enjoyed my meals there - anything particular that you didn't like about the food? I had heard that the goulash wasn't great, but I've never tried it. Service can occasionally be an issue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tsb2001

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think the food at Wallse is good. The soups are truly outstanding, always a good sign of the care taken by a kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And the patisserie are famous, for good reason.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              - Sean

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Sean Dell

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Part of the first bad experience (I've been twice) stemmed from a long ordeal with the sommelier, which made the restaurant look unprofessional, but it's not necessarily germane to the food itself. I had the lobster with rosti, which was obscured by an overwhelming cream sauce of sorts. The entire dish was out of balance. My friend commented that his ghoulash, rabbit I believe, tasted of very little. The schnitzel was like eating veal coated in sandpaper. It has the most revolting texture of any breaded object I've encountered in a restaurant. The potato/cucumber mixture, which I've always seen treated separately at most Austrian restaurants, was revolting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The desserts, I will conceded, were quite good. However, at that point in the meal things had been such a let down that I imagine anything would've pleased us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Second visit was more professional, in terms of service, but the food, again, seemed overly thought out and poorly executed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: tsb2001

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            When you say that a restaurant is "terrible," it is helpful to the rest of the hounds if you recount the experiences that led you to that assessment. I've never dined at Wallse, but I've never had less than a stellar experience at Felidia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              son and i celebrated my wife's birthday at felidia last october. food, service, atmosphere were everything we expected. we intend to return.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, the forum called for overrated experiences. I expressed my disdain for Feldia and Wallse, not expecting to need to elabroate. In any event, Felidia served up thoroughly bland food and inedible desserts. The pastas we had (on several visits) were alarmingly overcooked and thoroughly underwhelming. Frankly, I can't even remember what we ate, aside from a bland duck ragu; I've tried to put it out of my mind. We had a sever who seemed irritating at my sister's finicky dining habits, asking for a simpler plate of pasta than was available. Her audible sigh was quite obnoxious. She spilled a glass of wine and failed to even apologize. My mother's main course, a seafood stew of sorts, was thoroughly overcooked. The desserts on our first visit were inedible. A rhurbab cake of sorts was so foul it got one bite from each person and sat on the table. They'd forgotten the sugar in a soggy apple streudel. Why, then, would I go back? My wealthy uncle took me. It was equally mediocre.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: tsb2001

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  curious whether you sent any of that back? and did you speak to a manager about your servers lack of courtesy?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sent back one pasta dish. It came back undercooked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We gave our tip to the very nice busboy who was pleasant and noticed our distaste for all the desserts, taking them off the bill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tsb2001

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Busboy taking charges off a bill?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: aimeezing1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, I assume he mentioned it to our server, since they weren't on the bill. He inquired if we enjoyed them, and my very blunt sister said they were inedible. The server nerver got involved.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I'd add Red Cat to the list....not bad, by any means, but during my last visit I'd say it was average to below-average across the board, including a "special" salad that was clearly removed from a comfy spot in the refrigerator just minutes before serving. Love the service, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Ok people, it's time someone step up to the plate, or noodle bowl rather, and put Momofuku on the "get over yourself" list. Sorry but several of the menu items are premade and bought in Chinatown and sorry but if you put a ton of pork fat on anything it will taste good. How is that new news?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bar_Lady

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  barolo, cipriani downtown

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: john_eater

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fresh: at those prices, there is no way that wine should be delivered after appetizers have been cleared; also 3 entrees (out of 5) were either cold or undercooked; Buddha Bar (great space but there are just too many tables to maintain across-the-board food quality); I wholeheartedly agree with Dos Caminos SoHo, i felt like i was eating taco bell while being ignored by my server while she SAT DOWN to chat with friends that were dining at a nearby table...WHAT?!?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Bar_Lady

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    does anyone want to step up against ssam bar, momofuku proper is getting most of the bashing...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Don't mind if I do go up against ssam bar--That's just super that it got 2 stars how many other places in the City have oh so wrongly been given the improper amount of stars. Sorry there Frank but you're on my "get over yourself" list for that smooth one. And again if you put pork fat on anything it will taste good. While a good menu It is on the snobbish side

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Per Se - even before the price increases a total rip-off and nowhere as good as French Laundry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Michael Humm - had his food in SF and he showed potential, but not great; ditto for EMP

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: npandela

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, at least get his name right. It's Daniel Humm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I think Little Owl is a bit overrated. The service is excellent but the food is nothing special, and sometimes actually greasy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: officeworker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hear hear! Little Owl is okay, but I can make food that's just as good at home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          disagree. when a place is hot it can also be great. i think little owl is great...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Totally agree that hot can be great; disagree that Little Owl is one of those places. I'll probably give it one more try to make sure I didn't just go on an off night. If you have any recommended dishes, please do tell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              IMHO, The Little Owl is good, but not great, and I've given it a few tries. That being said, definitely go for brunch and order the pancakes. Out of this world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nikky

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My sentiments exactly! It's a pleasant enough dining experience and I'd probably drop in every once in a while if I lived in the neighborhood. But I wouldn't go out of my way to go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: officeworker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I like the Little Owl. It's actually one of the places that I've been pleasantly surprised with lately. I think the quality of the food may degrade a bit depending on what day of the week you go and how slammed they are. I've had very good food whenever I have been there. I'm partial to the porkchop and the scallop appetizer. =)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Syphrite

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cite used to be very good. The steak & wine dinner was really good. But, the prices started to creep up, the quality of the wines went down and then finally the quality of the food deteriorated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It closed a few months ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. We had a very mediocre meal at Cite'. We ordered steak frites medium rare, and while we were having our first course I saw the bus boy bring them out and stash them on a tray off to the side. When they were served, they were overcooked and the frites had gone cold. We demanded new ones, which arrived perfectly cooked, but they should be ashamed that they tried to pawn those steaks off on us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: brendastarlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            yeah but who said cite is good anyway

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. The seafood McCormic and Schmic will be on top of my list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: frugalgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The burgers are only 2$ what did you expect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: princeofpork

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                $2 burger?? I was talking about their core menu of seafood which is............

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: frugalgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Agree on the mediocrity, but in order for something to be overrated, it has to be highly rated in the first place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: frugalgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                again who rates that as good? maybe in other states

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. This thread just goes to show you that everything is personal taste, and I also think that sometimes restaurants can have "off" days...I have always had wonderful food at Otto's, Mesa Grill, Tabla, Norma's, and Balthazar....If I were to choose a place that is overated, I would say Union Square Cafe...It was good, but not AMAZING....Most of why I would say this is not only foodwise, but I really was a bit turned off by our server...Kind of that feeling one gets that they are not a "regular"...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jinet12

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree. Granted I've only eaten and USC once, it was totally unmemorable. I guess it could be given a second shot, but with so many places to try I've never wanted to go back. I can't remember one thing that anyone ate, but I just remember leaving quite disappointed and expecting so much more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jdream

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have been saying the same thing about USC for a long time. In its early days, every time we'd call for a reservations, they'd tell us they were either fully booked or we could have table at 10 p.m. Forget that! So, it took literally years before we were able to reserve at a (for us) reasonable time. And, then, a total disappointment! The food was nothing special, so much so, that I have absolutely no recollection of what I had. Plus, they seated us on the balcony, which felt like being relegated to Siberia. Normally, I would have complained and requested a table change, but we were hosting a visitor from France, so I kept quiet. But that, in addition to so-so food.... Can you say, very. unhappy. camper?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Since I believe in the maxim that a restaurant has only one chance to make a positive first impression, and with so many other places we want to try or go back to, we immediately relegated USC to the "not again anytime soon" list. So far, we have not been back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: RGR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Agreed. I find it totally boring and never got all the hype.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RGR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Went to USC this weekend . They led us to the balcony- even though there were many tables available on the first floor. The food was not the way it used to be---back in the days when it was so difficult to reserve a table. Some of the dishes were overly salted. The rest I also felt were so-so. I do relate to, and agree with what you say.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: jinet12

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Personally USQ has been a has-been for a LONG time--it should be taken out back and be put down 'Ol Yeller style

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bar_Lady

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The only thing that I have eaten at Union Square Cafe that was memorable in any way was their scallops for lunch one day. They were the greatest scallops that I have ever had both taste and texture wise. They were the most the most perfectly prepared scallops that I have ever experienced, BUT.............they served them atop a super powered mustard flavored pile of potatoes that completely overpowered the scallop's delicate flavor. I ate the scallops seperately from the potatoes. The rest of the meal was nothing special.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: jinet12

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I totally agree! That's why food critics always go back to the same restaurant at least 3 times before rendering an opinion. But some restaurants just never get the consistency up to par.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. One more to add... Home. It's certainly not overhyped, but I do think that it's overrated. After eating there a couple times, and different dishes, I've always felt that the flavors were just off. Also, the service can be atrocious even when they're empty-- too much attitude. I always wanted it to be better (love their concept) but it just never quite made it...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jdream

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I know exactly what you mean about Home. I've always wanted to like it, sometimes it almost gets there, but never quite. A good friend of mine was the chef there briefly last year, and I held some hope that they'd improve. But he left so quickly I never had a chance to try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ballulah

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Really? I had a very nice experience at Home. Maybe it was because I went there for lunch and not dinner? There wasn't a big crowd there. The service was great. The waiter filleted my mother's fish for her right there at the table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: jdream

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I had a nice meal here a couple months ago, and felt the service was quite friendly and competent. It isn't on the level of flavor and execution as, say, a higher end place like WD50 or the like, but for the moderate prices it is still a good meal with good ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. I have been consistently underwhelmed with food in NYC. I was born and raised here, but I feel like I've had infinitely better meals in San Franciso. I can't think of all of the places that I think are overrated, but the following restaurants come to mind immediately:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pastis - Don't mind eating here for lunch because of the outdoor seating and such, but I wouldn't plan a dinner here ever.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Boqueria - I went here once and I was absolutely horrified. Our gambas had pieces of shell in the garlic sauce! The chicken dish was a travesty and they do not fully understand the meaning of cooking meat 'medium.' The wine however, was quite tasty.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Upstairs - I've been here several times and either I keep forgetting how underwhelmed I am every time I go or I'm a glutton for punishment. Either way, the food is OK, it's really nothing to write home about.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bouley - I went here for a birthday dinner and wow, is this supposed to be some pinnacle of dining in New York because either people have limited taste buds or the industry is conspiring against us. I could make better food at home, and serve it WARM.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Blue Ribbon - Meh. I saw some show on TV that called BR an upscale diner. I have to agree.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aqua Grill - Meh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            RUB - I don't get this one at ALL. The ribs just aren't that good. Yes, they are passable, but they aren't wonderful. Stop hyping this place like its THE mecca of NYC BBQ.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sushi of Gari - I've eaten here a few times. I had a suspiciously fish tasting roll and that was it for me. Honestly, I feel like Bond St. has the best sushi in the city. Any agree or disagree?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -Syphrite

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Syphrite

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Syphrite: Funny, I feel the same way. I think it also has to do with the fact that the food in California tends to be fresher. I am still waiting for the BEST meal ever to be eaten in a New York restaurant. I can run off a bunch in San Francisco though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Uptownflavor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree completely. I think San Fran has the unfair advantage because they have access to fresh ingredients, among other things. NYC restaurants need to step up to the plate and start innovating. My taste buds are bored.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm not giving up hope though. I still think an excellent meal can be found somewhere in this city...I'm just not sure where. Although I really have to say I have had some very good cheap eats in the city.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Uptownflavor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Give Blue Hill a try. Even better if you go out to the country and try the stone barns location which is probably better. Its fresh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sambossanova

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think they're both wonderful -- but quite different from each other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For a long time I loved SF meals and never have had a bad meal there. I think the service generally beats NYC as well. But, after a recent visit, I must conclude and the end of the day NYC has SF beat for a restaurant scene. Why? Because as much as I love the fresh vegetable based cuisine, there is simly no depth and breadth in SF. If its not Asian, Mexican or "New American", you are done. They dont have have nearly as many different cuisines represented as NYC. There isn't a SINGLE real caribbean restaurant in sight. The soul food is a joke. We have better Indian and Middle Eastern food in NYC. The list goes on really. There is no street food scene. The bakeries are better in NYC. I can go on and on. So, while I do like SF dining, I dont mind coming rightbak to NYC, especially for ethnic food--which is VERY limited in SF.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ora

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've been pondering this question a lot recently, since i've been based in NYC but traveling widely and searching for a new home base. I'm beginning to come to the sad conclusion that as much as i love Manhattan, culinarily, it is (imho) a jack of all trades. Yes, i adore the fact that within two to ten minutes walk from my home in Union Square i can get anything from Polish to Pakistani to Turkish to Sichuan to izakaya, etc. But with the exception a few NYC specialities (bagels, pizza, old school NY Italian), most everything else is at best a close second to the real thing...there are decent soup dumplings in Ch-town but second rate compared to the ones in Shanghai...etc...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Simon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Of course they're not as good as the real thing; I would worry if that weren't the case. How can a small portion of a big city stack up to an entire city, or region, or country, that specializes in a particular cuisine? I don't think that this amounts to a "sad conclusion". As you say, NYC has its' own specialties. With respect to the stuff that you, and a great many others consider "second rate" attempts at foreign cuisine, a great many of us - myself included - will be forced to live in a state of blissful ignorance until we are fortunate enough to try the real thing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          P.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Syphrite

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No, no, not Aquagrill! :) Aquavit, now that's a different story....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Syphrite

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    bouley and craft may be the front runners so far

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Syphrite

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Have to agree as well. Had very few disappointing meals while living in San Francisco (Zuni, Delfina, Chez Panisse). Maybe because the food is fresher, and the cooks are more laid back, as opposed to the NYC way of always GO GO GO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 that stick out for me: Mesa - felt like an expensive chili's. And Blue Smoke. Meyer may have started the trendy BBQ movement in NYC (thank goodness for the bbq fest in June) and I love Shake Shack, but Blue Smoke also feels like an expensive chili's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: josefr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I thnk you will find that there are plenty of Hounds, including me, who would agree with your assessment of Blue Smoke.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The bbq fest in June has become a nightmare! We went the second year, showed up very early and managed to get to some stalls -- with some difficulty -- eat, and leave before things got completely out of hand, i.e., insane crowds with absolutely no line management. From what I've read, things have only become marginally better in subsequent years, but there are still problems. We have no desire to do it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: josefr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've never eaten upstairs at Blue Smoke, only downstairs at Jazz Standard. All the Jazzers I know think the food is better than just okay, and goes so well with the music. Next time you want some que, try getting it downstairs and see if the vibe doesn't fit the food better!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. The tasting menu at Gramercy Tavern. Yikes! Though the coconut tapioca thing was damn good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: meancougar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          When was your last trip to GT? We were there on Tuesday night and the tasting menu was outstanding. . .and completely agree on the tapioca, whew!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chowcito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Two weeks ago. Got a a bad wine recommendation, too, which I should have avoided. But the seafood lacked spark, and the lamb was heavy and dense. Liked the quail, though. Just underwhelming for all of us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: meancougar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Otto is my top for over rated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tabla is good but does not deserve all of the hype it gets IMHO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've been to Eleven Madison twice, once with poor service and once with good service but neither warranted the praise that it gets. I know most everyone will disagree with me though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: foodie4life

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i frankly only hear emp over-hype on chound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've read plenty of glowing raves on other food forums.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Judging from this thread, there are plenty of Hounds who, like you, have not been impressed by EMP. Whatever the reason, they don't seem to speak up as often as those of us who love it. Maybe if they came out of the proverbial woodwork and chimed in more often, there would be more of a sense of balance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RGR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i don't dislike it in any way, just not an absolute lover

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I guess it requires a bit of bravery :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: RGR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think that is because alot of those who reccomend EMP are respected on this board (you included), as I have been pleased by many of your recommendations (Thanks!). I was extremely dissapointed in the tasting menu i had an EMP, but would hate to dissent upon someone recommending it to someone else who might enjoy it. Especially since it could have just have been an off night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Pearl Oyster Bar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gloriousfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              no way....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We might disagree about Wallse and Felidia (at least on their degree of mediocrity), but I'm with you on this one. It might be my favorite place to go in all of nyc. If I had twenty dollars in my pocket and was about to die, I'd head straight for POB.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: tsb2001

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not sure about my last $20 (if I were about do die, I have no idea what I would do with them - a strong martini or too sounds good), but I agree - I think POB is wonderful and wish we went even more often than we do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tsb2001

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    not sure if i am passionate either way about wallse, pob is special....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: gloriousfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  booo. disagree completely. pearl is awesome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ronoc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dollar for dollar the best meal in NYC: POB. And you can always count on it. Are they a little pushy service-wise? Sure but they seem to be trying to accomodate everybody.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Aquavit...just tried again and had a HEINOUS meal. Too bad because the "newish" space is nice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: whit565

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Did you eat in the front or the back at Aquavit? We've had a couple of good meals in the front room in the past year, haven't tried the back one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: gloriousfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That hurts! The staff are generally mean, but i have had some fantastic meals there. I guess that's why they say "one man's pleasure...."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gloriousfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have to agree that POB is overrated. While it is a decent meal, it gets more hype because of its New England upscale seafood theme, and a similar meal at nearly any reasonable seafood joint in New England is half the price and just as good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gloriousfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No way from us too. Except for the potato strings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Wow-it's funny I really agree and disagree with a lot of people on this. Anyway a few places I think stink that haven't been mentioned:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Four Seasons- worst meal ever from start to finish, service included
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tavern On The Green- need I say more
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Capsouto Freres- overcooked steak frites, rude service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bubby's Brooklyn for brunch

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roze

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Asia de Cuba
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cafe Boulud (this was during Restaurant Week so maybe this vote can be forgiven)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: moymoy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We have never had anything other than stellar food at Cafe Boulud. The negative comments about it on this board usually involve the wait staff = snobby and the ambiance = stuffy. Definitely not my view.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: moymoy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I was at Cafe Boulud during restaurant week a couple of years ago and it was great. One of the best experiences I had during any restaurant week.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now, I had some bad RW experiences but I didn't want to add them to this thread because, like you, I'm not sure it's fair to judge restaurants based on their RW performance. But since you've mentioned it...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Aureole - We were a group of six, and none of us enjoyed the food.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              L'Impro - Boring and not tasty at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: moymoy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, I can't recall my main dish was but the appetizer was this concoction of cucumber puree with small peices of pasta. It wasn't savory, it wasn't sweet, I neither understood the dish nor enjoyed it. Overall, I was not happy with my meal and even though it was RW nothing about my meal has made me want to go back. I agree with the consensus, ambiance is a bit stuffy but most places in the Cafe Boulud category are, so I'm not judging them based on service.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                On the otherhand, I found myself once having dessert only at Gramercy Tavern and based on the delicious pannecotta alone I wanted to come back for an entire meal. Sometimes, it's about the first impressions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: moymoy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Daniel, anyone?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Precious and unmemorable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: laverne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i agree, i had an absolutely bland experience at Daniel, with an obnoxious waiter. no memory of what we ate, just remember the waiter's attitude.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: roze

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                oh and Via Emilia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roze

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Via Emilia, really? uh oh. Why do you think that? I've been really wanting to go there again. I've been twice. First time was the first week they opened and it was excellent. Then I took some friends a few months later and it was horrible. I spent the whole meal embarassed and apologetic. It was like the dishwashers and busboys were cooking that night.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But I heard on these boards that since they've moved to the new location they have returned to form. What do you find bad about it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: roze

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But has anyone on CH ever raved about the food at Tavern on the Green? Everyone agrees that it sucks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: valerie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Very true. I just added it in case some new Manhattanites were perusing this topic. When I moved here six years ago (long before being on this board) I was told it was one of "the places to go". Just don't want anyone to make the same expensive mistake I did :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: valerie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Valerie, you took the words right out of my mouth...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: valerie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No: some people say that the food at TOTG is mediocre or "not very good". By that standard it is highly overrated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Oh, I've got one! Sfoglia. I just don't get it. From the snooty dude on the front door (hey, this is the UES, not the East Village - please don't pull that attitude up here!) to the decor to the food itself, which I have found to be ok, but not wonderful. I just don't get it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - Sean

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sean Dell

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Their website says they are currently booked six weeks ahead! I enjoyed my two meals there when they first opened, but have read a lot of negative things since then. Agree about the attitude.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The heavy booking tells us that a) there is a dearth of good restaurants up this end of town, and b) people follow the New York Times, which gave the place a pretty decent review not long ago. I'm glad about the booking situation - it'll save me from myself!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - Sean

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Sean Dell

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Russian Tea Room: Takes the honor at the moment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Schillers: overrated dump

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Daniel. While my dessert was etheral, both my appetizer and entree were extremely too salty. Plus throughout the meal I consistently received a smaller pour than my boyfriend when our wine glasses were refilled. This place has definitely gone downhill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: wlark

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Let's add Barbuto to the list.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mini portions and lots of 'tude

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. 182 replies and no one has listed Clinton Street Baking Co? IMO it doesn't get any more overrated than that. 2+ hours standing on a sidewalk for mediocre biscuts and eggs of the same caliber you would get at any IHop outside the city? please. At least it comes with tickets watch the freak shows and fashionistas standing around while you wait in line.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: CorgiLover

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I respectfully dissent, and i don't mind the freakshow actually! (perhaps being one myself..) Anyway, their pancakes are among the consistently lightest in the city, they have wonderful seasonally specials (still thinking about the soft shell crab salad i had this time last year), and other egg dishes are great as well. They may take the highfalutin road when it comes to what they like to serve, and I appreciate their creativity. They've never done wrong by me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'll agree that the wait is abominable. But i never wait long - i go elsewhere for a cup of joe and a quick read of the newspaper and then go back when it's my projected time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: CorgiLover

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              O.K., after reading 180 posts I finally saw one that I totally agree with. I'm a big time Balthazar breakfast person and I tried Clinton because of the hype and was left wondering what others liked about the place. Everything I ate was no better then average, not special in any way. I went on a weekday at about 8:00, so there was no wait, I can't imagine standing on line to eat here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: CorgiLover

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                biscuits are mediocre, but i've always thought the real draw was the pancakes. they are ethereal, with the maple butter that comes alongside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. lombardi's pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  man, i love me some lombardi's!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Veselka. Why do I consider it overrated? Because there's hardly anything they do well, in my experience. Their soups are over-salted and their desserts are blah. I've heard that their burgers are good, but I don't generally order burgers. The only thing I've really liked there in years is their raspberry blintzes. I think Veselka has a kind of reverse snob appeal as a place that's so cheap and grungy, it MUST be good - except that, in my opinion, it isn't. Plus, the service there tends to suck. And in a 5-block radius of the place, there are at least four other places that serve similar food that's tastier and a better value.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also totally don't get the raves over 11 Madison Park under Chef Humm, based on my one time there since his takeover, but that's one try, and it took many tries for me to give up on Veselka.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Did anyone ever think that Veselka was any good? It's cheap, reasonably fast, filling, open all the time, and provides a place to sit for awhile. Basically a small cut above the usual coffee shop/diner that one finds every couple of blocks in Manhattan, and that's only because it serves Ukranian food in addition to the usual diner grub. Did someone praise its cuisine, beyond praising its convenience?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That makes it unlike a place like Shake Shack, which is an inconvenient and inexplicably popular version of the kind of burger/shake joint that exists in towns all over the country. And at a much higher price too. Talk about reverse snob appeal. There have to be several bar burgers in the city that are as good as or better than theirs, and are served in more comfortable surroundings (with the added benefit of being able to have a beer or 2). And yet people wait in an outrageous line in the heat for this glorified Dairy Queen as if it's some kind of wonderful experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Woodside Al

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Did anyone ever think that Veselka was any good?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes. Many posts state that Veselka is good or even "great"! Out-of-towners visiting for a few days from places like San Francisco and LA have been directed to go there as a special trip. To me, this is kind of crazy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Pan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Please name the four.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: asnet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        At the time I wrote that, Teresa's, which closed its East Village location on May 31. Still now, Ukranian East Village in the Ukranian National Home, Little Poland between 13th and 14th on 2nd Av., and probably Stage Restaurant (though I haven't been there in a few years), next to the Orpheum Theater between 7th and St. Marks on 2nd Av. I will let others more familiar with the food at Neptune (which I've been to only once, with mixed results) and KK's comment about their offerings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Overrated = Shake Shack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyone can make a hamburger on a grill and stick it in a Martin's potato roll.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But not everyone has a long line of New Yorkers lining up outside at 11 a.m. to eat one, or pagers, or a Webcam.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. While we have Craft on the subject...I'm going to add 'wichcraft to the list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LFeinberg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I definitely second (or third? fourth?) 'wichcraft. My grilled cheese was nothing but a greasy cracker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Almost no cheese at all!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Hi All--Just a quick interruption to remind you to keep your responses Manhattan-focused since this is the Manhattan Board.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            After reading all of these post, i couldn't wait to respond. Im really shocked Fatty Crab wasn't on the list. This place is definitely overrated and pretty bad. Went there the second time, hoping that the food would be better and it was equally as bad as the first time. My List:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fatty Crab
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Shake Shack
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Morimoto's
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Megu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            'Wichcraft
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lombardi's
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ed's Lobster Shack
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Agave
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rosa Mexicano
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Joe's Shanghai

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: smon320

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Went to Fatty Crab once. Couldn't understand why someone wouldn't go to Chinatown (or, better yet, Flushing) for the same food probably better, most definitely cheaper, and hopefully without the ear drum rattling noise level.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In fact, I nominate any restaurant that seems to think that jacking the noise up to a level above which normal conversation is essentially impossible somehow makes it a cooler place. Seems to me a sure sign that food is not a priority. And that goes double for places like Otto that inexplicably play bad "classic" rock (and I even kinda like their food, and love the wine list -- but, oh, that music. Like a bar in New Jersey. Why?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Woodside Al

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, if we're judging overrated restaurants by the insanely high noise levels, A Voce, where I thought the food was delicious, becomes an immediate contender. Then there's Becco, which gets raves from many Hounds. However, not only does it have a hideously high noise level, but the last time we were there, the pastas were barely mediocre. And don't get me started on Les Halles....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Woodside Al

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I had lunch at Fatty Crab & found the primary seasoning used there was salt. Lots of salt. Since it was lunch, the music wasn't too loud, which allowed me to focus on the overwhelming saltiness of it all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: smon320

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I second on Shake Shack, had my burger once there last year, I still don't think their burgers are worth the long wait.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: smon320

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Have to totally disagree on Fatty Crab. The flavor payoff is great for the price, and it isn't meant to be super authentic Malaysian, just the chef's personal take on it. I love the place and the watermelon pork salad is one of the best things ever created. I like the quirky funky noise and vibe, yeah it's loud, that's the mood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In contrast, I think Vong and Spice Market qualify as overrated, mediocre, overpriced fancified chef takes on Asian food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jeanki

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      jean i agree. apples should be compared to apples and oranges to oranges. if you are not enthralled with tinkering with authentic cuisine than many manhattan resataurants will fall short for you. i just want fresh and flavorful in essence

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. ok, one more: the oyster bar at grand central. love the pan roasts at the counter, love the space, love the saloon. that's it. touristas going there expecting an above average dinner will be disappointed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  there was a time, many years ago, when i would order a takeout bouillabaisse and let the container ride shotgun on metro north to ct. those days are long gone. pity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YES! The pan roasts that I have tried there were junk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Buddakan was probably the most recent disappointment, also Ed's Lobster bar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Have to say I love Clinton Street in response to those who listed it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Same here, Clinton Street doesn't deserve to be on the list. The 2 hour wait is ridiculous but the food, especially the banana walnut pancakes with warm maple butter makes up for it. Maybe the biscuits are overrated.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: smon320

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My 3:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dos Caminos...for crimes against enchiladas...utterly disgusting when I ate in the Soho branch...reheated flour "shapes"...couldn't chew through them...a bilious execrable mess on my plate...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cafe Boloud: Food VERY mediocre...ambience perfect for the over-80s cruise set and the room (!!)...omg...I've been in better Marriot conference rooms...its so awful its amusing...actually maybe thats it...its a post-modern statement on NYC dining...either that or its just a marriot conference room without the powerpoints...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lombardis pizza: Dough dough and more dough...and I heard they have a machine to make it too...where did it all go wrong??!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Scotty100

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Let us not overlook the bristling-with-attitude service at Cafe Boulud. It pretty much seals the experience. Once was more than enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. here's a new one: OUEST - can't quite put my finger on what was so disappointing about this place but indifferent service didn't help. food is too straightforward? and HEAVY.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        surprised to see BARBUTO listed as I've had half-a-dozen good-to-excellent meals there but it's been almost a year since and things change...similiarly CAFE BOULUD served me the best duck evah and we liked the mix N match menus but these kind of $pecial oca$$ion (for me) places are a crap shoot, go on the rare off night and you're screwed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcoleman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ouest is too strightfoward... that is what makes it special. the flavors are precisely executed, the ingredients fresh, the bread perfect... in my view i think that is one of the poorest examples so far. i have eaten at ouest at least 25 times in my life, including last night, it is spot on great! not every dish is heavy. in fact i would consider only the meat preparatins on the heavy side....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sushi Samba.Completely overrated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Popsicle81

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              again i don't think many really consider sushi samba great anyway...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The food that I have had at Ouest has been good, but in no way memorable for the price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Cafe Gray, i think, is overated. The saltiest food I have ever had, and they had the audacity to charge the high price for it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tocqueville is overated in that their food is not justified by the high price they charge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Dandel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have to disagree with your comment on Tocqueville. I've eaten there many times, and quite often for the market lunch that is around $25 for 3 courses... The food is always delicious, and the service is always exemplary, whether we're having the low price lunch or ordering dinner or lunch off the regular menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Are you saying you didn't like the food? or that there wasn't enough of it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              either way, I dont understand your problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Two more come to mind:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cafe Boulud: Mediocre food in a drab, claustrophobic setting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Main Dining Room at The Modern: The stark whiteness of the room blinded me. Looks like the lobby of an insurance company in Fargo, North Dakota. Looking out on the stark, empty Sculpture Garden of MOMA when I ate there in November severely worsened my winter depression. Gets the award for the tiniest amuse bouche I have witnessed: a drop of tuna tartare on a cracker no bigger than a nickel on a 12" plate. My appetizer of escargot in a fried pastry shell was snail heresy and should be reported to the French Culinary Police.. Servers looked like casting call rejects from a remake of 1984.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DoctortedNYC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That is a perceptive comment, but I think the Main Dining Room is not actually over-rated, because I think this view is shared by most diners.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Which is why the bar-room is so much more popular. Same food, different atmosphere and feeling, and much more fun. It's a pity we don't get to look out on the garden from the bar-room.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - Sean

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sean Dell

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sean:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree. After the meal I regretted not eating in the bar. It is a much ore friendly and warm atmosphere. Considering the food comes out of the same kitchen, your wallet takes less of a hit too. The sculpture garden is really horrific in the winter, with its contorted Picasso goats and disfigured Moore nudes behind a tall wall. Maybe in warmer months its more inviting. The Modern gets lots of good reviews here, so i guess im in the minority.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  hi ChefJune, regarding Tocqueville, we had dinner there recently. While I found my appetizer, Uni with angel hair carbonara, heavenly with creative flavors, I found the suckling pig special for main course disappointing, especially at a price of $48. My wife's foie gras and caviar for appetizer was so-so while her breaded and fried lamb main course was not memorable. I think with the high price they charge, they could do better, especially with the main courses. Maybe the market lunch is the way to go but I can't leave work during the weekday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Dandel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Agree. Tocqueville is overpriced for what you get.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. See my recent "critical" review of per se.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i'll add to the list: i think the enoteca at del posto is way overrated. went there when they still had the $41(?) 4 course tasting menu and i dont think any of the dishes stood out. and the lardo spread is just overkill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  other overrated restaurants in my opinion include 15 east, park bistro, and ushi wakamaru.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Went to David Burke and Donnatella two nights ago. Ridiculously bad. The service was o.k. but the food was horrible. Everything feels like a gimic there. Will never go back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: elizabean

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    my buddy holds the same view of db and d

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dylan Prime - one of the worst steak houses in the city.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: princeofpork

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The numbers are in and here are your favorite overhyped restaurants:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Otto
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Shake Shack
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Momofuku
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4. Craft
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5. Schillers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6. Pastis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Runner ups: Bouley, Tabla, Boqueria, Dos Caminos, Dylan Prime, Lomabrdi's

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Enjoy your meal!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: princeofpork

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Disagree on that...I've been to dylan prime at least a half dozen times over the last few years and always had an excellent steak (in particular, the last visit a couple months ago).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Prune is one of my favorite places. I have always had great service and food that I keep coming back for. I have taken tons of friends there and all agree, so I am surprised to hear that people are unhappy with it. WD 50 was also a pleasant experience, although I don't think I need to go back for awhile. One recent disappointment was Cafe Grey. I went twice and thought, so what? The asparagus potage was unimaginative and veal was bland.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gothamjad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm relatively new to the city so I haven't eaten at a lot of places but the absolute WORST place I have ever eaten was this 'kind of' famous place on 50th called Giambelli.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't care if the Pope ate there in 1984 or whatever, for an $80 lunch it was pathetic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tommyk7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've never heard of it. 50th and what?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Sparks - unkept, cranky
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rosa Mexicano - unmipressive food
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Il Bagatto - crappy service, dry lamb
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pastis - snobby, unimpressive - go to Florent
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        wd-50 - too much foam
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nobu - sushi is average, but the cooked dishes rock
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Corner Bistro - way-hyped - go to Walkers

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jmo9

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          pastis is much better than florent. not even close. never found it snobby
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          sparks-great meat, cranky? who cares at a steakhouse
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          corner bistro- still great
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          could not agree more with wd-50, nobu and rosa mexicano

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Personally, I think there is quite a bit of balance on these boards, so I don't believe many places fit into the 'overrated' category if you do some critical reading of posts about them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That said, I think there's a bit too much in the positive column on: Cookshop, Thor, and Veselka.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cookshop and Thor mostly though, primarly because they both seem to be improvement-proof, despite an evident attempt on the part of their owners to fix the problems there. Well, at least you can get a decent coffee at Cookshop now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nosher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Can I put a vote in for Danal? Used to be good, but I think it's gone shark-jumping. I went for brunch, and the shrimp salad had very wilty greens. The salmon that was supposed to come with asparagus actually came with greasy bok-choy, though the latte was still good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Worse, the owner came by our table. He didn't like that my friend had opted to sit on a low wall--actually the same level as her chair--so that she could hear me. He started bitching that it was 'aesthetically unpleasing' and that if she wasn't going to sit properly, we could both leave. I didn't think lectures like this existed outside of Catholic school. He almost made my friend cry. Then the food came and was sub-par...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I used to like the place, but am not going back

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: lmaury

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nobu 57 - a factory of mediocrity.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Frankie and Johnny's garment district - awful in about 6 ways

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ON the merely "over rated", I'd add any steakhouse opened in the last few years (espec the national chains.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lorenlpw1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                like del friscos, dylan prime etc..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. SERENDIPITY! Something is wrong whentourists are willing to wait 2 hours. I dont get it. Where do they get their chow information from?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DarthEater

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                that is a great example....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DarthEater

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Probably from the same place that tells them to go to Tavern on the Green and OIBL.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RGR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ROTFLMAO!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LOL, Serendipity is hell, writ large in neon lettering, with an overly cutesy polka dot motif. I once fell for that claptrap, but was told to go there by a NATIVE NYer. 3 hour long wait, mediocre food at inflated prices. Serendipity deserves to be swallowed into the earth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Artisanal is so overrated...food is so blase and the service is atrocious...they think they are doing you a favor for your money.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Avra is another disaster...returned there two weeks ago after liking it at our first visit but when we sent back the fish that my 16 year old ordered due to too many bones...mind you this was a fileted fish and he was flossing with the bones, the owner came over to tell us with the fish in hand, that there was nothing they could do...well we will never go back there again and besides, if you're not Greek, they don't pay you the time of day!!!!!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bac528

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree on Artisanal. The fondue was nothing great, actually kind of flavorless. Our waiter was an overstressed mess, flailing around the restaurant with much drama. He even critisized my husband's choice of wine (he had ordered a glass of something he was curious to try.) The steak was decent, but the fries which came with it were sad. They served them on the same plate as a the steak with a cover, so they lost any crispness by the time they arrived. And then there was the smell....ay!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lucybobo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ditto on Artisinal. A real disappointment including indistinct preparation (boring fondue and lackluster steak frites) and rushed, inattentive service. Never again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lucybobo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        if you were smelling the cheese, some would say that that is heavanly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: lucybobo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Funny. I had a great experience at Artisanal. Great cassoulet. Fantastic wines by the glass. Even had friendly service. Maybe I just happened to catch it on a good day??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. i have to go with Nobu..most overrated sushi.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Ding Tai Fung.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: frugalgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'd be excited to hear about a new branch in New York! There isn't one, is there?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Pan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              are they in new york or will be soon? anyone has any info on that? Their dumplings are amazing! I had them in shanghai 2 years ago and still can't get over them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Several "big name" establishments came to mind immediately upon reading this title: Vong, Joe's Shanghai, Craft AND 'witchcraft, Ruth's Chris, Sparks, Lupa, Bubby's (can only speak to the Tribeca location), Dos Caminos (especially SOHO), Coffee Shop, Blue Smoke, Barbuto... and then, while reading down the many posts to this thread, I realized, to my odd satisfaction, that every one of these shows up somewhere on the list already. So I will not say more about these, as they have already been discussed. I would like to add one unmentioned locale, however, and I know that I risk a backlash here... Grimaldi's Pizza. I think I enjoyed it the first time I ate there, maybe 10 years ago. But subsequent visits (about 3) over the past few years have been increasingly disappointing. I am confused about why people rave about this place-- I love NY pizza, and while I feel that many of our "classic" pizzerias are coasting on somewhat expired reputations (to varying degrees) earned by previous generations, Grimaldi's definitely wins for the most overrated, hyped-up, non-authentic, non-Italian pizza. IMHO, of course.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              disagree about witchcraft, agreee strongly about craft. witchcraft does sandwiches in a very different way than the average deli or sandwich shop. good ingredients, out of the ordinary combinations and high flvaor...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree with your assessment of 'witchcraft sandwiches. They are unique and made with good quality ingredients. Here's what I didn't like about my experience: Bad bad service-- snooty, inattentive, distracted. Boring, cold decor. Menu so "different" that, coupled with exorbitant pricing, it screams pretension to me. And I wish I could underline this point: EXORBITANT prices for "sandwiches". Four people for dinner one evening, no one left satisified, no one drank alcohol, and we paid $50.00 P.P. For fancy sandwiches and tiny portions of side dishes/appetizers. No matter how well they execute a gourmet sandwich, I couldn't possibly go back there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  $50 per person? So $200 in total? What exactly did you get?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  jsmitty and kathryn-- upon further research, I realize I was referring to Craftbar, the "less expensive" sibling restaurant to Craft. I did not intend 'witchcraft, the chain of gourmet sandwich shops. Sorry about that, my mistake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OK, whew! I've been to both 'wichcraft and Craft, and like both, although 'wichcraft is too pricey for an everyday lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      yes true regarding the prohibitiveness of witchcraft's pricing, however they are providing a much better than routine experience for that kind of eating...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jsmitty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've been on an extensive hunt for cheese grits in NYC, and was beyond disappointed with 'ichcraft's version - as in - threw a majority of it away - disappointed. Definitely overrated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BaconBits

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i never ate them? i love all the sandwiches

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BaconBits

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Try Cowgirl. Seriously.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Any restaurant whose name begins with "momofu" or "BLT" or contains "craft." IMO. (Reminder: the OP asked for OVERRATED restaurants.)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: drmoze

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    WD-50: Yuck. Agreed it's hyped.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dylan Prime: I liked thier steaks and atmosphere. Disagree with other poster.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Shake Shack: Ugh... dreadful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Norma's: a TRAVESTY

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pipa: Is this place still open? Scary food and staff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. So! What conclusions can be drawn from the 6-700 posts and the 3-4000 overrated restaurants mentioned? Eating out is a herd activity? Chowhounds are snobs? Chowhounds dont know the good from the bad? The "public" doesn't know the good from the bad? The good is bad? Zagat is full of it? Support your local diner? ( I never could "get" Shake Shack.) Help me out here.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chaz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      what is shake shack....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      danny meyer name recognition, a pretty good outside seating thing and better than average burgers. i think the custard is the star and all else is very good, not chart topping

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chaz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Marketing works................................