Anyone been to Resto?
NY Mag has made me very curious about Resto - multiple posts on Grub Street, and a full review, sound awesome - although some reviews on mouthfuls were less enthusiastic. Anyone been who can report back?
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just went last night. we arrived at 10pm and waited an hour for a table. it was very loud and crowded as a consequence of all the recent press.
overall, the restaurant was mediocre. it is a welcome addition to murray hill, but probably not worth it to go out of your way. when the crowds die down, the payoff will be much improved---they don't take reservations for parties smaller than 6 people, and the food doesn't deserve an hour wait. though large, open windows, enthusiastic and attentive staff, low density of tables and a huge bar area make for a comfortable dining experience.
now, the food itself: the best part of the menu is unquestionably the beer selection. the list includes over 50 interesting belgian bottles grouped expertly by style, some of which i have yet to find elsewhere in the city. i am a huge fan of rodenbach (both grand cru and classic are available), so i tried another red ale listed in the same category, satan red. not quite as good as rodenbach, but any list that includes multiple red ales automatically impresses me. i also had a kwak on tap, complete with its characteristic glassware. if nothing else, resto offers a great bar scene if you like beer and unique bar food.
as for the solid portion of our meal, we tried the deviled egg, the burger, and the scallops. the deviled egg was simple and intended, it seemed, to showcase the crispy pork toast, which was not quite as porky nor as crispy as i was hoping. it was also too greasy. the dish was tasty, and would make an excellent bar snack, but is probably not deserving of its $8 price tag.
the scallops were nothing special, either, and could use an extra dimension of flavor.
the burger was the best part of the meal. it was a perfect combination of thick, meaty, medium-rare, oversized meatball-shaped patty with nutty chimay cheese, mayo, pickles and red onion. the only downside was that it arrived on a fast food-style white, mushy hamburger bun. this was akin to dousing your luger porterhouse in ketchup. the frites also lacked character, like ordinary fast food fries. and the lime pickle sauce that we ordered with them tasted fake and chemically, like dipping your frites in windex. sadly, we didn't have time for dessert, and i would also like to return for brunch to sample the dutch baby.
the bill came to $74 for two (before tip), which included two beers, two glasses of wine, the deviled egg, scallops and burger.
summary: wait until the buzz dies. also, it's overpriced, and the food isn't quite good enough to deserve its hype. it will be a great neighborhood bar, and a solid place to fall back on in a pinch, but not a restaurant that i crave returning to.
Went tonight. We arrived around 9:15 and were quoted a 1 1/2 hour wait time for a table for 2. We decided to test our luck, ordered drinks at the bar, and found an open space to stand while we waited. We were seated in just under an hour. Overall, service was very friendly, and some of the food was good, but nothing was great, and I don't think I'll be rushing back. We had: deviled eggs, loup de mer, mussels in guanciale/tomato broth, and walnut tart. Deviled eggs were good. Loup de mer was properly prepared, if uninspired. Walnut tart was good. Mussels and frites were a total disappointment. The mussels were huge, but the texture was sort of gritty/powdery, and they weren't very tasty. The frites were thick cut like I like them, but they were wan and rather bland. For a Belgian restaurant to not properly prepare these standards is surprising. I think we'll stick to Cafe de Bruxelles or Petite Abeille for our Belgian fix.
went for brunch on saturday, there were many empty tables and we were seated immediately. we ordered and about 20-30 min later the chef came over to tell me that our food was ready but that he had made the wrong dish for me (the waitress messed up). I didnt want something different so I said I'd wait and he sent some fries out to keep me busy. Other than the long wait the food was great and service friendly. They even let me drink the cup of starbucks coffee I had brought along with me. I'll go back.