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What's the worst (nice) restaurant you have been to?

l
lucybobo Jul 17, 2007 12:15 PM

For me it's a tie between English is Italian and Aureole.

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  1. w
    Will4Food Jul 17, 2007 12:32 PM

    Danube..Hands Down...A terrible experience...Rude treatment by staff. Waited 10 minutes for the Maitre D, who was drinking in the bar area....Wait staff appeared angry. Water glasses not refilled; wine brought after entrees served..etc. etc.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Will4Food
      m
      maxinem Jul 18, 2007 07:17 PM

      I totally agree with Will4food re Danube. We had dined there twice in a lovely setting and reasonably good food. Then about 3 years ago we returned w/ a reservation for four. We were made to wait about 40 minutes in the bar area--while another party of similar size was seated-- and were finally offered a free drink--with NO apologies. We were then shown to a table that would have seated 8 to 10 comfortably. When we declined the table --we would have had to shout to each other to be heard--we left Danube in absolute disgust NEVER to return.

      1. re: Will4Food
        r
        Raisel Aug 17, 2007 10:10 AM

        Ditto, the first time there it was great, the second time for my birthday it was horrendous.
        They forgot to put our order in to the kitchen. It was so horrible they compt the entire dinner.

      2. k
        koko38 Jul 17, 2007 12:38 PM

        DANUBE! Ugh. Waited for 45 minutes with a reservation we made weeks in advance for a table of 8. RUDE RUDE staff. Head waiter fighting with support waiters in dining area so it was totally noticable. The entire staff acted like waiting on us was a huge inconvenience. I'd never go back again.

        1. h
          harrison Jul 17, 2007 01:43 PM

          Cafe des artistes...bleh. i wonder if Joey from top chef was in the kitchen that night?

          2 Replies
          1. re: harrison
            jfood Jul 17, 2007 01:56 PM

            thought it was just jfood. he needed a chain saw to cut through the chicken. server was pleasant though.

            1. re: jfood
              g
              gmunno Aug 17, 2007 10:28 AM

              Cafe des artistes...agreed. Beautiful resturant, but kind of like Tavern on the Green (at least when I last ate there), the food is simply not the focus. Very traditional and yet lacking any depth.

          2. r
            roze Jul 17, 2007 01:58 PM

            The Four Seasons. We waited in the bar for over an hour for our table even though we had a reservation with no explanation or apologies. Once seated our waiter was awful. He didn't bring out the wine until after our appetizers and he messed up 2 desserts and never offered to take them back. The whole time he maybe checked on us once which was just silly because as a party of 7 we probably would have ordered about 3 more bottles of wine if he had ever been around.

            1. q
              queenzeke Jul 17, 2007 02:34 PM

              L'Absinthe on the Upper East is pretty awful. I went recently on a weeknight with a couple of people from work. We had reservations, and the restaurant was nowhere near full, yet our dinner took over an hour to arrive. This might not have been so bad had our waiter not obviously lied to us about what happened. When he came back from asking the kitchen, rather than tell us they forgot about our order, our waiter made some excuse about how tons of people all came in at the same time and swamped the kitchen. Which was ridiculous, since we were there when we came in, and it was just us.

              When our food finally arrived, it was totally underwhelming - just nothing-special bistro faire. Yet soooo expensive!

              We never received so much as an apology, let alone a drink or dessert on the house. The best they could do was to offer us some more bread about 45 minutes into our wait.

              AND they were out of the duck. What kind of French restaurant runs out of duck?

              Overall, pointless waste of time and money. I will not be going back.

              1. g
                googllectual Jul 17, 2007 02:52 PM

                Mr. Chow in Tribeca is dreadful. I had a feeling as we were being seated that we were going to get royally ripped off and that's exactly what happened. It was very expensive, and the food was completely forgettable. Never again.

                That's too bad about Danube, I'd heard good things until now.

                4 Replies
                1. re: googllectual
                  sing me a bar Jul 17, 2007 08:17 PM

                  Sometimes you can see the "prepare to get totally ripped off" look in the waitstaff, especially busboys. They look at you, kind of snickering at your expectations, when they know the limitations of the kitchen. I felt that at one Battali venue.

                  1. re: googllectual
                    c
                    chocolatechip Jul 18, 2007 04:43 PM

                    Mr Chow uptown was by far the worst meal I have ever had from the poor quality, to the horrible service to the $150 overcharge for items I never ordered and never recieved... that the waiter tried to convince me that it was "cheaper for me to charge you than not to charge you" also gave us and charged us for 1 1/2 orders of everything. Absolutely blows my mind that this restaurant gets away with this quality of service and food. My second choice for overrated poor meal is Nobu...for cooked food they are good but there are FAR better sushi places in this city. don't waste your time on a novelty.

                    1. re: chocolatechip
                      f
                      Feed Me Jul 19, 2007 06:59 PM

                      That's the whole point of Mr. Chow -- reason why Warhol loved it -- mediochre food in the most overblown hyped-out environment --> popular culture of capitalism at its best

                      1. re: chocolatechip
                        k
                        kayonyc Jul 20, 2007 09:27 AM

                        Definitely agree on Mr. Chow's uptown. Horrible horrible service - with the male non-asian waiter arrogantly explaining to us (3 asian females) what it meant to eat a meal "family style." He might as well have given us a demo on "how to use chopsticks correctly." Drinks were simply forgotten, and food was less than memorable.

                        Why is this place so desirable as to spawn a hundred chainlets in other cities?

                    2. seal Jul 17, 2007 03:32 PM

                      Gotta give one more vote for (against?) Danube. I was there with a sales rep for a free meal, anything at all we wanted. Wurst food ever. By the end we just wanted to leave.

                      Did not however experience extraordinarily bad service though, just mediocre. But the food ....pleh!

                      1. n
                        nikky Jul 17, 2007 04:16 PM

                        Why Aureole? The service is usually lacking when I've been, but it wouldn't make my "worst" list. And, not to beat a dead horse, but I've got to concur with the Danube nominations - awfully disappointing.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: nikky
                          l
                          lucybobo Jul 17, 2007 04:19 PM

                          Blueberry creme brulee with Early Grey foam?? One of our main courses was severaly oversalted. Onboxious, unprofessional service and dated looking decor. It's not the worst restaurant I've been to, but the worst high end restaurant.

                          1. re: lucybobo
                            ellenost Aug 17, 2007 02:39 PM

                            Chacun a son gout! Aureole is my most favorite restaurant! Just had a spectacular birthday dinner (food, service and wine) at Aureole last night!

                            My vote for worst fine dining restaurant is Daniel: horrible pretentious service. I wouldn't go back even for a free dinner.

                        2. t
                          travelmad478 Jul 17, 2007 04:23 PM

                          The Four Seasons. The food was not just below what I'd expect for $35 for a bowl of soup, it was below what I'd expect for $4 for a bowl of soup. Our waiter was completely incapable of handling the members of our party who were non-native (although fluent) speakers of English, and was pretty rude overall.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: travelmad478
                            princeofpork Jul 18, 2007 05:03 AM

                            Its a tie between Dylan Prime and English is Italian. Dylan Prime provided horrific service of food that was even worse. English is Italian tried to upsell us on everything from the water to the coffee and the end. The table side Mozzarella was worse than Pollyo String Cheese

                            1. re: princeofpork
                              b
                              BrigitteT Jul 26, 2007 07:05 PM

                              I agree with Dylan Prime - mediocre steaks, cold sides, arrogant service, and astronomical prices. The worst steakhouse I've personally been to.

                            2. re: travelmad478
                              fat parish Jul 22, 2007 02:01 PM

                              Agreed abt Four Seasons. Went to the Pool Room recently. Awful banquet-type food and horrible, rude service. They treated us like tourists who would leave a bad tip. It was also terribly overpriced. And had a very bland meal at Periyali last night. Boring and expensive with waiters running around like chickens with their heads cut off for no good reason. The place was only half full by the time we arrived. Disappointing since both rooms are lovely.

                            3. s
                              scrittrice Jul 17, 2007 05:15 PM

                              Mas. Mas, Mas, Mas. Overpriced, characterless food that didn't match menu descriptions ("baby calamari," for example, were regular calamari chopped into small pieces--WTF?) made with poor quality ingredients. Bad service (only on hearing a waitperson recite specials to the table next to us did we learn there were specials) bordering on rude, and to top it off their AC was broken and they didn't bother to warn us about it and shrugged when we pointed it out. I felt like I was on Candid Camera.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: scrittrice
                                h
                                howdyyall Jul 22, 2007 10:46 AM

                                I second Mas. We had oysters and a cocktail at the bar before being seated, and all was swell at that point. It wasn't until the main course that it got really, really bad. Perhaps because I'm a bit shy or because my husband is a cook and I worry about getting cooks yelled at, I had never sent back a dish...until Mas. I think it was a braised shortrib, or something else that should be very tender; but, it was so dry and stringy, even relatively unpicky me couldn't take more than a couple bites. The waitress was very nice about it and obviously offered another entree, but I was already pretty full from apps and passed on a replacement. I guess we should have expected it, but it wasn't any less annoying to discover that, though they didn't charge us for my entree, they did charge us for the truffle supplement I barely touched. In the end, we spent a couple hundred dollars on a crappy meal.

                                1. re: scrittrice
                                  j
                                  jsmitty Jul 22, 2007 05:00 PM

                                  2nd mas... this and some others appeared on a topic of mine some time ago "overrated restaurants" it had long life and many posts

                                2. LeahBaila Jul 17, 2007 05:39 PM

                                  Philippe (is it still open?)

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: LeahBaila
                                    j
                                    jdmetz Jul 18, 2007 03:08 PM

                                    I was wondering that too. I hope not for the sake of anyone else that gets conned into going there. By far the worst restaurant experience I have ever had.

                                  2. c
                                    cimui Jul 17, 2007 07:28 PM

                                    Neo Sushi on the UWS. The place is a joke, but not a very funny one. (Fish is "fishy" in a way that even the gobs of sauces can't cover up.) I also think Centrico in Tribeca is pretty darn bad. The food is bland, the service slow, rude and inattentive.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: cimui
                                      n
                                      nld2thx Jul 30, 2007 06:31 PM

                                      Agreed on Neo Sushi. They tried to market "white salmon" as very rare on their menu- and charged way too much for it. If one likes to eat over-priced farm-raised salmon deceptively marketed, then this may be alright. But, for those who enjoy wild salmon it is worth noting that all farm raised salmon have white flesh until they are fed a type of phytoplankton ( a dinoflagellate) which naturally contains "red" pigments. Wild salmon are naturally pink in color because they consume such phytoplankton. Because dinoflagellates are so wide spread in salmon feeding grounds, it is impossible for a wild salmon's flesh to be white.
                                      I wish we had left when I saw the deceptive menu description - we didn't and the sushi was barely edible.

                                    2. m
                                      motocarlo Jul 17, 2007 08:06 PM

                                      TIA POL.......We waited for 40 minutes and didn't even finish our food, it was that bad.

                                      ESCA.....I ordered the Uni and got a bad one........'nuff said. Besides the fact that the decor reminds me of my aunt Yola's house in 1994.

                                      DYLAN PRIME......I have never in my life referred to a 40 steak as a "piece of junk"

                                      STRIP HOUSE......Cheesy decor, and my strip steak came with some sort of ridiculous herb salt that, I swear to God, still makes me heave when I think about it. Uggh.

                                      I don't think anyone really goes to Pastis for the food, so I am not going to bring up that dump.

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: motocarlo
                                        j
                                        JeremyEG Jul 17, 2007 09:19 PM

                                        Can I ask what the bad food was at Tia Pol? I've also waited a long time (since they don't take reservations) but I've found nearly all their dishes to be delicious. Just curious.
                                        JeremyEG

                                        1. re: JeremyEG
                                          z
                                          zoeterry Jul 17, 2007 10:12 PM

                                          While maybe not in the same price range as some of the other restaurants mentioned, we had a terrible experience at Falai. We made reservations for a table of six a month in advance. Although the food wasn't the worst, the service was just unbelievable. One example - They tried to turn over our table in the middle of our main course and asked us to "please keep in mind that they have the next party already waiting for the table." It just totally ruined what should have been a great meal with friends out of town.

                                          1. re: zoeterry
                                            j
                                            jackieparis Jul 18, 2007 05:05 AM

                                            Anthos Greek restaurant in Times Square. The portions were so small that I had to eat a second dinner after my dinner there. My entree was $38 and sooooo small.

                                            1. re: jackieparis
                                              uwsfoodiegal Jul 26, 2007 05:21 PM

                                              Just went to Anthos last Saturday night and what a joke! The dinning room looks like a Florida old-age home cafeteria circa 1954 and the food was just not good.

                                              1. re: uwsfoodiegal
                                                j
                                                jsmitty Aug 31, 2007 07:28 AM

                                                agreed. kefi, there other place, is great.

                                            2. re: zoeterry
                                              e
                                              elizabeththinks Jul 31, 2007 01:29 PM

                                              had a similar experience at Falai - although we had reservations for 3 they put as at a table for 2, even though one of use was over 6 ft. tall. food was good, but not great, & my entree was tepid

                                            3. re: JeremyEG
                                              m
                                              motocarlo Jul 18, 2007 07:27 AM

                                              Well, I had just gotten back from San Sebastian when we went to Tia Pol so I was a little biased. I mention the wait only because we got to the pont that we were very hungry and even then could not finish our food. It was a while ago, but as I recall we had Patatas Bravas, a squid dish, croquetas, and shrimp. The entire meal just lacked any taste of brightness or freshness. Believe me, I really wanted to like it, and was quite excited about the place when I first heard about it.

                                            4. re: motocarlo
                                              s
                                              smokedgouda Jul 20, 2007 06:37 AM

                                              I really liked Strip House, and I have been to all the great steak houses. The decor is cheesy, but the steaks (and that's what it's all about isn't it?) were 10/10.

                                            5. jinet12 Jul 18, 2007 05:16 AM

                                              Except for the visual beauty of the place, my vote is for Tavern on the Green...

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: jinet12
                                                ChefJune Jul 18, 2007 07:29 AM

                                                Gee... I didn't know any New Yorkers thought TOTG was a "nice" restaurant, in the first place! It's appalling.

                                              2. f
                                                Fallon Jul 18, 2007 07:25 AM

                                                Gotta make a call out to Cimui who mentioned Neo on the UWS.... I actually never thought of that dump when I was reading this thread bc it didn't register as a High end or as a nice restaurant. I've never had anything close to a good or acceptable experience at Neo & only ever returned bc different friends had booked it for dinner 2 other times & I didn't want to be difficult. Needless to say all 3 "dining experiences" were horrible & were capped by the ridiculous pricing. Neo is more expensive than Nobu. Terrible service, rude host/owner (some freakish Kim Jong-il lookalike) and awful food. I'm suprised it's still open as I live nearby & it is near empty most evenings as the locals have finally figured it out. Thanks for jarring my memory Cimui of that place...

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Fallon
                                                  c
                                                  cimui Jul 30, 2007 05:10 PM

                                                  Oooh, sorry to jog a bad memory.... In nicer thoughts, Kefi on the UWS is really, really good!

                                                  1. re: cimui
                                                    f
                                                    Fallon Jul 30, 2007 07:27 PM

                                                    Too funny-a guy just mentioned Kefi to me today as a place to check out, he said the food is excellent & not too pricey. Will try it soon...

                                                    1. re: Fallon
                                                      m
                                                      MIKELOCK34 Aug 31, 2007 11:24 AM

                                                      We have had good food at Kefi, but our service has been pretty bad there. A few weeks back, our server had nine tables in his section. You can imagine the service that we received. We still go for the food though. The retsina that they serve in the 500ml bottle is good too.

                                                2. m
                                                  mrnyc Jul 18, 2007 11:27 AM

                                                  MARCH. we went for a celebration. i thought the pretty townhouse was very shabby on the inside and the food was uninspired. so while it was not outright bad at all it was kind of worse than that as it was so very disappointing. i think it's closed now, no loss.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: mrnyc
                                                    jfood Jul 18, 2007 12:31 PM

                                                    quite a while ago since not only did March close over a year ago, the resto that took over the space has also closed. no need to worry about that one any more.

                                                    1. re: jfood
                                                      m
                                                      mrnyc Jul 20, 2007 07:21 AM

                                                      lol! yeah, but i didnt think there was a time limit on this topic.

                                                      otoh, that means i havent been so let down since, which is good.

                                                  2. p
                                                    PickyEater81 Jul 18, 2007 11:41 AM

                                                    No doubt it's Da Silvano! I have never been so taken advantage of in all of my life. I have eaten at some of the best restaurants in NY, LA, Chicago, London, etc and never had an experience like I did here. My parents were visiting and I wanted to bring them someplace with a great NY scene. We ordered a bunch of fantastic appetizers like the grilled vegetables. I believe the plate was $18 and actually worth every penny. However, when they brought us bread for the table my dad made the mistake of asking for a big of parmesan. They brought out a nice piece of cheese that we all nibbled on and used in our pasta as well. When the bill came we saw they charged us $36 for the parmesan! That was more than the cost of our pasta entrees. They didn't like that we wanted cheese so they took advantage of us. What kind of Italian restaurant charges for parmesan at all? Certainly not Il Mulino, Del Posto, Il Giglio, etc. This place has clearly only done well because they treat celebrities like royalty and regular patrons like crap. They should be ashamed of themselves. Don't go here!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: PickyEater81
                                                      j
                                                      jdream Jul 24, 2007 11:01 AM

                                                      "However, when they brought us bread for the table my dad made the mistake of asking for a big of parmesan."

                                                      I know that there is a typo in that sentence-- had your dad asked for a big piece of parmasean? Although I agree that it was shady business, if you were brought a big piece of parmaggiano reggiano (the real stuff) I would understand a charge--albeit not without warning you first.

                                                    2. chompchomp Jul 18, 2007 02:08 PM

                                                      Spice Market. I went 3 summers ago and was served atrocious gloppy sticky food that was horrible. Second to that is the Queen's Hideaway in Greenpoint.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: chompchomp
                                                        LeahBaila Jul 18, 2007 02:11 PM

                                                        Second Spice Market

                                                        1. re: chompchomp
                                                          s
                                                          shmack Jul 24, 2007 11:32 AM

                                                          second queen's hideaway.

                                                          it was refreshing addition to the neighborhood the first and second visits but i vowed never to return after the server refused to seat me at 8:30 on halloween with the entire bank of tables-for-two empty. she told me that there would be a 45 minutes wait. yeah right, there are plenty of spots in the neighborhood with great food but without queen's pretensions.

                                                        2. w
                                                          weekenders Jul 18, 2007 04:38 PM

                                                          Having recently dined at Union Square Cafe I have to report that 4 of us had a well executed totally unmemorable meal. What was all the fuss about? Gotham puts it to shame.
                                                          Also had a lack lustwe meal at Walsse.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: weekenders
                                                            b
                                                            bearmi Jul 18, 2007 05:15 PM

                                                            Yeah. Union Square Cafe is so famous/popular but the food is not that great. I was there 10 years ago when I took my parents and my sister there. I was so excited to go to show them a "nice" New York restaurant. It was so embarassing when the food came and everything was flavorless and bland. My parents didn't even finish their food but they didn't complain because I had treated them. The only thing that was good was the dessert... some tapioca parfait with mango and some other fruits. It was very unique back then but these days, you can find Mango on the menu even at Applebee's! It was a total waste of time and money. I remember the waiter wasn't so nice either. I guess he thought we weren't going to give him a nice tip (because were looked like "tourists") and he got just what he had expected!

                                                            1. re: bearmi
                                                              k
                                                              kik Jul 21, 2007 05:20 PM

                                                              Funny, the food was so bad that it scarred you and you're still talking about it 10 years later :) I personally love USC, maybe my favorite restaurant in NYC. You should go back and give it another shot. Every place has an off night once in a while. First time I went there was about 7 years ago, and have been going back regularly ever since.

                                                              1. re: kik
                                                                b
                                                                bearmi Jul 22, 2007 01:34 PM

                                                                Yeah.. It was pretty bad. Maybe I will go back again just to see if it was an "off" day. I pass by it quite often and almost went back again about a year ago but decided not to because of my friend's budget. Perhaps I can go by myself and check it out again just to fulfill my curiosity.

                                                            2. re: weekenders
                                                              jinet12 Jul 18, 2007 05:59 PM

                                                              Funny...I was going to mention Union Square Cafe, though I decided it was not the worst...Our meal was not bad, just, as you say, "unmemorable"...Because it was always somewhere I had looked forward to going, ( have had their cookbook for years), I was so surprised that it wasn't any better than it was...and it was too expensive for that! It was just one of those places that I SO wanted to like....

                                                              1. re: jinet12
                                                                j
                                                                jdream Jul 24, 2007 11:03 AM

                                                                Agreed, USC is not bad just totally lackluster.

                                                            3. sing me a bar Jul 18, 2007 04:47 PM

                                                              Tavern On The Green was absolutely comical. My cousin from Rome wanted to experience. Funny thing is, as much as I warned him, he had to discover with each bite how abysmal it was. The typical Python-esque clueless busboys grabbing things you were eating. Filling water glasses madly to compensate for how awfully the place ran. And the busboys actually studied you as if they couldn't believe what an idiot you'd have to be to eat what came out of the kitchen. Defined a gyp joint for people who only came there once.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: sing me a bar
                                                                DoctortedNYC Jul 18, 2007 05:19 PM

                                                                Buddakan:

                                                                Pretentious, Disneyish; Dark and Dungeon-like.

                                                                Feels and looks like a 1980's disco.
                                                                Mediocre food. Indiferrent service.

                                                                Central Park Boathouse: Avoid the rudeness and overpriced food.

                                                                1. re: DoctortedNYC
                                                                  r
                                                                  RGR Jul 19, 2007 11:15 AM

                                                                  Last summer, we were at the Boathouse for the first time for lunch. I was actually surprised that the food was much better than what I was expecting. In fact, it was well-prepared and quite tasty. On the other hand, I couldn't call service rude since it was basically *non-existent*!

                                                                  1. re: DoctortedNYC
                                                                    s
                                                                    smokedgouda Jul 20, 2007 06:45 AM

                                                                    I second Buddakan. We had a reservation and they made us wait for an hour while there were open tables we could see from the bar. Food was decent but oily and overpriced.

                                                                    1. re: DoctortedNYC
                                                                      i
                                                                      iwontforgetthisone Jul 30, 2007 08:04 PM

                                                                      Buddhakan sucks. I also hated Koi. It was like asianfusion fast food with exorbitant prices and crappy wait staff. The food came too quickly, and the sashimi salad was room temperature and tasted like humid kitchen air.

                                                                  2. jfood Jul 19, 2007 11:32 AM

                                                                    Please add Vong to the list.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: jfood
                                                                      Ora Jul 20, 2007 08:02 AM

                                                                      Indeed--went to Vong 1x and it was enough for me.

                                                                      1. re: Ora
                                                                        a
                                                                        AriB Jul 22, 2007 05:49 PM

                                                                        I completely agree. I went there last week with my bf for restaurant week. Everything was completely ordinary and unlike any other Jean George's restaurants I've been to/heard of. The only plus was that our server was nice...

                                                                    2. b
                                                                      BW212 Jul 19, 2007 11:50 AM

                                                                      I don't know if it was the worst "nice" restaurant that I've eaten at, but since I don't remember anything that bugged me more, and since Danube seems to be popping up a lot on here, I'll share my Danube story.

                                                                      We went there years ago. I wanted to get the tasting menu. One of the courses was a tossed salad, but I was allergic to an ingredient in the dressing. I asked if I could order the meal as is, but just get the salad course dry without any dressing. This was not an issue of trying to make the meal less fattening, it was a real allergy.

                                                                      I didn't think it would be a problem, as dressing was not a necessary component of the dish, like cheese in macaroni and cheese. It was just salad dressing.

                                                                      Our server was appalled that I dared to want to ruin "David's" vision. He treated me like I'd ask to buy the Mona Lisa, but wanted to have the nose removed first. I was told that it would not be done.

                                                                      I was stunned. I asked our server if they'd enjoy watching me get sick at the table. Eventually, after much discussion and calling in a manager,"permission" was granted for me to get the salad sans dressing.

                                                                      I've never been back.

                                                                      I have unfortunately been to Bouley a few times. I've found their servers to not be very user friendly either. (and that is without asking for special food considerations).

                                                                      Per Se is totally unlike that. Nor are any of the other fine restaurants that I've dined in. They actually want to make their customers happy.

                                                                      1. k
                                                                        kam0424 Jul 19, 2007 01:47 PM

                                                                        Old Homestead, rude service and bad steaks.

                                                                        1. h
                                                                          hon Jul 19, 2007 01:53 PM

                                                                          Gotham City, the waiter practically ignored us and the food was so unmemorable I can't remember what I had.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: hon
                                                                            williej33 Jul 25, 2007 07:26 AM

                                                                            I had the same experience at Gotham City-- unimaginative, mediocre food and terrible service. Had roughly the same experience at Cafe des Artistes.

                                                                          2. egit Jul 19, 2007 02:44 PM

                                                                            To agree (sort of) with the OP, it would have to have been Tuscan Steak. The food was expensive, the waiter was disinterested, and the food was really really not good. I don't remember now what we all had, but I remember my group discussing it afterwards. "Not going back there, ever."

                                                                            Though the most overtly rude waiter I ever had was probably at Smith and Wollensky.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: egit
                                                                              n
                                                                              njeggy1 Aug 17, 2007 01:20 PM

                                                                              I went to Tuscan Steak twice - once before rocco started consulting and once after rocco. Pre-Rocco was amazing. Family Style. Soo good! I don't have anything nice to say about post-rocco.

                                                                            2. j
                                                                              jls602 Jul 19, 2007 06:50 PM

                                                                              fleur de sel -- shabby space, average food

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: jls602
                                                                                t
                                                                                thebeavises Jul 20, 2007 06:50 AM

                                                                                I second Fleur de Sel-- the food is lacking any of the flavors that are written on the menu! Or any flavor, for that matter.

                                                                                1. re: thebeavises
                                                                                  j
                                                                                  jsmitty Jul 22, 2007 05:02 PM

                                                                                  that''s a good one. i agree. my meal there was expensive and unremarkable in every way

                                                                                2. re: jls602
                                                                                  a_and_w Jul 20, 2007 12:17 PM

                                                                                  If Fleur de Sel is your absolute worst, you've eaten extremely well!

                                                                                  1. re: a_and_w
                                                                                    Up With Olives Aug 17, 2007 11:27 AM

                                                                                    Thanks for mentioning Fleur de Sel. It's so well liked on these boards. I wouldn't say my experience was anywhere near bad but it was bland, and so expensive, I felt really ripped off for weeks afterward. And the Holly Hobbie farmhouse decor was not for me.

                                                                                    1. re: Up With Olives
                                                                                      j
                                                                                      jsmitty Aug 31, 2007 07:30 AM

                                                                                      yes yes yes regarding fleur de sel
                                                                                      add mas to my list. this post is similar to one i did about overrated spots

                                                                                3. b
                                                                                  berna Jul 22, 2007 07:04 AM

                                                                                  Hated Aureole! The food was so salty we could not even eat it. No one questioned as they removed our almost untouched plates. Why didn't we complain and send it back? Because I'd rather just not return.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: berna
                                                                                    LeahBaila Jul 22, 2007 10:23 AM

                                                                                    Haven't been to the location in NYC, but the Aureole in Las Vegas was just bad.

                                                                                  2. j
                                                                                    jsmitty Jul 22, 2007 05:03 PM

                                                                                    then it's good for you that english is italian closed

                                                                                    1. m
                                                                                      MIKELOCK34 Jul 22, 2007 05:30 PM

                                                                                      Bouley for me. The food on the tasting menu was very poor. The captain kept chastising my server in front of me at the table. Two points with that. One -the service was fine. Two- Do not chastise a server at my table regardless let alone repeatedly.

                                                                                      1. l
                                                                                        lorenlpw1 Jul 22, 2007 06:28 PM

                                                                                        Frankie and Johnny's garment district; first time in 30 years I've called the next day and complained to the owner about the bad food and poor service. He offered me a free bottle of freixenet on my next visit...what a sport.

                                                                                        1. AndCalliope Jul 23, 2007 01:46 PM

                                                                                          Frank's (steakhouse in Chelsea). They committed steak crime with my "medium-rare" read hockey-puck steak. Awful service too.

                                                                                          1. a
                                                                                            ajgnet Jul 24, 2007 07:17 AM

                                                                                            I'm going to have to go with Cafe Boulud. My experience there several months ago was pretty awful. We arrived for a 9pm reserve and were not seated until just after 10pm. My appetizer, butternut squash soup, was of milk-thin viscosity, garnished with one too many raw apple slices and ... brussel sprouts? in addition to the random greens, there was a half inch pebble at the bottom of the bowl. my main course was served on top squid-ink risotto which was so darkly stained from the ink that it was nearly impossible to discern between chorizo and potato ... the fish also looked pretty ugly after just a few bites. i was really looking forward to eating here after having highlight dining experiences at the other db restaurants ... this might have just been an off night; but, i can't bring myself back to returning anytime in the near future.

                                                                                            1. b
                                                                                              Belvino Jul 24, 2007 07:18 AM

                                                                                              I thought we were talking about "Nice" restaurants... I don't think the Boathouse, Frank's in Chelsea or Frankie & Johnnie's really counts. Surprisingly, all of the "Nice" restaurants I've been to in the last 12-months have really been way above expectations and quite enjoyable. A Vocce, Babbo, Per Se, Eleven Madison Park, Alto, Daniel, Jean Georges, all were worthy of my money. I haven't been to Bouley for a while and never been to Danube, so I might just have to check them out. I'd like to read more stories about terrible experiences at really Nice places, not mediocre ones.

                                                                                              1. MystrEater Jul 24, 2007 07:22 AM

                                                                                                Last weekend I went to Morimoto again. It was my second visit. The first was horrible too but I gave it another chance as the first visit was mostly drinking, and less eating.
                                                                                                - Recent Thursday,- god awful service. soo many,no, TOO many waiters, servers, whatever you want to call them, all milling around constantly and yet, no one notices to bring water, serve food on time. I ordered omakase (leave it to the chef), so there's no menu. I eat anything and everything but I'm still curious to know what I'm eating, and yet not a single dish was explained without me asking. Not to mention I had no idea what the hell they were saying with their heavy heavy accents. (I'm a foreigner too, but if you'r job is to explain food, at least you can do it so we know what your saying....
                                                                                                The food itself was terrible. - omakase (chef's course) is often a tasting course of dishes that the chef creates, to represent the best effort of the chef. And yet, each dish that came out was made by a chef-in-training, as I can see clearly because of the open-kitchen dining style. - none of the dishes were memorable in a good way, but let me mention one horrible dish, a gigantic oyster although beautiful was just simmered in store bought teriyaki sauce. This was an awful attempt to use old (unfresh) Oysters (although big in size) was disgustingly fishy. i spit mine out. (by the way, i love oysters, i know what a good one taste like)

                                                                                                now, what's up with their drink lists? a mega japanese restaurant and they only carry 3 normal sakes? which all taste like crap (most likely made in the US by some major factory, like gekeikan or some other crap) and slapping the morimoto name on it. Steven starr needs to wake up, not everyone is going to overlook his greedy mega posh excuse of a restaurant just by whoring Morimoto's name. And just cuz he's an iron chef, doesn't mean anything. his food he himself made was crap too. what kind of japanese sushi-trained chef can proudly serve soggy, fried soft shell crab? the oil was probably really old, you can smell tempura or something else in the food because the oil was so old. and then it was cold and un-crunchy. too much rice in the roll to begin with, and each piece being the size of a toiletpaper roll. god awful. how do you stand there and serve that crap to us?

                                                                                                and to boot, as we sat there and watched in front of our veryown eyes, a morimoto fan (clearly not from new york, probably ohio or pennsylvania (far but not too far) ran up to the counter and asked morimoto for a picture. he barely acknowledges the fan to take a photo, interupting the diners being leaned on. the girl asked if he can come around from behind the counter to pose for a photo and he says no, then the girl asks to come back where he is, behind the counter. he explodes in anger saying "what do you think this is? I'm working here. you don't go to a mets game and ask to pose with the players on the field do you?" quote for quote. - I was just shocked. who does morimoto think he is? without his fans, he's nothing but a sushi guy. the nerve

                                                                                                god, i feel good to let it all out. i wish everyone would wake up and stop going to such crappy commercialized places. there's no soul or heart put into anything they do. the service is horrible. the food was disgusting. the prices outrageous (especially when you knwo better, the drinks are re-labeled to conceal their generic bottom shelf products) and not to mention the awful interior design. $3million over budget on a designer who made it look like a experiment in white.

                                                                                                oh, i can;'t finish without mentioning another dish the chef-iun trianing had made for us. it started off as a preboiled lobster in a pan, with a crust of cayenne pepper sprinkled on, with a squirt bottle of olive oil? broth/stock? just splashed on. the best part, when the pan spitting oil ignited, the brief flare-up was tamed by the chef blowing the fire out. what is it your birthday cake buddy'? I'm wathcing you sitting there as you spit/blow all over my food. how disgusting? the best part, there's 4 other hgiher-ranking chefs stanbding around without taking notice or even cautioning him. oh wait, he did it two different times. what kind of real deal chef wears that much jewerlery anyway? watches, rings, bracelets? clearly no focus on the passion to cook. god, what a nightmare of an experience. I am never going back to that sinking ship again.

                                                                                                hey mr. starr if you had half a brain, i'd scrap the whole thing and start fresh.

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: MystrEater
                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                  jeanki Jul 31, 2007 09:15 AM

                                                                                                  I've heard similar complaints about Morimoto; my family went to the one in Philly and were similarly unimpressed and felt frankly ripped off as the portions were miniscule and overpriced. I'm also tired of Stephen Starr and his ilk and the soullless food 'palaces' he creates.

                                                                                                  I don't know if I agree though about Morimoto being arrogant for telling the fan to leave him be; if he is in the middle of preparing food for customers, it's kind of unhygienic and rude for someone to just go behind the counter (or for him to leave his station) to pose for a photo with him. I've generally heard that he is friendly and gracious to his customers; and his Mets analogy wasn't really incorrect.

                                                                                                  1. re: MystrEater
                                                                                                    DarthEater Aug 17, 2007 08:35 AM

                                                                                                    I have to side with Morimoto on this one. He has enough passion for food to turn down a photo while he is preparing a customers dish. However, once he steps out of the kitchen he was gracious enough to shake hands with those who recognize him.

                                                                                                    Your review sounds to be more on a personal level.

                                                                                                    1. re: DarthEater
                                                                                                      tuxedo Aug 17, 2007 11:47 AM

                                                                                                      I had a very different experience at Morimoto in Philly, We too had the omakase - we found the food to be above and beyond our expectations, the servers were very attentive, each course was explained and when a follow up question was asked, patience in the answer. I can not wait to return! ( of course I will save my pennies, dinner for 2 with tip $388 - ( did not see the iron chef himself )

                                                                                                  2. c
                                                                                                    clr111 Jul 24, 2007 11:49 AM

                                                                                                    I hate to say it but Del Posto. Too fussy for italian, too expensive.

                                                                                                    1. r
                                                                                                      rax Jul 24, 2007 12:10 PM

                                                                                                      V Steakhouse (thankfully closed--terrible in every possible way)
                                                                                                      Cafe Gray (cost-benefit ratio worst)
                                                                                                      Dressler (does this count as a nice restaurant? the service was awful, we were completely ignored and condescended to, despite being nice, calm people, ordering three courses, cocktails and pricey wine...when I brought it up on the way out w/the manager, he told me he was sorry I felt that way--what an asshole.)

                                                                                                      1. f
                                                                                                        ffrench Jul 24, 2007 05:11 PM

                                                                                                        Oceana Restaurant really disappointed. The decor is like being on a 1980's cruise ship, and that the food is sub-par. Although we were treated to dinner ...... I didn't have the gumption to tell our hosts the fish & seafood was just ho-hum.

                                                                                                        1. s
                                                                                                          squirrelzipper Jul 24, 2007 05:54 PM

                                                                                                          Really has to be Capsouto Freres in Tribeca.
                                                                                                          This place trys to pass itself off as an elegant French bistro where in reality the place is stuck in the late 70's. I quite expected they would serve flaming crepes suzettes! So such luck only a stale old menu and cheezy atmosphere.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: squirrelzipper
                                                                                                            ChefJune Jul 31, 2007 01:45 PM

                                                                                                            Since when are French Bistros "elegant?" Capsouto Freres is a homey, very French and delicious. and they DO serve crepes suzettes.

                                                                                                            Still reasonably priced, since they own the building they're in, and a very fun place to dine for any meal! I don't put it in the same category with Daniel, Jean-Georges and the like, tho... it's a true bistro.

                                                                                                          2. t
                                                                                                            tsiblis Jul 25, 2007 05:33 AM

                                                                                                            We were totally let down by Danube, bouley, craft, l'absinthe, donatello and something that was filled with brassy blondes with expensive purses, and Perry street, all of which are expensive and we found nothing we enjoyed at any of them despite the fancy settings.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: tsiblis
                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                              jsmitty Jul 25, 2007 06:07 AM

                                                                                                              bouley, craft and perry st. made my list awhile ago on another post

                                                                                                              1. re: jsmitty
                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                synergy Jul 27, 2007 10:55 AM

                                                                                                                We went to Bouley for the 1st time a few weeks ago. I was kind of taken back when the waiter mentioned more than once to me how surprised he was that I finished everything on each plate...he didn't say it as if it were a compliment to the chef...more like a criticism to me for eating so much.

                                                                                                            2. g
                                                                                                              greenegirl Jul 25, 2007 07:01 AM

                                                                                                              SAUL -- super small portions and big attitude.
                                                                                                              Artisanal -- we ordered a specific cheese and the waiter brought us something else and didn't mention it. when we questioned the cheese, he said they were out and didn't think we'd notice.
                                                                                                              da silvano -- two of us had lunch and paid buy credit card. The waiter added the tip to the charge bill. when i tried to complain, got nowhere. the only consolation is he shorted himself because we'd planned to leave more.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: greenegirl
                                                                                                                j
                                                                                                                jsmitty Jul 25, 2007 06:14 PM

                                                                                                                bar pitti next door to da silvano although with attitude, is very good

                                                                                                                1. re: greenegirl
                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                  synergy Jul 27, 2007 10:53 AM

                                                                                                                  I second Artisanal. We had terrible service. The bartender ignored me for 20 minutes and I had to wave him down - and that was with only a few people there. The service at the table was arrogant by our server (we had so many servers it was confusing & we didn't know who to ask what for), the left hand didn't know what the right was doing, food didn't impress me enough to go back.

                                                                                                                2. h
                                                                                                                  h0wie201 Jul 25, 2007 08:51 PM

                                                                                                                  Del Posto then possibly La Bernardin then Babbo. All very average (La Bernardin) to sub-average (Del Posto) dishes. I expect the top places to be hands down great in most dishes. These places had some dishes that were utterly forgetable while having few to remember.

                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: h0wie201
                                                                                                                    HungryRubia Jul 26, 2007 05:54 AM

                                                                                                                    I had a very good meal a Babbo last year. I know from reviews that it can be inconsistent in terms of food and service, but my party of 6 had the traditional tasting menu with paired wines and it was wonderful. It was a Friday night, our reservation was at 9:30, got seated on time, and did not feel rushed even though it was a little after 1:30am when we left and the second to last table in the place.

                                                                                                                    1. re: h0wie201
                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                      smokedgouda Jul 26, 2007 08:09 AM

                                                                                                                      Which dishes did you have and why were they below average? I've been to Del Posto and found most everything excellent (except the tome of a wine list).

                                                                                                                      1. re: smokedgouda
                                                                                                                        h
                                                                                                                        h0wie201 Jul 26, 2007 02:21 PM

                                                                                                                        re: Del Posto. To be frank, most of the 6 people in my party didn't particularly like any of the dishes we had at all. None were terrible by any means, but none were above average compared to any other "good" italian restuarants we have been to. The again, we did just come back from Italy. Some of the pasta dishes were definitely "good" per se but not anything memorable. We had a fairly good orechiette dish and gnocchi dish, but none of the secondi, risotto or apps were more than just so-so.

                                                                                                                        1. re: h0wie201
                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                          shortstop Jul 26, 2007 06:59 PM

                                                                                                                          Agreed on Del Posto. Have been there twice, the first time a while ago, after which I said I would not go back as the service was not as warm or polished as it should be for a restaurant of the caliber it aspires to be. (and the food didnt blow me away enough to make up for it.) But then went back recently to celebrate a special occasion - with the thought that since I like Babbo and Lupa so much, why not give it a second chance. Mistake. There was something about the way the hostess said she could not seat our party until we were complete that set our evening off on the wrong note, she was not at all welcoming or gracious. Our captain seemed somewhat inexperienced; the pacing of the pasta courses was plodding (one was interesting, the other two not memorable) and then our entrees were just not good. (I had the grilled seafood and tasted one of my dining companions' duck, both dishes were off.) Dessert was the best part of the meal, but by that point we had had enough. We all agreed - it's one of those restaurants you really want to like but, no need to return.

                                                                                                                          1. re: shortstop
                                                                                                                            d
                                                                                                                            Daniel76 Jul 27, 2007 09:19 AM

                                                                                                                            Del Posto - expensive and pretty average.. I had a 100 dollar dish there and felt it was way over priced and the room was kind of ugly.. Also there was a wait for the restrooms. I would rather go to Lupa three times then this place once..

                                                                                                                            Old Homestead- Steak is average, sides are bad...

                                                                                                                            Gordon Ramsey- but they have a new chef there these days. Might be better but, I had really shitty service.. They shut the lights on us while we were eating lunch..

                                                                                                                            Neo Sushi - I wouldnt say the food was fishy or the quality bad.. The experience is just average and the food is crazy expensive.. And its one of the least comfortable restaurants I have been to..

                                                                                                                            Baldoria- garbage ass Italian Food

                                                                                                                            1. re: Daniel76
                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                              mcoleman Jul 31, 2007 06:27 AM

                                                                                                                              the prices at neo sushi are ridiculous and atmosphere-wise it's about a half step above yr local takeout sushi including faded pictures of celebs like at an aged greek coffee shop. mystifing. oh and lol @ somebody comparing the host to kim il jong upthread...service isn't THAT bad.

                                                                                                                              1. re: mcoleman
                                                                                                                                f
                                                                                                                                Fallon Aug 13, 2007 01:35 PM

                                                                                                                                On the service front @ Neo-I ordered the rock shrimp tempura & wanted tempura dipping sauce instead of the tartar based sauce it came with so they argued with me about it-brought me the tempura dipping sauce & charged me $2.00 extra. Words can't describe how that moment felt...

                                                                                                                    2. k
                                                                                                                      kayonyc Jul 27, 2007 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                      I'm gonna add to the list, Artisanal. Maybe RW is not a good time to experience a restaurant for the first time, but I had a bad meal there last night (save for a decent cheesecake) I couldn't finish my entree - which is really a rare thing for me. Service was lackluster - the server was so overwhelmed, he had no time to explain what cheeses came on the cheese plate. Also, the restaurant is overcrowded - tables were packed so close together that we had a hard time finding the exit.

                                                                                                                      I can't believe they're able to still pack them in after all these years.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: kayonyc
                                                                                                                        ChefJune Jul 31, 2007 01:49 PM

                                                                                                                        <Maybe RW is not a good time to experience a restaurant for the first time,> That should not make any difference to the quality of the food or the service. If a restaurant doesn't want to participate fully in the RW program, they should not sign up for it! When they do participate, everything should be as spot on as when you are paying a la carte!

                                                                                                                        1. re: ChefJune
                                                                                                                          e
                                                                                                                          elizabeththinks Jul 31, 2007 02:08 PM

                                                                                                                          i agree, but sadly my experience at blue smoke during RW leads me to think this is true - the RW menu had no BBQ options - it was so weird - and we ended up ordering off the regular menu.

                                                                                                                      2. j
                                                                                                                        jens Jul 30, 2007 04:20 PM

                                                                                                                        Also had a disappointing meal at Danube. The room was out of this world, but everything else was medicore to horrible. The crowning moment was when a fellow diner started talking LOUDLY on her cell phone, and the wait staff did nothing. Crazy.

                                                                                                                        1. s
                                                                                                                          srk626 Jul 31, 2007 01:19 PM

                                                                                                                          i cant believe no one has mentioned wd-50. i left there hungry and poor, and some things were downright nasty. i dont care how foamy or creative they were.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: srk626
                                                                                                                            LeahBaila Jul 31, 2007 01:30 PM

                                                                                                                            Agreed 100%

                                                                                                                          2. mariekeac Jul 31, 2007 01:54 PM

                                                                                                                            Balthazars! Terrible place, don't know if it's even considered nice..... terrible service, bad food and the maitre d started arguing my taste because i didn't like the food!
                                                                                                                            In the middle of telling us the specials, the waitress just left us to top of the champagne at the next table over!!!

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: mariekeac
                                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                                              jeanki Aug 1, 2007 11:37 AM

                                                                                                                              I went there once for brunch and have to say the food was totally ordinary, like worse than standard diner brunch ordinary. I cannot comment on regular dinner or lunch though.

                                                                                                                              1. re: mariekeac
                                                                                                                                h
                                                                                                                                howboy Aug 17, 2007 01:52 PM

                                                                                                                                I'll second Balthazar. Uppity waiter, so-so food.

                                                                                                                              2. r
                                                                                                                                randymac88 Aug 1, 2007 12:20 PM

                                                                                                                                BUDDAKKAN is the McDonalds of "Fine Dining".

                                                                                                                                1. Brian S Aug 18, 2007 03:28 PM

                                                                                                                                  I just want to say that I have had several very good meals at many of the places listed. Including Danube (years ago), Balthazar and Aureole. And Fleur de Sel is one of my favorites. So is Cafe Boulud. About Union Square Cafe... all I will say is that it's not the WORST place I've ever been.

                                                                                                                                  Of course experiences vary. I was always disappointed by Patria when Douglas Rodriguez was there. And then I had some dishes at his newer restaurant Chicama that were nothing short of brilliant. I don't think his cooking could have improved that much. I probably ordered the wrong things at Patria. Or came on an off night.

                                                                                                                                  1. ammel_99 Aug 30, 2007 02:06 PM

                                                                                                                                    Bouley...Had the tasting menu. After the second course, we were neglected for 45 minutes. When my husband flagged down the server he brought us the 2nd course again. We were feed up at this point and left.

                                                                                                                                    1. r
                                                                                                                                      RoseLokoum Aug 31, 2007 06:21 AM

                                                                                                                                      Has to be WD-50. Our waitress was charming and lovely, but the food and mediocre (and wicked expensive) wine left us all underwhelmed. We went out for kielbasa and beer afterwards. 'nough said.

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: RoseLokoum
                                                                                                                                        DoctortedNYC Aug 31, 2007 01:18 PM

                                                                                                                                        Buddakan: Asian Pavillion at Disneyworld has better food than this Dark Disco Dungeon..

                                                                                                                                        2 West at Battery Park Ritz Carlton: Frozen Direct from China Shrimp Cocktail.

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