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Aug 17, 2007 10:50 AM

Resto (short review)

When the nyc food critics unanimously swoon over a new restaurant I tend to take notice. So, last week, I girded my loins and ventured into Murray Hill for some Belgian fare. It was a Thursday evening, about 10, and we were told the wait would be about thirty minutes. We waited by the bar for the inattentive and overwhelmed bartender and eventually placed orders. The beer was excellent. I had wanted hard cider but, alas, they don't serve it so I was given an apple flavored alcoholic something or other; it was good.

Once we sat down, the service improved. Everything was brought promptly (bread, water, food), and our server was quite attentive. The food, however, was really disappointing. We started with the deviled eggs, which, aside from being the least healthy foodstuff on the planet, were quite good but really greasy. They left little pools of grease on the cutting board plate (that's sort of gross). We then shared a burger and mussels, both of which were thoroughly mediocre. The broth in the mussels had absolutely no flavor whatsoever (it was ale and orange, I think). The mussels were cooked properly (that's not particularly difficult) but the utter lack of flavor was truly confounding. The burger was so incredibly salty that it verged on the inedible. At first we thought it was us, but our closest table neighbors interjected that they too had a rather salty slab of meat. The fries were fine but not great. We skipped dessert.

All in all, I was left wondering what had others found so fantastic? Where was the cuisine that had won so many loyalists so quickly? I was puzzled.

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  1. My experience was quite the opposite - good food but very slow, inattentive service. I agree with the fries though, not great, I'd hoped for better.

    1. This is precisely why I have hesitated to go to Resto even though it's in our nabe and very conveniently located for us. While there are those who have liked the food, there are far too many others posting about how mediocre they found it to be. I suppose I could go and judge for myself. But, frankly, life's too short and there are too many really good restaurants we've yet to try to waste a meal on what very likely will be a poor dining experience.

      2 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        Stopped in late night a few weeks ago and our food and service was more than satisfactory at Resto - but RGR you could not be more correct about there being too many other places where you can count on having posititve overall dining experience. I would have a hard time reccommending it because I would worry that they cannot consistently deliver.

        1. re: RGR

          Actually, I've only eaten there twice, but the first time I found the mussels to be fantastic - good broth and every single mussel was a keeper (no fishy ones.) This is rare for me, because even when I cook them myself, I wind up with a few.

          We thought the fries were quite good, a notch or two under Pomme Frites and the burgers are really juicy. Plus I really enjoyed the waffle - eggy and crispy and full of flavor. It's become my new favorite (dangerous cos fatty) restaurant - slightly more expensive than Penelope but so worth it.

          I'm going again this weekend, so I will try some other dishes. IMO, the service is on the slow side, but I tend to enjoy dawdling over dinner or brunch. And there was no wait either time I went.

        2. I've been twice in the past week- once for brunch and once for dinner.
          Sunday Brunch was great- got a table right away without a reservation. Croque monsieur was fantastic as was their mimosas (although a little pricey at $12). The burger was too rich for me but I could see why people like it. Fries were mediorcre at best. Really enjoyed it overall.

          Dinner last night. Same waiter from brunch so the service was good. Fantastic beers!!! I got the special heirloom tomato and bacon salad which was the highlight of the meal. It was so fresh and tasty. Other appetizers were the deviled aggs (tsb2001 could not agree with you more! It was like pouring a tub of lard into my mouth- that's how unhealthy I felt eating it).

          The double cooked pork was phenomal but the specal sausage dish was pretty dull.

          For mains, most people got the mussels in ale sauce and loved them. For my main I decided to get another appetizer- the lamb ribs.

          Here's the thing- a friend had ordered them as their appetizer and loved them. Full of meat and really tasty looking. Mine came and while they looked the same, all three ribs were fat. I mean ONLY fat- no meat in any! I was with my SO work friends so I didn't send it back for fear of embarassing him.

          The frites this time- fantastic! Perfectly cut and crispy.
          Totally different than the ones we had at brunch.

          The only thing I can figure out is that the kitchen is spotty at best. The are not able to be consistent in their dishes and until they improve I will not be back to eat.

          1. I visited Resto for the first time last night. It wasnt very busy considering it was a Sunday night so that was nice.

            the waiter was very helpful in explaining the different beers on tap.

            we shared the double cooked pork to start- very tasty, great sauce.

            I had the Steak Frites, which was very good. Steak cooked perfect and tender. The fries were not the best, but they were quite acceptable.

            I also wasnt impressed with the mussels, but my mother liked them.

            My dad liked the black bass.

            I was hesistant to go here after reading the reviews on this board, but I was pleasantly suprised.

            1. our meal there the other week was very good, but the place was just too packed for it to be a comfortable experience. i'd definitely go back at a less busy time, though, as there were several dishes that i liked quite a bit. our order of mussels in tomato-guanciale sauce was top-notch, with a wonderfully flavorful broth and lots of porky chunks. accompanying frites weren't the best i've ever had, but i thought they were tasty. the lobster croquette was also very well done and not heavy despite the richness, and i loved the ultrasimple take on strawberry shortcake (fresh berries and chunks of vanilla sponge in a glass, topped with homemade whipped cream).