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What is so appealing about RESTO?

We had dinner recently. Among the 4 of us, we had deviled egg, asparagus/morels, and bitter ballen to start. There is nothing wrong with any of these appetizers, but they're not truly fabulous either. We then had burger, beef cheek, mussels w/ bacon and leeks and the chicken. I am amazed that in other threads it's mentioned that RESTO has one of the better burgers in NYC. Meat was thin with not much flavor, bread was similar to Wonder-Bread (I saw waiters bringing a plastic bag of them into the kitchen). Mussel portion was copious, but I only finished not even 1/4 of the steam pot as they don't taste good at all. The beef check was too sweet and not at all tender. Chicken was okay, but portion is insultingly meager.

The dessert selection is not very exciting. The waffle is just that, waffle. The chocolate bread pudding was weird and the passion fruit sorbet (for $9) consist of three little scoops of same flavor -- tart, tangy and not very good.

I am glad we went, so that we won't wonder anymore about this place. Surely we won't return (service was okay, but main courses took 50 minutes to appear and dessert 20. Waaaay too slow). But I wonder why CHers seem to think this is one of a better restaurants in NYC?

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  1. We, too, thought the place had been hyped as we didn't like any of the overly salty foods we ordered and would not return.

    2 Replies
    1. re: tsiblis

      Ditto here.....tasty food....small portions (except the mussels) My wifes Waterzooi was a total joke. It was a $20 bowl of soup. The service was terrible. We asked to speak to the Mgr. when we were leaving and he was vey apologetic and handled it very well.

      1. re: jp62

        given my love of pig and pig head, i slept on resto for awhile before going for brunch one morning. my grilled cheese was sort of puny and merely ok. the service was uncomfortable and unprofessional and i told them so on my way out.

        i really wanted to like it there but they make it very hard to. i may stop by for dinner one more time to try the real menu but it was pretty off-putting my first time around.

    2. went there last sunday after hearing about their burgers

      ..You apparently can't ask for how you want your burger cooked. Charred-to-burnt is the only option you get. The inside is pretty much cooked well-done. No pink color, just a greyish brown. The flavor wasn't bad, it was seasoned well enough, but definitely doesn't deserve the praise that it's been getting from the press. You're better off walking a few blocks south and waiting in line at Shack Shake.

      the fries were okay, if it wasn't for the fact that they had Leffe Blonde, I wouldn't have enjoyed my experience at all.

      1. I went with a friend a few weeks ago for lunch on a weekday and it was fine. I liked the relaxed atmosphere.

        I ordered the burger, with a fried egg on top, and while it's not the best burger I've ever had, I did like it. Yes, you can't get it cooked to order, but as it was explained to me, the fat content of the patty is so high, it keeps it moist. My burger was medium-well, not really charred or burnt, and didn't seem dry at all to me. The fried egg on top may have helped. The burger patty was also pretty large and thick, not thin. The fries were only okay (I prefer shoestring), a bit too salty. We skipped dessert.

        I thought service was fine, more on the nice and talkative side, although our server did try to upsell us on drinks/dessert a few times.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kathryn

          I went back with some coworkers for lunch recently. They enjoyed their fish and chips; thought the fish was really fresh and well cooked, but the portion of fish was on the smaller side. It look like about 4-5 oz. to me, though, but I think they were expecting more. Potatoes with brussels sprouts were fine. Really liked the fries this time; they weren't oversalted. The sweet chili mayo sauce was really nice, reminded me of Siracha sauce!

          My grilled cheese was great -- not too puny, and very rich and buttery. Nice bacon on the inside. Perfunctory side salad. Grabbed some hot chocolate for dessert; it was fine. Obviously not from a mix, had real chocolate in it, but too thin for my taste.

        2. totally agree - i can't understand what was so great about this place. Overpriced for food which is just a bit better than a good diner.

          1. Oh, man. I wish I did a search on this board before heading out to Resto today. I was wondering if it was because we got the C squad because it was Labor Day. But from reading some of the threads here, I'm realizing that it's probably the restaurant.

            Service was indeed very slow. But that wasn't the thing that irked me. They were very friendly and cordial and I liked them.

            I ordered the grilled cheese sandwich and DH ordered moules frites. The grilled cheese came with a little side salad that was just OK. The sandwich was good -- nice, crispy, buttery. It was a bit pricey at $12 considering it wasn't a huge sandwich. The mussels were very good quality -- plump, large and juicy and sweet. But the sauce had no flavor at all whatsoever. When I tried the broth by itself without the mussels, it was very bland. And the worst thing were the fries! How can a Belgian-inspired place screw up their fries? It was so undercooked. Fries were way too pale in color with the insides not being completley done. It tasted like an underdone microwaved baked potato. Was totally disappointed. We were completely surprised after reading the NY Times and NY magazine reviews. Guess I should have checked here first.