I will start by saying, this week is the soft opening..They're still trying to work out the kinks (which there are a plethora of).
The place itself is lovely and even has cute garden seating.
All that aside, let's get to the food and service.
From what the waiter says, L'ybane serves French/Lebanese food, but after two hours of sitting and eating, I still don't get it.
They bring out a complimentary tray of mixed nuts (right out of a Planter's jar), raw julienned carrots, (plain, not even pickled or seasoned) radishes (again, plain) and Shop Rite jarred, green, salad olives. They should be ashamed to put that on tables.
We had our menu chosen, 4 apps and one entree. Two of the four apps they didn't have. So, we got the crispy cheese rolls (basically a cheese empanada), crispy beef rolls (a beef empanada), meatballs and cheese in a pita. The cheese in a pita never came out (even after informing the waiter). The meatballs were awful. Dry and tasteless. The others, well, they were what they were. Nothing special.
For our main entree we ordered the spaghetti misti. Four kinds of spaghetti with HORRIBLE sauces. Although large portions (probably totaled two pounds of spaghetti), Chef Boyardee does a better job. All four pasta's were spaghetti (on the upside, spaghetti was cooked to perfection). One was a fish sauce (SALAD shrimps and mussels in a red sauce), the second was eggplant and red pepper with a red sauce, the third was chunks of white meat chicken in what looked like pasta water and sprinkled with cinnamon and the last (oh and this is the winner) was a red sauce, chopped fresh tomatoes and CUCUMBER! CUCUMBER!!!!????! Which also happened to be the garnish on our appetizer plates!!!! Awful. None of these had any taste whatsoever. Bland as can be and honestly, not even edible.
We also ordered a bottle of rose which came to out table cold, but not kept chilled. Just left on our table. When you 're paying $35 for a bottle of rose, you expect it to stay chilled throughout.
The waiters were clumsy and had no idea what was going on. They wandered around, forcing sweaty glasses of water on people, handing us our dinner plates because there were other plates on the table. The only explanation for such horrible waitering being tolerated is that they are related to the owner/chef, but no one looked alike.
Oh and we also received a complimentary (well, it was complimentary or they forgot to charge us) drink off of their very amateur bar menu (which included a $13 Tequila Sunrise; they still make those?). It was a champage cocktail with mango puree served in a beaker. Quite delish.
Let's hope L'ybane gets their act together, otherwise it will last just as long as the Tijuana Yacht Club.
I agree, my husband & I just had dinner there. It opened around the corner from our apt so we were glad to have another option. When we entered the beautifully decorated interior we immediately noted a funny smell. It was a mix of wet concrete, it smelled like a construction site. To make it worse, they were burning these really strong candles. The music was too loud and the bass was over pronounced so if you get seated by the speakers you may be slightly annoyed by the constant back beat. The staff is way too eager and on top of you. The place felt more like a nightclub scene but it seems misplaced on 1st AVE where mostly professional couples with maybe kids want to have a dinner.
They served raw carrots, bland olives from a jar and raw radishes on a plate.
My husband ordered a bottle of white wine, which arrived not cold enough but did quickly get colder in the ice bucket.
The food was a joke. Their warm appetizer menu reminds you: "don't forget the L'ybane vermicelli!" For 8$ you get a 3/4 inch high sculpted mound of steamed rice, I kid you not, we were SHOCKED!!! this WAS NOT EVEN WORTHY OF A SIDE DISH but to serve it as an appetizer, my husband could not stop laughing...
He had the lamb dish and I had the minced lamb skewer. Both come with 2 of 3 side options, salad, fries or rice. Since we already had the 8$ rice appetizer we went for the fries/salad. The salad was ordinary, jullienned romaine with some red peppers and cucumber in a nondescript dressing, poorly seasoned and totally bland. The fries were very greasy but crispy. Our waiter approached us and made a big deal if we wanted ketchup mayo or mustard with our fries.He was also very ceremonial in pouring the wine, folding the napkin over the wine and spoke in a thick french accent I felt I was in a spoof from Saturday Night Live. My HUSBANDS MEAT WAS passable, absolutely nothing special, very low average version of the dish. My minced lamb meat skewer arrived as 3 skewers with poorly balanced seasoning, did not taste very good. I have Had the Indian, Turkish and Greek version of this dish. This restaurant claims it is Mediterranean but I really do not understand what their aim is.
I feel bad, they really invested a lot into the decor, with high quality finishes but the initial smell and terrible, inexcusable food will do them in.
I hope they find their identity, or sell the space to someone who can actually prepare food.
Thanks for the info on L'ybane. I too walked by last week, took a glance at the menu, my impression is that it is not Greek, but having traveled in Israel, I recognized many of the same dishes, falafel, cucumber salad, etc. As for the place itself, I think it is very tastefully done with emphasis on minimalism. I'm sure he put a few bucks into it. I checked out the web site, and their place in the French Riviera looks nice. As for the food at L'ybane, I think I will wait until they are officially open before taking a risk on bad service.