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Comment on these SoHo restaurants, please.

Country Cafe
Il Corallo
Cub Room

Lifelong NYer, but I've only lived in SoHo for the past 7 years and these are restaurants I don't go to.

Am I missing anything by staying away? I need to add some more local places to the rotation.

Any other suggestions?

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  1. The only one I've been to is Cub Room, and it's gone downhill big time. Food is very hit or miss, and the staff just doesn't care. I was there about 2 years ago, and it looked like there's still a lively happy hour scene at the bar.

    1. I have not been to any on your list. I live downtown and we generally eat in TriBeCa (Duane Park), LES (Bacaro, Elyssa, Rayuela, Falai) and Chinatown (Dim Sum at Jing Fong or Dim Sum Go Go, Big Wong's). Aquagrill is also good, not sure if it is TriBeCa or SoHo. Aqua, Table Tales and Barbarini in my neighborhood are also good. We like restaurants we can walk to.

      2 Replies
      1. re: financialdistrictresident

        Thank you. Aquagrill is definitely on our short list of go-to places.
        Anyone else?

        1. re: il Trifulau

          I had a terrible espresso at Cub Room (stopped in just for coffee), and a so so meal at Barolo ages and ages ago - garden is pretty though.

      2. also a lifelong NYer, but i only lived in Soho for a year before fleeing back to the East Village. ;)

        Cub Room - totally hit or miss, the menu in the room w/the bar is different from the dining room (and less exciting). There is an adjoining Cafe, also unexciting. Worst brunch ever.

        Il Corallo - love love love love, this was my go-to inexpensive Italian place. the menu is overwhelming (they have EVERYTHING), but they have some great black/whole wheat/spinach pastas that are freshly made, and the Bocconcini appetizer is great for a table. Bread is delish. Desserts & wine are unimpressive, go elsewhere.

        Barolo - i was underwhelmed, but i was here for a Christmas party. maybe it's better at other times.

        3 Replies
        1. re: iguana215

          I don't know. I hear people RAVE about Il Corallo, just like you Iguana, but my wife and I ordered in from there twice in the first year we lived near it and were somewhat horrified. Plates of oil and huge bulbs of garlic with some pasta and chopped assorted canned goods mixed in......
          I give pasta a wide berth, but I'm not getting Il Corallo, though I would LOVE to love a place like that in my neighborhood.

          1. re: il Trifulau

            Agree.....I think people who eat in tend to love it and those who get take away are the ones (like me) who have never been impressed. We used to order out from there at work at least one night a week, and I generally found their food to be uninspired and overly greasy. I've never sat in to eat, and Ive often wondered if I'd like it better that way.

          2. re: iguana215

            Barolo isn't very good at all. And the Cub Room can be fun for a drink but the food there is strictly beside the point.

          3. Agree w/Aquagrill. Bread Soho is a good neighborhood place. I've read/heard good things about Snack (and been to Snack Taverna), but I haven't made it there myself yet.

            1. Country Cafe is really tiny and quaint. Solid French/North African and welcoming, if a bit relaxed, service. Definitely a good 'neighborhood' place.

              1. Would love to hear from a local who's been to Savore!

                2 Replies
                1. re: il Trifulau

                  I've been to Savore. OK Italian food -- fine if you're in the area, but nothing to go out of the way for. But I haven't been in years.

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    Same here. The only thing I remember at Savore being a bit better then average were the pumpkin ravioli. Take the cub room off the list. Mezzogoirno is ok, but again nothing to go out of your way for. Sitting at the bar at Balthazar for an early dinner or lunch is something you can ad to the list. Barolo, and Il Corallo I would take off. I also like the classic masala dosa at hampton chutney (with chiles) BUT it is WAY too much money for me to spend on potatoes and flour. If that type of stuff doesn't bother you, then get it. I'd not go to Mercer Kitchen, the last few times I was there the food was not great. You can go to Fanelli's for a great burger. Since I am watching my cholesterol I don't order it anymore, but I tried their vegetarian chile, something I would never ever order, and I was surprised that it was really pretty tasty. I'd get it again. I'd also walk to Russ and Daughters and Katz's, and Chinatown since they are pretty close by.

                2. Hello Neighbor,

                  Savore is okay, like many said here, not worth a special trip. I agree with the others, you can skip the Cub Room, you are not missing anything. Our old standbys include Zoe, where I appreciate being able to make a brunch reservation, as well as Jane (okay, north of Houston). Have had many many good meals at Blue Ribbon Sushi, although I know some would disagree. If you're willing to head west, La Sirene, a BYOB is on Broome and Varick and a place we enjoy.

                  Have you tried Snack? I'm attempting for the first time tonight.

                  Good luck.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jens

                    I like Blue Ribbon Sushi as well, though we don't go nearly as often as we used to (used to go for weekend lunch a lot).

                  2. I just thought of another place I always wanted to go but they are only open at night time, I can't think of the name right now, it is something like Rauols it's on Prince (I think) it's French I think - sorry for being so vague but someone here will know what I am talking about. Anyone??? Thanks!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: michele cindy

                      Yes - Raoul's on Prince - I've not been there for ages, but used to like it and it gets recommended quite frequently. We just tend not to eat out at night downtown.

                      1. re: michele cindy

                        By the way, Papatzul is an overlooked sleeper in the neighborhood. Dinner 3 times this year and never a bad meal. Very friendly vibe.

                      2. Country Cafe has fantastic French. Wonderful escargots and mussels meuniere to die for. It's small, but the staff is very friendly and the atmosphere is comfortably relaxed. I always seem to have the best conversation with friends there; there's an atmosphere that lends itself to lingering. So many French places are hit or miss but I have never been disappointed. When really friendly neighborhood places open, you tend to patronize them even if the food isn't the greatest because they treat you so well. Here they do the same but the food is well worth it. I make an effort to go there even if I'm way uptown and love to take friends there. Country Cafe is a true hidden gem in my book.

                        Pssst.... Check City Search's reviews, they'll confirm what I said.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jason_els

                          I'm Italian-American and from the area, so I've eaten a LOT of Italian food :).

                          I absolutely loved Savore and so does my whole family - I've been there 3-4 times. They are never crowded - even on a Saturday night - and the service is usually excellent. I haven't had a bad meal yet. Whenever my aunt and uncle (who both work into the city) come into town and we want to go to dinner, we usually go there. It's not Gourmet, but it's not paper napkin, either. I think it's really authentic and would really recommend it at least once!

                          Good wine list too.