HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Il Mulino - any good?

pork_buns Feb 17, 2009 11:44 AM

Have always wanted to go. is it a red sauce place, or classier? Super expensive or moderate?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. s
    steakrules85 RE: pork_buns Feb 17, 2009 11:55 AM

    Heard its pricy.

    1. j
      jenhen2 RE: pork_buns Feb 17, 2009 12:15 PM

      It's very pricey. I thought the food was good, but the place was pretty stuffy. I guess it's just not really my style. But my husband had a gift card from a colleague, so we went. It was more than $200 for the two of us (I don't remember the total, but we had to pay more than the gift card) and that was without my entree, which I sent back because it was WAY too salty. I guess I was glad I went once, but don't think I would ever go back.

      1. s
        steakrules85 RE: pork_buns Feb 17, 2009 12:32 PM

        For what its worth one of the guys I work with loves it. And I have seen pics of some of their dishes and it looks good. But I think there are many better options with a more inventive menu. Zagat seems to like it though seeing it was one of the highest rated restaurants with a 27. Best Italian with Babbo.

        1. s
          silencespeak RE: pork_buns Feb 17, 2009 12:33 PM

          The vibe is more old school Italian than contemporary, also.

          1. f
            FoodieFemme RE: pork_buns Feb 17, 2009 01:08 PM

            Il Mulino is by far my favorite Italian restaurant in the city or anywhere else. Huge portions, amazing food, great atmosphere. It's pricey but very worth it, IMO.

            1. d
              dietndesire RE: pork_buns Feb 17, 2009 01:31 PM

              So many issues with this place and I liked it when I first went.
              It is cheese galore and I mean in the kitsch sense not il formaggio.
              Dressing in cheap tuxes is not high class. I won't get into the service staff because people will get their panties in a bunch if I say it but the pedigree and training are not exactly 3 star. Bringing your unruly kids in on Saturday from goomba land to run around the restaurant while you cackle with Sylvio's wife is not cool either. Yes, you DID Manhattan, bravo. Portions, big, sure. Of course, no attention paid to proper, careful preparation so who cares. And I am a big fan of big portions. At these prices, nothing but perfect execution should be expected. When your clientele doesn't know any better, why bother? Would be a really good, filling, sound experience if it were mid-priced, not 3 digits. Red sauce is not that hard but they just don't give a flying hoot because people who think they are classing it up will fill it. Yes, no please, I await the responses telling me of all the Manhattanites who fill it during the week. I am well aware. Only a marginal improvement.
              There are tons of over priced, underwhelming Italian restaurants, to put it mildly. This is just another one with both the price and taste moved up.
              Again, the food is not terrible and certainly above average(which is a very low bar) and even sometimes good by a real standard but between the space, the people and the prices, why, when there are choices that are improvements in each of those departments. Must stop, I could go on.

              6 Replies
              1. re: dietndesire
                rrems RE: dietndesire Feb 17, 2009 07:39 PM


                It's funny, but never having even been there, my impression from reading about it over the years is exactly what you have described. Thanks for confirming it for me.

                1. re: rrems
                  dietndesire RE: rrems Feb 20, 2009 07:25 PM

                  Anytime. It has no business being termed a "great" restaurant if you have any knowledge.
                  Maybe compared to the slop in 99% of the country it is but using low bars is not for me.
                  That is why letting everyone speak and have their "opinion" put down as the gospel is a problem. You have to judge the judges.
                  Glad you will not give them business, I feel like I have accomplished something.

                  1. re: dietndesire
                    foodwhisperer RE: dietndesire Feb 21, 2009 08:34 AM

                    I havent been to Il Mulino in ages. The old owner and he may have sold out, was a waiter at Joe's , which had great , unfancy homestyle food, Ennio and Michael were also waiters there. Some of the Il Mulino dishes were excellent, such as risotto with white truffles. The fact that waiters did the prep at your table for the fettuccine alfredo disturbed me. If your paying a fortune who wants a waiter to do the cooking. The other disturbing thing about Il Mulino, on W3rd st. is the tables are so close to one another you may get your arm in someone at the next table's spaghetti bowl. The Il Mulino branches i.e. vegas, arent good at all. The one here, was better than most in its hayday,,,but now it's played out. , too crowded, overpriced, and these days everyone shaves fresh parmesan on your pasta,, years ago it was rare.. They have a sister restaurant in tri beca that is similar called Il Giglio, its been there for maybe 20 years. I prefer other places over Il Mulino.

                    1. re: foodwhisperer
                      dietndesire RE: foodwhisperer Feb 21, 2009 09:28 AM

                      YUP! Though even mentioning "branches" is nuts. I mean, you KNOW that is beyond garbage. As I said, I had a very good to great meal the first time I went.
                      So, I don't say all of this as a pure hater. It just sucks and is expensive and not nice and not comfortable and it is cheezy. Just like the people who go.
                      Oh, I hated Il Giglio the only time I went which was within a year of my first visit to Mulino. The original is always the best(well, 98% of the time?) and if you start from nothing special, well, you don't have much.
                      If Mulino were half the price it would be a good or solid red sauce joint.

                      1. re: dietndesire
                        foodwhisperer RE: dietndesire Feb 21, 2009 09:48 AM

                        even at half price , i still wouldnt eat there again, i dont like sittin on people's laps when i eat. I didnt like Il Giglio either, but originally they took the head waiter and one of the cook's from il mulino. cheezy is a good term.

                2. re: dietndesire
                  pork_buns RE: dietndesire Feb 22, 2009 07:32 AM

                  an informative and hilarious response. thanks. ;)

                Show Hidden Posts