Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Sep 21, 2009 09:19 AM

Need Minetta Tavern recommendations

I'm going to Minetta Tavern this evening and would appreciate some recommendations other than the cote de boeuf and Black Label burger. Thanks so much.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The lobster salad is huge and excellent. I also enjoyed the oxtail and foie gras terrine.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ChemWork

      Thanks, have you heard about anything else being good even if you haven't experienced it first-hand?

      1. re: Benjamin68

        I have heard the lamb saddle is excellent. You could, of course, always look at Bruni's review in the NY Times. My friend and I had the lobster, terrine, and cote de boeuf (best steak I have ever had). I'd like to hear back from you if you try different things. This board seems dominated by discussions of the burgers.

    2. We've been on a few occasions, and very much looking forward to the next few ones.

      I think you have sufficient information about the good steaks and burgeres here. The other dishes are what keeps us coming back:
      - the lobster salad
      - the oxtail and foie gras terrine (don't miss out on this if you like terrine and foie gras)
      - even the pasta dish with egg was good!
      - the trout meuniere (OK, we have not had this but have seen it served to the next table and I'm definitely having this on our next go around).


      19 Replies
      1. re: RCC

        How does one obtain reservations on an ongoing basis? It is tough for me to call every day at 4PM for the "cancellations" and I do not like booking 30 days in advance anyway... any tips would be well appreciated... thank you

        1. re: shanshan

          I've booked our last couple of dinners, albeit the last one was 3 weeks ago, by calling with less than 3 weeks prior to the reservation dates. Both dinners were on a Friday. I've always called after 6:30 pm when I'm at home.

          1. re: RCC

            Thanks. Just tried for this Friday and told no and tried for Tues/Wed and told 5:30 or 10:30.. I don't know why I ddn't ask when the next 8:30 or 9:00 will be available.. thinking of doing the 10:30.. but that is only a part of 2, and idealy would like to go there for a party of 4..

            1. re: shanshan

              My friend made a 10:30 reservation for 6 on a Friday night and we had to wait an hour for the table, and they squeezed 6 into a 4 person table at 11:30. Be prepared to wait!

              1. re: lanadai

                I went last night. It was pretty much perfect. I recommend the squid, trout, pommes Anna and chocolate souffle. The only disappointment were the cocktails, which were imbalanced.

              2. re: shanshan

                I tried the 10:30 "reservation" don't be fooled. It is no such thing. It means that you and your party can come in at 10:30 and they will think about seating you at some point. Our party of 4 did not get seated until 11:30 as well. It was also not that pleasant to wait as the bar is squished with too many folks waiting for tables. Food is great, but it was such a yucky first hour that I probably won't go back.

                1. re: rauth

                  thanks. it would be nice to think the 5:30PM reservation would turn into an 8:30PM reservation but I am guessing no such luck!

                2. re: shanshan

         has been following this: apparently commoners may no longer obtain reservations between 6 and 10 as a matter of policy.


                  I really wanted to go to Minetta based on Bruni's review, but the whole thing now just reminds me of everything I don't like about this city. In the meantime, there are plenty of great restaurants that are perfectly happy to take my money.

                  1. re: cjd260

                    Wow. Thank you for the link. Though it has put me in a sour mood. The NY Times should strip one star away to just slap some sense into the arrogant bastards. Wow I am livid. To think I was going trying having a blowout dinner there (a couple very high-end bottles of wine!) and they instead they were mocking my attempts to get a reservation the whole time. And they were using me to perpetuate the mystique of the restaurant as well. I feel so stupid.

                    1. re: shanshan

                      They are traitors to the diners in NY. To close and make it VIP after it becomes popular. May they drown in their vanity.

                      1. re: shanshan

                        Is it vanity, or is it just a good business decision? I'm not defending them, but if it makes sense from a business standpoint, it's hard to criticize them. (Of course, we can argue whether it makes sense from a longer term perspective, but that's a decision they get to make, not us.)

                        1. re: Blumie

                          My take is that it will probably follow Balthazar's role -- really trendy and hip and difficult to get into for the first few years. Then it will be pretty much accessible to everyone once the buzz dies down. Balthazar, though it doesn't have the cache that it once has, still packs them in.

                          I'm a nobody and am not really fond of eating at 5P or 11P, nor do I have the schedule when I can just pop in on a weeknight hoping to get a walk-in table. I guess I will have to wait a few years.

                          1. re: Miss Needle

                            I stopped into Balthazar yesterday, and one of the bartenders told me that Minetta Tavern is now the domain of the Balthazar VIPs who prefer not to dine amidst the hoi polloi (my phrase, not his, to be fair).

                            1. re: MMRuth

                              Sigh. The combo of me being a nobody and a non-Balthazar VIP is very discouraging. Seriously, I probably will not be able to dine there unless a VIP can get me in. Oh well. Thank goodness that there are oodles of fine places to dine in NYC.

                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                Yes, that was pretty much my conclusion as well. I did wonder if the AMEX concierge service would be of any help, but I suspect not, and I haven't tried it yet.

                                1. re: MMRuth

                                  I have Plat AMEX. My experience is such that the concierge service never has any special/exclusive reservations. They literally call up restaurant and ask for availabilities...which is a waste since you took the time to call up AMEX in first place. That said, Minetta Tavern probably appreciates such pomp, i.e., their reservations desk may positively respond to an inquiry by American Express on behalf of a "Platinum" member etc. Its an interesting angle worth exploring.

                                  1. re: shanshan

                                    In truth, they probably wouldn't care if it's a Platinum AmEx. Now, a Centurion, on the other hand ...

                                    1. re: a213b

                                      Probably not, as its NY. But the first 1 or 2 to try might be able to slip by.

                          2. re: Blumie

                            1) It was a business decision
                            2) They did not open with this policy
                            3) Would Bruni have reviewed it if it was only a club and he, nor 99% of his readers, could even get a reservation? (ditto with FoodNetwork special, except up to 99.9%)

            2. Here is a link to another thread discussing Minetta Tavern: