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Dec 28, 2010 07:01 AM

Beacon review

Hi all,
Boston 'hound here...I posted a week or so ago for recs for our quick NYC visit and after some searching and advice decided on the Beacon Restaurant....thought I'd post a quick review for those who are interested.

This is tough one. Space is beautiful and was very festive for the holidays. The food was very good; a couple of us had steaks; I had a delicious pumpkin apple soup; pizza was perfect for the table to share as an appetizer.

The service, however was really pretty dismal. We were seated upstairs and from the looks of things, there was just one waiter for this section w several busboys. It took about 25 minutes for our first round of drinks to show up; we repeatedly had to ask for butter (finally after the third time it was brought to us); our steak arrived undercooked and then it took abt. 15 minutes for it to come back; we constantly had to flag our server down when we needed something.
I actually would have been ok with all of this; I'm not that tough to please. However, the kicker was at the end of the evening when the server said to me.... "in the future you should really order your steak medium well here, that is how you really wanted it since that's how we ended up bringing it to you." the truth: we ordered the steak medium, and it came out on the rare side of medium rare. I usually like my steak medium rare, but erred on the side of caution here and went with medium, just to be safe. I figured if it was a tad overcooked that'd be better than sending it back. Of course, when it came out like this, I still ended up sending it back, as did my friend...I(we shared it). I asked them just to put a bit more heat on it. Of course it came back on the more well side of medium, but it was ok, and we ate it. The waiter never came back to check to see if things were ok (for that matter he also didn't come when we first were served our food, we had to flag down a busboy..)
But to tell me that I don't know how to order steak when clearly it was their mistake? And even if he was right, if I'm paying $38 for a piece of steak and I'd like it ccoked a bit more, isn't that my perogative? Clearly this rubbed me the wrong way. How about an "I'm sorry the steak wasn't cooked to your liking..." instead of "you clearly didn't order the steak correctly.."
Anyway, it's a shame b/c the food was good, but the service was enough of a deterrent that I probably wouldn't return. I am thinking of writing a letter to management --it's sort of not worth it to me as I don't live in NYC and as I said, likely wouldn't return --but perhaps it is good for them to know.

25 West 56th St., New York, NY 10019

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  1. Hey, twenty: This is totally consistent with my several experiences at Beacon. Wanted to like it, really! Pretty, comfortable, good to very good food. The problem has always been the service. I have never understood why it is so inept. Such a shame. Fortunately there are many other choices for when you return!

    1. Guess I've always been lucky with the service. I've especially enjoyed the Thursday chef's tasting menu, as well as the Sunday suppers. Most times the food has been very good, other times not, but I've always come away thinking the service has been great.

      2 Replies
      1. re: E Eto

        I heard about the Thursday chef's tasting menu. Can you give more detail about it? Would you rate it favorably amongst other fine-dining meals you've had in the city?

        1. re: deepfry7

          I've had fantastic meals and service at Beacon over the years. The chef's tasting menu is excellent becuase you get to taste dishes that are not on the menu. The hard part is finding the six people to book all 6 seats which they now require in order to book the package.

      2. The last time I was there for brunch it took about 20 minutes to get coffee and a half hour to pay the check. I simply don't have the patience to deal with that when there are so many good place to choose from in NYC.

        1. Beacon used to be one of my favorite "old reliables." But no more. The service is totally dismal.
          We too were upstairs last time and did everything but send up flags to get any attention. Also
          think the food has gone downhill somewhat.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tafttiger

            Totally agree on all counts, and "dismal" is the word for the service!