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May 3, 2011 09:21 PM

Veniero's is Pathetic/Shame on Another NYC Institution Gone the Way of the Tourist Trap

after denying the writing on the wall for many years and struggling to relinquish my fond memories of snacking at veniero's in my youth, i've had to begrudgingly admit that this place is nothing more that a tourist rip off joint. there never seems to be anyone working on site who is genuinely concerned about the customer's experience and the food has gotten progessively worse with each passing year. last night i had the worst sicilian cheesecake made in perhaps the history of new york city. and, like too many places in manhattan nowadays, the owners don't care and don't have to care. they're making so much money off of tourists that they can serve dreck and get away with it. after taking a bite of the cheesecake and leaving the rest on the plate, no one asked if everything was okay or even took the time to notice that we were displeased with our food. they just don't care anymore, and it shows in the service, the attention to detail, the taste of the food.

after returning year after year despite the evidence of radical decline i must now woeful admit that the place is dead to me. RIP veniero's. you've betrayed the people who loved you and stood by you for years. shame on you.

342 E 11th St, New York, NY 10003

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  1. Agree 100% as per my experiences and observations over the last few times I've been in the last couple of years and have not sat at a table to eat there for a while now. Service there is pathetic and the cakes are just OK but not worth sitting down for.

    We still like the Ricotta cheesecake enough to bring to friends or serve at home with guests, and our MO is simply to take a number, order the full cake, pay up at the register and get the hell outta there.

    Btw, the pine nut/almond cookies are also good take-out and munch-on-the-walk-home items.

    1. for italain like pastries and such in Manhattan, Roccos is still my go to place.

      Rocco's Pastry Shop
      243 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

      3 Replies
      1. re: jester99

        I've always thought Rocco's was just as bad as Veniero's. My go to pasticceria is Bruno's.

        342 E 11th St, New York, NY 10003

        Bruno Bakery
        506 LaGuardia Pl, New York, NY 10012

        1. re: JungMann

          I've been to Rocco's and liked it. Wouldn't sit down at a place like this though

          1. re: AubWah

            I liked Rocco's cannoli ... not the best I've had, but will do if I'm craving and in the vicinity. I, too, would point, get cannoli, pay, get the hell outta there quickly and eat my cannoli on the streets.

      2. I only tried it once and felt the same way. A long line of tourists and the people at the counter and register just trying to take in the $$ as quickly as possible. The lady at the register was nice, though. I gave her a kind of understanding smile, since I'm a neighbor. Her smile seemed to be empathetic for my feeling as if the place no longer belonged to the neighborhood. Equally, I didn't really blame her for accommodating all the tourists throwing money at her. The cookies were certainly good, but maybe not worth what one pays, after they're weighed like gold!

        1. Too bad.. used to love this place. I'm visiting ny this weekend. Where can I go to get a good cheesecake instead?

          1 Reply
          1. There's definitely been a serious decline in the past few years.
            Their pumpkin pies around Thanksgiving used to be incredible; lately, they are no better than what you'd get at the local supermarket (maybe not even that good). A lot of the Italian pastries also aren't worth the bother now.

            Some of their cakes used to still be good, like the fruit supreme and the strawberry shortcake, but in recent years even those have been hit or miss, more often miss.