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
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.
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!
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.