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Nov 27, 2011 12:26 PM

New York restaurants forbidding photography?

Hi all, heading back to NYC in February for no reason other than hockey and food but got into a conversation with a friend about it being one of the few cities where "a lot" of restaurants don't allow photos. Anyhow, after talking for a bit I convinced her that it wasn't THAT many considering the number of high end restaurants in NYC and in reality the only places I could name that I knew had such a policy were : Torrisi, Brooklyn Fare, Momofuku Ko, Romera, and MASA.

Are there others now that I'm unaware of?

Momofuku Ko
163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

355 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011

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  1. I think that's it. You mentioned them all. Of course, many of the other restaurants do not allow *flash* photography, but they're fine with non-flash.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cheeryvisage

      I thought as much. My friend is not really much for traveling so I'm thinking this is just a perception as is seems that New York is the only city, I guess, that gets "attention" for this policy even though many other cities have restaurants with the exact same rules.

    2. I've seen people take pictures at Torrisi, and a quick scan of google images confirms that at least some people get away with it.

      1. What exactly is the rationale behind these policies? Is it an effort to prevent the flashes from disturbing other customers? They want to keep the element of surprise for future guests? Are they actively trying to discourage bloggers/yelpers from reviewing them (or at least reviewing them with pics)?

        2 Replies
        1. re: crsin

          Different for different people: MASA has always been policy, Ramirez at BF claims he doesn't want people copying, Ko because David Chang likes to claim "Its just food, eat it" - though more likely finding a way to get people to buy into his impressive hype machine. Romera - um - I dunno, they could use all the good press they can get right now and from what I've heard the look of the food is all they got. Torrisi.......I honestly have no clue.

          355 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011

          1. perhaps people should enjoy their food rather than taking photos of it. the lack of manners in this mobile phone age is out of control.

            3 Replies
            1. re: sam1

              Flashless photos are somehow inhibiting your enjoyment of the meal?

              Well, if I'm dining alone there is a good chance that the loudness of your conversation bugs me...or perhaps I don't appreciate the smell of your husband/wife's cologne/perfume, or maybe your sense of style just pisses me off to no end.

              I focus on what is on the plate and how the service is, not what the other diners around me are doing unless it directly affects me - and I like to take photos for me, not for you.


              1. re: uhockey

                I personally have no problem with people taking no-flash photography, but in a previous meal, my fellow diner was annoyed when a couple of people with SLRs kept clicking away at the waiter carrying dishes, unveiling dishes, pouring sauces etc.

                I could see how people could be annoyed when there's all that clicking and winding from the focus/lens (which can be heard on SLRs if close enough). Of course plenty of things are often more annoying--ie the drunk wife, the guy on his cell phone, etc.

                1. re: wreckers00

                  I do agree with that - then again, I don't use an SLR and I never demand a server delay some aspect of his presentation for a photo. If I don't get a "Perfect" shot I don't mind at all.


            2. I don't get restaurants like these: you have the table for X period of time, you must shall will tip X percent (after all its added automatically to your bill), you better not take a candid photo with your cellphone (I really don't think there is an overwhelming number of professional SLR with flash photographers going on), 15 dollar cakeage fees... Its very, very odd to me. I think I go to the "wrong" restaurants, but then again, I have fun with friends, get some cool pics with my phone, get to linger over coffee, on the very rare occasion get to celebrate a birthday with some cake with meaning, and generally enjoy myself.
              What is dining coming to?