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Mar 13, 2012 06:25 AM

Minetta Tavern - Photography Now Banned

Was at Minetta last night. The hostess saw me taking flashless pictures of my food and came over to ask me to stop ("I'm sorry, we do not permit photography here").

Not sure when this new "no photography" rule came into effect, but it was a surprise to me. I was disappointed. I'm wondering if anyone has had similar experience or is this rule literally brand new? I don't plan to go back as long as this rule is in effect.

I guess this is also a heads-up for anyone else who enjoys documenting food via photography like I do. Add Minetta Tavern to the list of "no photography restaurants". As far as I know, these are: Momofuku Ko, Brooklyn Fare, Masa, and now Minetta Tavern.

Also, the Cote de Boeuf has had another price hike. It is now $140. They really need to update their online menu.

Minetta Tavern
113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

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  1. One wonder whether they ban photography only when there is someone in the restaurant who would prefer no pictures being taken.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nmprisons

      It was strange. When I told the hostess that I've seen plenty of people taking food photos and posting them online (as recently as last month, in fact), she just repeated "I'm sorry". I did not see any celebrities there I recognized.

      I've been to Jean Georges, Per Se, Le Bernardin, etc. and I'm sure they get plenty of celebrities too. However, they have no issues with photography.

    2. I had a similar experience at JoeDoe, a much less upscale restaurant in the East Village. Initially I was peeved as I have a blog & I like to document my dining experiences, but I can respect the decision. They also welcomed me to come back in-between services if I'd like to take pictures.

      45 East 1st Street, New York, NY 10003

      3 Replies
      1. re: EV_Eats

        Well, I certainly wasn't offered to come back in-between services to take pictures. :)

        Minetta has a right to institute this rule, certainly. It seemed to me this was a new rule since recent blog posts on the restaurant most definitely featured photos (with flash, actually). Or, maybe like nmprisons said above, they only banned photography for that night when a big-shot requested it. Either way, I don't agree with this rule and will vote with my feet.

        1. re: EV_Eats

          How would one take photos of the food between services, when there's no food being served?

        2. While I realize that it's a detriment to bloggers, I hope Minetta Tavern keeps this policy if only as an signal to its peers.

          Even if you're not a VIP, it's hard to relax and enjoy your meal when you're worried that your photo might turn up somewhere on the internet, which actually happened to me and my date in a CH-linked blog (not the OP who respects the privacy of other patrons and keeps them out of her photos).

          1 Reply
          1. re: peter j

            Yup-my thoughts exactly. While I personally absolutely loathe when people take pictures of their dishes, I also appreciate that some people (well regarded writers included) do it respectfully and discreetly. However, most don't. And those that are constantly taking pictures with flash don't realize (or care) just how distracting and annoying it is to other patrons trying to enjoy their meals. I thank Minetta for respecting my privacy and dining pleasure.

            As an aside, I've seen people taking videos at EMP, and have seen some online that featured patrons being filmed (unbeknownst to them). What an utter violation of privacy.

          2. What's funny to me about this is Minetta Tavern was already beginning to strike me as a trap for food bloggers and those of us who read them.

            I like the room, and I think the food is decent (not stellar though), but routinely asking if a table has "heard about the burger?" or "Did you see us on" such and such show, is overboard. Describing dishes as "famous" goes beneath fine dining, and into a whole other type of schtick. Asking every table where they're from isn't appropriate. Approaching tables about ordering the souffle before, or immediately after the entrees have arrived, then watching table after table get startled in confusion, because go figure, those people who just told you it was their first time eating at Minetta, they really don't know about your "famous souffles". After that, watching people pull out their iphone to take a picture of a half eaten burger just seems about right.

            I've never had the Cote de Boeuf, but I'm finding the quality of the meat in the burger, and bone marrow to be going down.

            1. I was able to take a couple of pictures with my Iphone just a few days ago at Minetta, I was dining in the back room. In fact, I took one with flash by accident. No one stopped me. FYI, I needed to document my meal for work related purposes.