Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Sep 5, 2012 08:53 AM

NoMad service

Just celebrated a milestone birthday at the NoMad this week.

Fantastic food all around: the egg, the eggplant as a shared appetizer, the roast chicken, and milk and honey and the peanut butter dish for dessert. The sommelier recommended an excellent bottle of wine to go with it all. All in all, a much better meal, food-wise, than our recent trip to Annisa for a similar special event.

I'm writing this post as a cautionary tale on the service. I saw some posts that casually mentioned this, but it really separates this restaurant from others in the same price point.

We were seated promptly for an early reservation and were maybe the fourth table seated. Our cocktail orders were taken immediately, and five minutes later the waiter noticed we were finished looking at the menu and took our food orders. We mentioned to him and to the sommelier that we'd like a second to look at the wine menu because we wanted wine with our appetizers and entrees.

A few minutes later our cocktails arrived with the flatbread. A second did our appetizers. We then had to ask three separate people (the server, the waiter, and in desperation, a third random person) for the sommelier to return. While we waited, we ate the appetizers because they were getting cool. At that point I checked my watch and we'd been seated for only a half hour.

About ten minutes after they'd cleared our plates, the sommelier showed up and at that point recommended a bottle of wine that was good enough to blunt the mixups before. Our wine was poured about two minutes before the chicken arrived.

After that I was expecting to be rushed out, but they may have realized the timing mix-up (I suspect the sommelier put in a word) and everything proceeded at a normal pace for dinner in the city. Total dining time worked out to about an hour and twenty minutes.

I don't know if this was our early reservation time or par for the course at this restaurant, but this is the worst service I've had in several years at a nice restaurant. The food, however, was great, which made the weird service stand out even more. We ended up in a good mood, but anyone planning to go for a special occasion may want to know that the ride can be a little bumpy.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Were you in that main dining room area or one of the alcoves?

    Just walking through the dining room to get to the Library (an awkward set up to begin with) we noticed a full house, where the majority of the tables looked neglected, sitting without food, menus, or drink. We couldn't figure out what was going on and chose not to see if they had an impromptu opening as a result.

    Timing issues should be something they can correct at least.

    1. I totally agree with you. Great food but I thought service a bit spotty-hopefully they will work on this. I expect nothing short of perfection from Humm. I'm easy to please-just make it perfect!

      1. Very much agree. A few things
        1 we were intitially seated in the central dining room - we asked to be seated elsewhere. The central seating room is just not nice - too busy, loud- I could forsee my table being bumped constantly
        2 we were told getting another table would take 45-60 mins, in the end it took less than 15 mins.
        3 while my friend was finishing no less than 5 people tried to clear his plate in as many minutes - I was actually pretty angry with the last couple of people who tried, no real need of it - there is a difference between attentive and just showing a lack of communication

        Personally I was less than wowed by the food - the chicken had the best texture, but didnt really seem to taste of anything.

        The bar (not the library, but the stand up) also had some issues - constantly flashes of light from the kitchen door, there were a lot of "busy" staff - not really doing anything.

        1. I've been to the NoMad 3 times and had service issues the first time but excellent service the other 2 times.

          The first time, it look forever to get my food (20-30 min waits between courses). And I had to remind the server to give me bread because it didn't look like I was going to get any after no bread before or with the first course, and still no bread 10 minutes after receiving my SECOND course.

          The 2 times I received great service were the times I dined with someone known to the house. My experiences from those 2 times were very enjoyable and I had no complaints whatsoever.