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Has anyone been to Ladino lately?

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Is it up to par for a business dinner with an associate who does not eat kosher usually?

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  1. The atmosphere is acceptable to bring non-kosher people, but it isn't particularly business-y.

    10 Replies
    1. re: PotatoPuff

      but the food is terrible! really. i was horrified at what we got and what we paid. le marais is much better for your $ and the atmosphere is business-y enough.

      1. re: PotatoPuff

        It's a little loud (lots of hard surfaces) for a formal business dinner, but I think it's otherwise a reasonable choice in terms of atmosphere. I found the food overpriced and disappointing, but not as bad as RosaSharon apparently did.

        1. re: GilaB

          honestly, i've had better food in college cafeteria. but that's just me. overall, i am more and more disappointed in kosher restaurants, a few excepted (jezebel, le marais, noi due) the older i get. i don't know if that's because i've upgraded my non-kosher restaurants that i eat in or if i'm just grumpier as the years go on, though :)

          1. re: RosaSharon

            I don't comment here often, but I went on a family dinner and had great fun. We followed the waiter's suggestions and had a wonderful experience. Other than a major disappointment with the sangria, everything was good. As to overpriced, yes, but it is kosher. You have to realize when ordering that much of the food is tapas and that is a horse (kosher albeit) of a different color than jezebel, le marais, or noi due.
            I don't know which college cafeteria you went to, but I am ready to go.

            1. re: jeffrosenbaum

              I have eaten exclusively in kosher restaurants all my life, and generally prefer appetizers to main dishes, knowing that they're more expensive relative to the volume of food that you get. Ladino is still overpriced.

              1. re: jeffrosenbaum

                ha - there's a reason i gained 30lbs junio & senior year, believe me :)

                1. re: RosaSharon

                  Did you go to Brandeis, Rosa? :-)

                  1. re: DeisCane

                    It wasn't the YU/Stern Cafeterias I can tell you that ;-)~ them's were dark times in my pre-foodie days!

                    1. re: DeisCane

                      not brandeis :) my weight gain wasn't helped by american portions and long cold dark winters up there in New England :)

                      1. re: DeisCane

                        not brandeis :) my weight gain wasn't helped by american portions and long cold dark winters up there in New England :)

            2. I'd go to La Marais. for the reasons PotatoPuff, gilaB and RosaSharon gave. Except I don't think the food at Ladino is terrible, just disappointing.

              2 Replies
              1. re: AdinaA

                In terms of the food I found one dish that was SPECTACULAR (the mushroom croquettes, NOT the chicken croquettes though) and the rest of the food was meh/

                1. re: PotatoPuff

                  The husband was trying for something a bit more interesting than your average steakhouse. The client is a steakhouse kind of guy and has been to the other kosher steakhouse joints. They don't compare to Peter Luger. They are at Ladino right now. I will report.

              2. The reviews were back: portions too small for the price even taking into acct the tapas thing. food not really worth talking about. guacamole underwhelming. service lacking.

                1. OK. They don't run one of the city's finest kitchens.

                  the thing is, Ladino is a fun place for a casual get-together with friends. they put fun free stuff on the table. Like guacamole served in a giant stone bowl once used to offer ambrosia to the Mayan sun god. ;-) And little flutes of sparkling wine.

                  The cocktails are good. And it's fun to have a place right in midtown where you can go after theater and nibble while you drink (they should have abetter beer list)

                  then you can order an infinite parade of amusing little tapas. Like quail eggs poached in vegetable sauce. Wings. Fries. Roasted baby beets.

                  Nibble. Drink. Talk. The house band is surprisingly pleasing.

                  It's fun. Lively, but not too lively for conversation.

                  1. Gotta give props and big ups to Ladino's Exec Chef Petard for his outstanding performance in earning the trophy at the culinary competition at this year's Kosherfest "chopped" style contest. It was a tough basket and he was as gracious in winning as calm during a very short 45 minute prep time. He even donated the $1000 winnings to Sandy victims. Kudos Chef, I'll definitely be making a point to coming in and trying your place out.

                    1. Wanted to give an update on Ladino. This ended up being a long post/review that I actually started to write for Yelp but will post here as well.

                      We went to Ladino for the first time the first week of June. We had reservations for 6:30 for 4 people and we got there on time and were seated immediately. About 6 other tables were already filled. Our waitress introduced herself, gave us menus and a drink menu and asked if we wanted to start with any drinks. I was interested in the frozen margaritas, and asked what flavors they had because the menu said "various flavors". Our waitress was unsure as to what the flavors were, which is odd when you work as a server in a restaurant with the word "bar" in it. Even if it didn't have the word bar in it, they have an alcoholic menu, so the servers should know it. She said she would go find out. If she was new, I would rather her be honest and tell us she's a new server at the restaurant, so we can cut her a little slack for not knowing the drink menu or particulars of a dish. She disappeared for about 5-10 minutes, even though the bar is in sight and only 50 ft. away. She came back and then proceeded to introduce herself...again. We gave her this funny look and she realized and said "Oh, I introduced myself to you already, didn't I?", We chuckled, and acknowledged the mistake. They weren't so busy yet, so I was thinking "if you are so frazzled and didn't remember that you already came to our table, then we're in for an interesting evening".

                      She also totally forgot about the margarita flavors I asked about, so I dropped that idea and went with a sangria. My father in law ordered one of their various foreign beers. The list was pretty decent (5-10 maybe). My mother in law ordered a glass of wine. We also ordered some guacamole to munch on while we waited for my husband who was running a few minutes late. My father-in-law asked if the guacamole had cilantro in it. My in-laws are part of a group of people who do not like cilantro (google "cilantro tastes like soap" it's fascinating). Yes I know, don't go to a Latino/Spanish restaurant expecting to be able to avoid cilantro, especially in guacamole. I was surprised when she said "no it does not", to which I thought to myself "no self-respecting Spanish style restaurant doesn't put in cilantro. I'll believe it when I see it". We asked for not spicy. Simple enough: Beer, glass of wine, sangria, not spicy guacamole.

                      About 5-10 minutes go by, and our waitress never shows her face until the end of our meal. Another server brings us a big pestle with cilantro filled guacamole (I knew it!). It wasn't spicy, but it was only so-so. Smokey Joe's in Teaneck has way better guacamole. And the tortilla chips were "eh". Again, homemade Smokey Joe's chips far surpass the ones at Ladino. And for the amount you get and price tag ($14, yes I know it's NY), I would not order it again. AdinaA, I know that you wrote back in November, but we did not receive any "fun free stuff" on our table, so I don't think that's a given for patrons. We did ask for more chips with the guacamole, which they gave us more without question. (I wish I had read your reviews of the guacamole before ordering it! It was a quick decision about what restaurant to go to that evening.)

                      Our drinks are served: glass of wine, wrong beer, and warm sangria with no ice. My father in law just takes the beer back up to the bar to switch it and to bring me a glass of ice. No ice in a sangria? Really? And it wasn't anything to write home about, and would not order again. There wasn't even a piece of lemon, lime or orange.

                      My husband arrives, and we ask to have someone come take our orders. Some other guy, not our original waitress comes and takes the order. Appetizers: Ground beef empenada, spinach salad, and roasted beets with watermelon. I tried a bite of the empenada. It was good. Spinach salad was delicious. The vinaigrette with the granny smith apples were a great combo. The mushrooms in the salad were good, but an odd combo with the rest of the salad. I was really excited about the beets, because I love beets. They tasted like they were out of a can! However, the watermelon was perfectly sweet and whatever dressing was on it was fantastic with the watermelon.

                      3 of the 4 of us ordered churrasco (grilled skirt steak), and the restaurant was very accommodating regarding swapping sides (no plantain mash and more vegetables, grilled asparagus instead of string beans etc.). The other main ordered was the skirt steak with sauteed onions, peppers, guacamole and flour tortillas. The steaks were made perfectly to order. It was one of the best skirt steaks I have ever had. It was really flavorful, soft, and perfectly cooked to order (hard to come by in kosher places). I tried my husband’s skirt steak with vegetables, and it wasn't anything special. The skirt steak got well done because it was sauteed (basically fajitas). Skirt steak is best medium/medium rare, so it lost the flavor and texture of a good skirt steak in that dish.

                      Some bus boy or another waiter came to wrap up our leftovers to-go and they gave us dessert menus. Then, our original waitress appears at our table, to ask us if we would like to order any dessert. We kindly thank her and show her that we have dessert menus in hand already. We don’t order dessert because we are full from our dinner. I recall something looking appetizing on the menu, but don’t remember what it is.

                      They need to work on their service, big time. They need more wait staff, more training for their wait staff, or the dining room needs to be managed better because having multiple waiters throughout the meal is confusing and leads to tables being left unattended.

                      I would go back to Ladino to just order that skirt steak again. And maybe I would try one or 2 more dishes, but I’m not running back their again any time soon because of the sub par service and the okay food and drinks.

                      1. We went today for the Open buffet lunch-all you can eat $14.95.

                        It's quite a misleading offer--there's a mandatory 18% "gratuity." All the waitress did was bring me a glass of water. I got all my own food (not bad, but the add-on left a bad taste in my mouth.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: robocop

                          A buffet with gratuity included? Yikes!

                        2. I was there for lunch buffer last week, which was excellent. Not a massive number of choices but a reasonable number. and everything I tried was delicious. it was a business lunch and the person I brought (nonkosher-keeping) enjoyed it too.,

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: JackieR

                            I went out of my way and headed to Manhattan from Westchester today to try the lunch buffet and was very disappointed. Apparently, it is no longer offered. They stopped a month ago. Meanwhile, they still advertise the buffet on foursquare.

                            1. re: tamarw

                              Also, to be clear, there's no lunch served at all at Ladino. They now open at 5pm.

                              1. re: tamarw

                                That's disappointing! I sometimes need a place for a business lunch with non-kosher coworkers in that neighborhood. Is there anything else in the Columbus Circle area that fits the bill?