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Jun 21, 2013 04:16 AM

Charlie Bird Review

Had a chance to try out new place called Charlie Bird on 6th Ave last night. Went w two professional chefs from surrounding restaurant. started with several apps: Dozen oysters w tradition mignonette sauce-ughhhh-oysters were room temperature so was a little put off by it. Sauce was a bit tart and nothing special. Razor clams, langoustine (split open) and fluke were all served drizzled with great olive oile but the dishes all tasted the same-raw component w olive oil and flaky salt crystal. The langoustine was in my opinion "fishy" in taste and smell and when I mentioned to one of owners he said it was impossible since it was split open live. That may have been the case but nevertheless not enjoyable. Also details such as uncracked legs were minor distractions as you could not eat leg meat and for $24 for 2 langoustines, I want every bit! Also had a raw scallop crudo which was drizzled olive oil was tasteless and texture was that of a frozen scallop-something I absolutely detest esp if you want to showcase fresh seafood. In fairness I noticed I wasn't charged for it after my complaint to both server and owner. Other apps included tripe on toast-which was cooked to death and lacked that "tripey" taste one expects w the dish. I say cooked to death because it was beyond tender almost without any defined texture or taste inherent to the dish. My co-diners agreed that one would not know it was tripe due to lack of flavor. Last app was a sort of pate liver dish-it was just ok. On to the pasta dishes: Pasta special was a duck egg pasta dish-honestly it was reminiscent of Japanese Soba done in a Chinese stir fry way. Taste wise it was good but too mushy on texture. Rigatoni was perfectly al dente and Chitarra w crabmeat had so little crabmeat you needed an electron microscope to find any! A ripoff dish!!!!Main courses was comprised od a delicious cut of ribeye-albeit airline portion and the other main course was piglet-a very delicious rendition of pork reminiscent of the type you get at true Hawaiian luaus. Dessert was adequte comprised of olive oil cake and an apricot panna cotta.
I hate giving a new place a less than stellar review especially knowing how hard it is to run a restaurant but if they want to see anymore of my hard earned dollars, they need to up their game. Owner should also lose his snarky attitude when constructive criticism is made by truly caring patrons.

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  1. these are the people behind cru. how was the wine service? what did you drink?

    1 Reply
    1. re: sam1

      My company had Barrolo-they liked. I had sparkling water-i liked

    2. I went to Charlie Bird for dinner this weekend and had a similar disappointing experience. There was a recent laughable article in Fork in the Road about how the restaurant was bringing service back to New York, but they clearly weren't talking about their own. I've experienced some of the worst service in a long awhile at Charlie Bird--rude waiter who made me feel bad about wanting to know what was in their focaccia and servers who kept trying to clear plates long before we were done. I paid $68 to eat 80% of my food and to feel bad? That doesn't make any sense.

      Objectively, the roasted chicken was outstanding and the skate wing wasn't bad either. The grilled peach and prosciutto appetizer and the olive oil gelato dessert was, I agree, adequate. Just Another Chocolate Cake dessert. And that stupid focaccia was good. But I'm sorry, a good meal is more than just the food, service is so important. Charlie Bird needs to get its act together because their behavior on Sunday was borderline offensive and amateurish.

      Hope other Chowhounds experience that commitment to "service' that Charlie Bird seems to talk so much about...

      1. I dined alone one day at Charlie Bird and ordered crudo, pasta, and Suckling Piglet for entree. The server asked me if I wanted to order any side dishes and I chose Escarole Kimchi (for $8).

        When the entree Suckling Piglet arrived, I found it already had some Escarole Kimchi underneath the pork. If so, my server should have told me that in the first place, especially because there was no way I could finish that side order of Escarole Kimchi all by myself in addition to the Escarole Kimchi already served with Suckling Piglet. For me, this can't be called 'attentive service' at all as they claim.

        To make things worse, the Suckling Piglet tasted porky and gamy, I couldn't eat it at all (crudo and pasta were good, by the way). Upon my request for the check, my server, looking at the plate still full of food and unfinished, didn't ask me whether something was wrong either.

        3 Replies
        1. re: kosmose7

          At first when reading your post, the Suckling pig stood out and got me salivating. As I read on, I think I'll stay away from Charlie Bird .

          1. re: foodwhisperer

            I'm still seething from our horrible experience there, mainly because the owner couldn't give a rat's ass about my constructive criticism on our experience w so many flawed dishes.

            1. re: UES Mayor

              bad service really seems to be a recurring theme at the restaurant! i'm glad my experience wasn't one-off, although it was still disappointing that it happened to me and so many others. and yeah, thinking about that server makes me so angry. there are so many good restaurants that opened with better service (estela!!), charlie bird's not going to last if they don't shape up