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Mar 7, 2014 07:36 AM

all'onda or charlie bird?

ive purposely ignored these two places due to the hype and still unsure if these places are worth trying or not.

charlie bird seems to be very split here on chowhound...some love it, some hate it.

all'onda initially sounded good but ive heard mixed things about the food and how weak the 'fusion' is between the italian and japanese dishes. heard they have a good wine list though.

any thoughts on either?

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  1. Good post, @sam1. We are going to try All'onda ourselves soon and would love to here from anyone who has been recently. Sam Sifton did a take on a recipe from the restaurant in the NYT magazine recently and it sounds delicious.

    1. i'm interested to hear reports and comparisons too...i like the look of the menu at Charlie Bird a lot, but loud hip-hop is not my thing...and i liked the interview i read re: wine/Venetian-cuisine/etc w/ the all'onda folks, yet photos and reports make it look a bit precious in terms of presentation...(fwiw, my fav Italians are Bar Pitti and Giorgione, w/ the occassional Il Mulino feast a distant 3rd)...

      1. They aren't even in the same league. Though you wouldn't know from press reports, but All'Onda is a Chowdrow restaurant (Asia de Cuba, China Grill, etc.) Chris Cannon, who was so wonderful as part of the Alta/Convivio operation is merely a "consultant." Everything seems a bit corporate and the food is objectively mediocre.

        Simon is right to say that Charliebird is a bit obnoixous with its pulsating rap music, but the food is tasty and the wine program is outstanding.

        1. I just read the all'Onda recipe linked to in another post. Truly, there is no accounting for taste! (I thought it sounded awful.)

          I also found this review from the NY Daily News. It is astonishing someone who knows so little about Venetian food could write so confidently about it! Guess you can do that from a great intellectual distance.

          But note that if you are a trend-chaser who doesn't happen to like ear-splitting din then all'Onda may not be for you. And apparently the only genuinely Venetian thing about all'Onda is its replicating Fiaschetteria Toscana's dismal upstairs dining space, so irritating that people holding reservations at all'Onda are advised to cancel them promptly unless they are guaranteed a table on the ground floor.

          I'm looking forward to the day when we see little signs on NYC restaurant doors that promise "We don't use wasabi" like the ones at Chinese restaurants about MSG.

          3 Replies
          1. re: kmzed

            Just want to clarify that the noisy room is the in BACK of the upstairs area, not the whole floor. We were in a booth next to the stairwell and had no problem with noise. The only seating downstairs is a small communal table and the bar.

            The food: SO thought the uni bucatini was so rich that she couldn't finish the squid ink monkfish; love that the manager came over to ask if there were any problems when the staff noted that 3/4 of her secondi was untouched ;) . Reportedly tasted great the next day from the doggie bag! My strip steak was just fine, with luscious potatoes and greens, and everyone enjoyed the uni arancini.

            1. re: kmzed

              "I also found this review from the NY Daily News. It is astonishing someone who knows so little about Venetian food could write so confidently about it! Guess you can do that from a great intellectual distance."

              I would say that confidently trashing a place that you've never been to seems to come "from a great intellectual distance"

              1. re: kmzed

                Isn't it great that the Daily News hires a restaurant reviewer who doesn't know what primi and secondi are?

              2. I'll be there in 3-4 weeks and CB was on my initial list of must tries but in the face of severe competition AND the very ambivalent response to CB on here, I have decided to split the difference and we will have lunch there one day. If the food is good, it won't need the night time vibe to support it.