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Reviews + Photos from nymag.com
Posted by Cilla10016 on 04/09/2009
I first went there for drinks at the bar. The manager, who was helping us, was very friendly, and attentive. That time, the place was packed and loud so I decided to go back for dinner later. That time, the place was not crowded - Sunday night. I chose items from the prix fixe menu. The endive and pear salad with maytag blue and walnuts was pretty good and the ingredients were very fresh. My friend was extremely happy with the Tuscan white bean soup. The skate entree exceeded my expectations (I am not a big fan of skate generally). Although the accompanying chowder was a tad too salty for my taste, I found the fish was cooked to perfection, the flavors well balanced. At that point I was more than full but kept working on my dish because I was enjoying it so much. My friend enjoyed the roasted chicken. I have no idea where the reviewers who found the portions "TINY" usually have their meals but I completely disagree. How much food do you want? Yes, apps are apps size, meaning you will leave hungry if you only eat a salad, but considering that I was having a three-course meal, I had more than enough food by the time I was done. The blackberry financier was served warm, slightly crunchy on the outside and "fondant" in this inside. Not too sweet - Delicious. Service was attentive and professional (our waiter and waitress did a very good job although as far as she was concerned, smiling evidently not her thing). I could agree that the decor is not the best suited for this place but it won't distract you from the food. And the seats are very comfortable.
Posted by brooklynbee on 03/23/2009
If I had to give Apiary a grade, I think I'd give it a solid B (bee?). I agree with the other reviewers who have said that the decor doesn't really match the style of food - I'm all for modern, minimalist decor, but for whatever reason I thought the decor would be more Shaker-minimal than Miami-minimal. Given the signage with the bee and name (apiary = a place where bees are kept), I thought there would be more of a 'natural' (more wood, less plastic) look to the place. Not that it detracted from my meal, but it is something to be noted. The food was good in an understated way - not over-the-top amazing, but definitely very solid and unpretentious. I had the roast chicken, the pear and endive salad and the apple tartine. I disagree with the reviewer who said portions were small - I split the app and dessert, ate less than all my entree, and left feeling very full. A good wine list and good espresso, too. The service was excellent - really polite and attentive without being obtrusive. The crowd seemed a bit older, but maybe this was because we ate on the early side. Also, when another party was seated at the table next to us, we couldn't hear ourselves talk - but you could say this about 99% of Manhattan restaurants. If you want a nice (grownup) but still reasonable place in the East Village - not a $10 burrito, but won't break the bank - Apiary will do nicely at about $25 per entree. That said, if you are willing/able to eat in Brooklyn I think there are a lot of similar restaurants that actually offer as good if not better food, with a nicer atmosphere, at a similar price. I guess it depends on whether you think eating in Brooklyn is a plus or a minus - in my book, it is a plus.
Posted by NYCDiner on 03/20/2009
I went to Apiary for the second time yesterday and was not dissappointed. I first had gone during restaurant week and was defnitely impressed with the food. The white bean soup is amazing and the Skate is to die for. I disagree with the previous reviewer- portions are just right and with a $35 pri fixe menu you can't go wrong.
Posted by Anonymous on 02/24/2009
My friends and I heard good things about this restaurant so decided to try it for a birthday dinner. The appetizer portions are TINY (especially the scallops which each scallop is no bigger than a quarter) and the entrees are equally as small. Plus, the waitress we had rolled her eyes at us when asked her to bring us iced water and poured the wrong bottle of wine into someone's wine cup without asking what they were drinking. This place is very disappointing and not worth the money you will spend there.
Posted by Kilowatts on 11/19/2008
After reading negative reviews I was hesitant to try Apiary when a friend suggested it. But we decided to give a shot. It was a blustery cold night and I was happy to escape the cold into this inviting establishment. My friend was late so I pulled up a seat at the bar. Once I warmed up, the host kindly offered to check my coat which I appreciated. The bartender was very nice. I ordered a $25 bottle of Rioja - it was such a good price that I feared it would be ghastly. It was lovely! I surveyed the space and I suppose I can understand why some people say it has a hotel bar vibe, but I like clean lines & minimalism. Especially in a small space...who wants a ton of heavy textiles or chotchke everywhere? I also liked the subtle chandelier theme they had going. My friend arrived and we were promptly seated. The food was Delicious. The olive bread very good but would have been even better warm. We ordered the Beet Appetizer which was 6 thin slices (3 red & 3 golden) w/ a drizzle of toasted pralines & sort of a goat cheese cream. Thankfully it wasn't drowning in sauce which so many place tend to do, although I guess it could have used a touch more of the topping. Yum! We shared the Scallops & the Skate. The scallops were a good size (4 of them) & served over a bacon risotto. I don't eat meat and was so happy & surprised when they said they'd make it without bacon! This dish is fabulous! I know that some things taste better with meat (especially bacon), but honestly I think the flavor was perfect without it. There was some fall flavor in there too, a touch of sweetness, that I couldn't identify, perhaps apple? I don't know - but we loved it. The scallops were perfectly seared - great texture.The risotto could have been a little creamier for my taste, but it didn't matter. We finished every last grain of rice. The skate had a nut dusting & served w/ a grilled cauliflower & spicy eggplant. The fish was cooked perfectly & the flavors divine. The presentation was simple & tasteful. For dessert - the pumpkin creme brule. I had pumpkin creme brule at another restaurant this fall and they were both reminiscent of pumpkin pie filling. However Apiary's out-shined the other place's. The caramelized top was heavenly and it was a little warm which I love. We paired it with the suggested dessert wine which was nice. Will definitely go back.
Posted by vyieort on 11/08/2008
This recently opened place has gotten some very mixed reviews. I ate here last night, and chose to sit at the bar for dinner. We arrived pretty early, around 7:30, when the place was less crowded. The decor in this restaurant is horrible. It feels more like a hotel bar or a airport lounge than an East Village food destination. It didn't make us lose our appetite, but it's almost that bad. The food was just, ok. I had the caramelized pears with Serrano ham, blue cheese and a mustard vinaigrette. The Serrano ham was too delicate in its flavor, the pears used for caramelizing were actually unripened, and the blue cheese wasn't pronounced enough. The main dish was the scallops with bacon risotto. The presentation of all the dishes could use some complete retooling, as they seem to have just come out of a basic, home kitchen place main accompaniment, stack main item, rest side item next to it. There's no design, ingenuity, or creativity in how things are presented. The scallops were pretty good (they didn't get me sick) but the searing could have been heavier. The bacon risotto was somewhat bland, actually, and being an obsessive bacon person I was amazed that they couldn't even pull that off. The dessert we had was a pumpkin creme brule. Basically, it's pumpkin filling with a caramelized top. Tasty, sort of, but nothing spectacular. The first bottle of wine we got was a Santennay. It was corked. The second was a pinot from Oregon, and it was delicious. The bartender was great at handling the service needs and was very nice throughout. As the night went on the place got super packed, super loud, and even more like a hotel bar. My recommendation would be if you want to go, go on an off-night like Wednesday. But there are certainly more stand-out spots to spend your money.
Posted by Anonymous on 11/06/2008
This place had a very nice ambiance, but the food was pretty bland. I started with the beets and goat cheese....the beets were not very sweet and the goat cheese was actually a pretty tasteless goat cheese sauce. Then had the duck, which was cooked nicely and a big portion, but the sauce was only slightly flavorful.