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Posted by frances on 06/07/2008
We were every anxious to give this a try. We found the decor a combination of dull and tacky. The menu is standard bistro fare but without any pizzaz. The food is mediocre but not terrible. It cannot compare with the old LCB, expecially the quenelles, which were leaden. The service was rough around the edges. The busboys were more professional than the wait staff, who did not seem to care. It took 10 minutes before we were acnowledged by our waiter. Will not go back and predict it won't last.
Posted by Kyle on 05/31/2008
How did all this happen? A legendary chef with bountiful talents and plenty of experience opens a crashingly sad bistro. My excitement was sky high to dine at the NYC Benoit. I knew the moment I enetered the dining room , it was going to be a rough night. Pizza parlor decor is the look with the mandatory spray painted cloud ceiling and perplexing red velvety touches throughout. The menu had all the obvious choices you would expect from any touristy "french" restaurant. And the food was achingly similiar. I guess that no thought of presentation means old time bistro comfort food. And why would someone think that today? Smoked salmon arrived in thick mushy rolled curls. Steak was oddly small and regrettably tough. However....nice frites accompanied the slight slab. Desserts were so-so ...so what. Best part of the whole evening was walking down the stairs to the john and seeing all the wonderfully glam photos of the old Cote Basque. It seemed as if all the lavish clientelle were having the most wonderful time. So pitiful to see all that magic gone.
Posted by Anonymous on 05/31/2008
We went with a group of 7 last night at dinner. In terms of noice I expected a lot especially since we were a group contributing to the ambiance. In that respect I didn't mind. However in terms of food, the chicken was dry and bland, the lamb undercooked, and the fish subpar. The duck and escargot were ok. However, service was abysmal. The dinner was for a birthday and a request was made before the meal for a souffle and candle. When it came time for dessert, the waitress told us there were no souffles available. Of course the surprise was then ruined when we were forced to complain to the manager who then somehow produced three souffles 45 minutes later. Meanwhile throughout the meal the waitress, who could not understand English (literally she only spoke Spanish), constantly was trying to put more wine glasses on our table even though there was no room. The bus boys did not remove the dirty glasses or bread plates so they were on the table the entire meal. And literally we waited for 45minutes for dessert without the waitress coming to take the order for anything besides the messed up souffle. She was nowhere to be found for most of the meal. Overall beyond disappointing for a $600 meal where service was already included so the waitress ended up just making as much money doing a poor job as she would have doing a great job. I really wanted to love this place because French Bistros are my favorite restaurants, but I think a lot of improvements need to before this will be ranked up with other Ducasse establishments.
Posted by Anonymous on 05/29/2008
Better escargot than the ones I recently had in Paris. Perfect amount of everything: parsley, butter, garlic, etc. The little toast point round on top of each one made it easier to soak up all of the yummy sauce. The wine by the carafe was perfect as well, just like in France! One complaint: beignets should have been warm, as should the chocolate sauce that accompanied them.
Posted by Anonymous on 05/21/2008
One disappointment is that Benoit doesn't offer the wonderful soupe de poissons that I had at the Paris Benoit in the early 90's (and perhaps no longer has on the menu), but otherwise the menu is typical French bistro - which is great. I'll return to order the onion soup, which is a huge portion - meal in itself - and nearby diners were praising. Our meal was excellent -the Parisian salad, the crusted bass, and the duck. Service was professional. It was noisy at 6pm when we dined, and became noisier as the evening went on - but that's a bistro. Noise is a minus, but what can you do. Decor is very pretty. Worth a visit.
Posted by nyc restaurant-loving resident on 05/20/2008
We knew immediately that things were not going to go well when the hostess seated the 4 of us at a table that had a partly-filled wine glass and a cork on it, which she did not notice. We pointed this out to the waitress and, without apologies, she removed them. Each succeeding time that she arrived at the table to ask if we had decided on our order, with the slightest hesitation on our parts, she simply walked away. At one point in the evening, things simply stopped in the restaurant when a customer shouted at the top of his voice, "Waiter, get over here and clear this table!" When the food finally arrived, chicken in this case, it was hopelessly bland.
Posted by Anonymous on 05/13/2008
I really wanted to like this place. The price is right and the portions are not small - however - nothing is special. Had the lobster bisque and pate and each was just ok. Then had the roast chicken - was expecting a delicious bird but not the case - it was moist but otherwise ordinary. Wine list is very good with some real values. The room has way too many partitions and can feel clostrophobic at times. All in all - was expecting much more.