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Posted by Neil on 02/08/2012
Grifone might be fine for the old-money (and just old) Manhattan set, but if you think high prices guarantee a special experience, Grifone will disappoint. The food is drab, the service is either nonexistent or arrogant & brusque (unless you're a regular), the space is charmless, and for what you're getting, the prices are astronomical. It's actually kind of amazing that this place still exists. Grifone is a tired anachronism, firmly resting on its laurels.
Posted by Brian on 04/08/2011
Elegant, romantic, amazing cuisine, superb service - not overpriced. It was perfect for an out of town couple interested in fine dining and romance. Intimate and peaceful.
Posted by Greatly Disappointed on 04/18/2010
The meal began with stale bread being placed on the table. However, they eventually brought us new bread and I guess it happens sometimes. Next, after getting over the overpriced wine list, (I can't say expensive because a bottle you would get at any decent restaurant was $10-$20 more here) we ordered a bottle of red wine. The waiter brought the wrong bottle and when I pointed it out acted like he knew it was the wrong bottle and justified by saying it was the closest thing he had to the bottle I wanted. Why wouldn't he tell this to me when he first brought the bottle? Asking to see the wine list againso I could choose a bottle the table wanted, the waiter brought me the original bottle I ordered. No apologies, jokes, or acknowledgment whatsoever. While deciding on entrees I elaborated very clearly that my girlfriend was a vegetarian. She ordered a pasta that had no indication of meat in it but, of course, it was put on the table with meat in it. Now, any offer to help rectify the situation would have been greatly appreciated but the waiter simply put the plate down and said "there is only a little meat in it." Then he walked away! Luckily I ordered a non-meat dish and was able to swap with her, but what kind of waiter does that? To cap it all off, after we asked for the check we waited an extra 20 minutes while three people stood around and did nothing. Not to mention the waiter immediately opened up the check in front of me to see the amount of the tip. After all of that, I do have to say the food was great. While it was on the expensive side, it was well worth the price. Unfortunately, the unreasonable wine list and terrible service ruined the entire evening and I would never go back.
Posted by Arnold L on 09/02/2009
The food was expensive, the quality was poor and bland. My wife had the veal, which was dry and tenderized. My pasta was not any better. The waiter was working hard to sell us everything and was complaining about the poor tipping habits of The UN people. He felt 15% was being cheap. The restaurent was a big letdown from what we expected. For the money, I felt ripped off.
Posted by brocolli rabe junkie on 02/15/2008
My wife and I visit NYC often (hoping to live there at some point) and we have our list of favorite places to dine, last time we had an open slot one night and decided to try something closer to our hotel . . . the ambience or retro look and feel recounted in the other review pretty much hits the nail on the head, but this is what NYC Italian dining is all about. Not sure how one spent that much on food, our bill for two while over $200 included a bottle of the best 2001 brunello's I've tasted! We had a charming spot opposite the finishing table . . . Those new to this sort of set-up might think it's like getting seated next to an exit door, but we've actually become quite fond of places that have such a station to finish dishes in the main dining area as each comes out of the kitchen and are content to be seated in eye's view of it. It's like getting a free floor show, like watching a live cooking show, waiters hurrying about, pronto, pronto, again this is the charm of Italian dining here in NYC, you're a part of the experience not just some distant observer. We literally saw our pesto pasta being made in front of us, and the aroma just a few feet away from the garlic, oil and brocoli rabe were greeted with wide eyes, realizing only monents later that the dishes the table captain was finishing were ours! The food here is given the proper attention to detail, obviously fresh, not over-priced considering it's mid-town east and served with outmost care. Each meal starts off with little something (or lagniappe as one might say in New Orleans), a plate of cheeses, olives, etc. to nibble on while the first course is prepped. Biscotti and espresso and grappa are all I need after the meal but I must say with were enthralled to see the host making warm custard from scratch for a larger party, stretching our necks to get a view of the master at work (cooking show again!), only to be charmed when he poured an extra dish and had one of the waiters bring it to our table to try. Will our next time here be as memorable, I'll let you know.
Posted by ken on 01/29/2008
The food at this joint is really very good. Had the baked clams, which were marvelous. We stayed away from the menu and had the host help us with our order. Rigatoni with jumbo shrimp in a spicey marinara sauce. Probably one of the best sauces i've had in a very long time. The setting is okay, cozy. Great for a romantice evening. The hosts and the staff is very helpful and courteous. A little pricey, but definitely worth it.
Posted by BrokeNow on 12/25/2007
Imagine walking into a restaurant and all the waiters are retired wise guys from the old country. They line the aisle as you enter into this compact establishment and eye you up carefully, as you proceed to hand over your coat to the "coat check girl" in her little coccoon of a room. Imagine being seated and soon after relaizing that all of the background music is the soundtracks from the 1960's James Bond movies ( Dr No, Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, etc,.) By the time you've realized you've entered a time warp, you've met at least three of the waiters, of the approximately five that will serve you your entire meal including desert. As you scan the room that's now mosly filling up you notice that the sculptures on the wall are odd but authentic pieces of early 20th century ironwork or composition reproductions, which in either case are backgrounded by say 1960's flocked wallpaper that dates the place. Compact but not cramped, there is nothing to really distinguish this establishmnet physically. The wait staff is excellent, attentive and knowledgeable. The menu is broad. While the food my wife and I had was good to very good, it was not what I would expect for $150 without alcohol. The presentation was nothing special. While it would be hard to imagine getting a bad or unsatisfactory meal here, it was not worth the price. I have no doubt they are prepared to make you anything on or off the menu and that is the strength here, SERVICE.