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Reviews from nymag.com
Posted by French Food Critic on 05/05/2013
The name Carlyle restaurant should connote class, elegance and epicurean delight. I must say that except for the decor and its beautiful floral display, I was sorely disappointed.There was nothing grande or haute about their cuisine. The captain and waiter and the serving staff, although gracious, were quite slow. It seems the importance is more in the presentation. Portions -compared to the price - were small, the side dishes mundane and food sent out lukewarm and underseasoned, I anticipated for a week the thought of a meal that was truly sublime and ethereal- one that would linger in the memory for a long time. It turned out to be just an illusory promise.
Posted by Particular 55 on 11/22/2010
We couldn't believe how bad the service was. We've been to Cafe Carlyle several prior times, and for their prices, they should be ashamed of themselves. Late show saturday night. Couldn't get nuts, though people next to us had them: apparently if you're ordering food they won't bring nuts in the meantime. Ordered fois gras and 30 minutes later they told me they ran out. so i ordered creamed spinach, and the waiter made a face and said it would take a long time to get that. Are they kidding? I asked to taste a wine I'd not had, and you would have thought I was asking for a free bottle. I was literally afraid to say I didn't like the sip, so then I asked for coffee and kahlua, and got ice cold kahlua, which totally defeated the coffee and kahlua point of the drink. I went up to the bar during the music to get nuts because I thought I'd faint from hunger. The waiters really acted like they were doing us a huge favor by coming over to our table for anything.
Posted by KW on 07/31/2009
Went here the other night for RW dinner, and was immediately impressed with the space. The hotel is really elegant and the restaurant is no different. A truly lovely space with great decor. Everything from the walls to the rugs is well done. The crowd was mixed, but majority probably 45 or older. The volume level was just right, quite enough to totally enjoy your company and loud enough to be comfortable that everyone in the room wasn't hearing everything you say. Service was OK but not on par with other restaurants of this caliber and price range. The hostess was a little short with words and definitely did not come off as welcoming. The wait staff did their job well with few complaints but were neither particularly helpful nor particularly present. It took a long time to eventually get a check at the end of the night and we never had the same person came to the table twice. The food more or less falls in line with the service. Everything tasted good but nothing tasted memorable. I ordered from the RW menu while my date ordered a la carte. The RW salad was truly a very dry salad, and while the greens were certainly choice the overall flavor was incredibly dry and bland. I ordered scallops for the main course and they were done well, but not amazing. The taste was good, but not great, and to be picky they were probably cooked about a minute too long, so while tender, they certainly did not melt in your mouth. But my biggest gripe was there were only 4 of them! This is not a main course, it's an appetizer portion, even my date who is 100lbs seemed surprised. She had fish (can't remember which) and she said it was very good, but I could tell she wasn't amazed either. Desert was a flourless chocolate cake and it was the best part of the meal. Very good. Overall, for partially RW prices I didn't leave unhappy, but I was certainly not happy either. At the regular a la carte prices for both meals I would not have been happy. If you're looking for a beautiful decor this is a great spot. But there are quite a few other very elegant restaurants in similar price categories that offer a higher caliber of food.
Posted by bubu on 07/28/2008
This is the first time my friends and i went there for restaurant week. foods were good. my friends ordered steak, and they like it. Service were excellent..... they treated us like princesses. We love it.
Posted by sandra on 06/28/2008
My husband proposed to me at this restaurant last year and it was fabulous. Comfortable yet elegant environment with exquisite food and wine. The service was excellent the servers are attentive and provide personalized service. Music was too quiet and could be improved.
Posted by Amy on 05/25/2008
My family and I were in town for a wedding and wanted to have a classic New York evening. After enjoying a wonderful, although very pricey cocktail at the world famous bar, we settled in for a once in a lifetime meal. Dad enjoyed his filet and potato gratin, along with his lobster bisque. My oysters on the half shell and the scallops for my main were perfection. The Dover Sole was the "best ever eaten" by my mom after she had the peeky toe crab salad (very light and refreshing). Finally we both shared the truffled mashed potato and the asparagus... awesome! The only issue was that we waited several minutes longer than we should have (it was not that busy) to begin this wonderful night.
Posted by Masked Marauder on 02/10/2008
My wife and I dined here for lunch during Restaurant Week and had a great experience. The food was very nice and the room was decorated elegantly. We had a celebrity sighting, which is always a treat.