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Posted by Professional Lush on 04/13/2015
Since my arrival to NYC, in November, I have been a patron of Tolani, and would often come in after work with colleagues and have a glass or two. As a server and junior sommelier, I was pleased to have stumbled upon a late night wine bar, with wine that I actually enjoyed drinking. I built a repertoire with a couple of the bar tenders and have always looked forward to a glass in the evening. That being said, I came in last evening and had one of the most uncomfortable dinning experiences in the city. This particular night I brought along my manager to celebrate his birthday with a glass of wine, bringing along a coworker as well. We arrived right as the kitchen was calling last call. I hurried my guests into ordering something as they were hoping to get some food. With still a full house and my accord with the bartender, I thought there would not be a problem. Tolani is only a couple blocks away, and I wanted to introduce my boss with a quick bite and a glass before moving venues. However, the last minute brush in seemed to set the pace and mood for the rest of the evening. After the food order there was a proceeding pervasive unwelcome and uncomfortable air to the rest of the evening. Being a well practiced lush in both my social and professional life, I without hesitation have recommend this wine bar to the sommelier at my restaurant and fellow coworkers. Reflecting on the many times I have referenced Tolani, I was instantly overcome with complete disappointment and dissatisfaction. I am fully aware of the disheartening feeling of a late night dragging on, as you wait for campers to leave. I experience it myself on a daily basis. However, we walked into a full house at around 10:30pm, and left well before the last table. I always tip accordingly, and the people I bring in tip accordingly. I was appalled by the service. It is the manner in which you address customers, especially loyal and returning customers, that reflects a business, and their respect to that relationship. My personal relationship was diminished with the experience last evening, and I shall forgo returning. This establishment has a great food, wine and on all but one occasion amazing service. But it is the last bitter interaction that taints my overall opinion of this wine bar. Tangled Vines a block down has a great wine selection as well.
Posted by Anonymous on 11/01/2014
The ambiance is delightful. Beautiful candles, romantic serene bar like atmosphere. Really wonderful. The wine we had was very nice, but the food was not. You cannot serve a pathetic cheese plate, cold limp fries, or Luke warm meatballs in this atmosphere. We expect more and won't return. Owners: just have more attention to detail. Your food is your reputation and you don't want a bad one.
Posted by teddyr on 06/26/2014
The portions are very small and the prices for the plates are high. There are most assuredly better wine and tapas places.
Posted by Meme Sea on 09/15/2012
One of the best dining experiences I've had on the UWS. I came here on a Groupon deal with a good friend and we were both blown away by how good the food was. Truly, a great blend of flavors and textures. We enjoyed every single bite. The bottle of wine we ordered was served about 10 mins after we ordered and served in a decanter. It was robust and flavorful. The manager was sociable and attentive as was the waitress. Great atmosphere. If you're not on a budget I definitely recommend Tolani!
Posted by sandynyc on 05/31/2012
Went here for the first time last night. Had walked by many times but it blended in with the other restaurants so had barely noticed it until the outdoor seating caught our eye. Wine list was diverse and excellent with many South African wines that I had not had before. Scallop dish was outstanding! Fish tacos were very good and light, and bread basket was really nice. Service was truly wonderful; knowledgeable and nice so that is a big incentive to return very soon! The interior was very pretty and decorated with interesting artwork which were created by the owners wife. All in all, a very good experience!
Posted by Karen on 05/20/2012
Went here for the 1st time last night with my husband. Atmosphere was very cool. Huge wine list, but we had the white sangria (they do not serve red). It was very good. The food we ordered was great. The octopus was amazing. Fish tacos were ok. Lamb sliders were very good as well. (you can taste and smell the curry- so if you do not like curry, do not order the sliders). French fries were great too. There are tons of other menu items we want to try, so we will definitely be back.
Posted by UpperEastGal on 04/30/2012
What a nice suprise from an unassuming storefront. The atmosphere on the first level is lovely huge unique shaped bar, where patrons are sit around communal style. Individual tables surround the walls - nice vibe to dining area. The food, wow. Cheese plate -- plenty to choose (had stilton, aged gouda and mechago) perfect mixture of hard, tangy and aged. Served with fresh raisin bread. We had two larger tapas plates to share - (1) seared scallops over bed of asparagus risotto -- scalloped were perfectly seared and spongy on the inside -- simple, delicious! (2) brick chicken (size of game hen (small) actually), the chicken skin was crispy w/light citris flavor served over grilled porcini mushrooms -- phenomonal. My taste buds are watering just thinking about it. This place is not cheap the bill with 4 drinks, cheese plate + 2 tapas plates was 150, before tip! But well worth it. Do not go here if you are looking for quantity, quality here. Perfect place to hit before a show at Beacon or Lincoln Center espcially if you don't want to be sitting through a two hour show with a full belly. Enjoy.