Browsing the archives for the Restaurant review category.

Bella Luna Restaurant and the Eley Gallery on West 90th Street

Art, Restaurant review

The Susan Eley Fine Art Gallery is a salon-style gallery located in a brownstone at 46 West 90th Street, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.

We dropped by with friends for the opening of the new show called Passages in Black and White, featuring photos by Jessica M. Kaufman and Heather Boose Weiss.  We enjoyed the photos of both photographers, the very positive crowd and the warm atmosphere. You must call in advance to see the show.

Afterwards, 6 of us went to a nearby local favorite: Bella Luna Restaurant ( Columbus Avenue between 89 and 90th Streets) for dinner and we really lucked out. It was Jazz night! This welcoming, delicious, northern-Italian style restaurant has live Jazz guitarists on Tuesday nights. They are excellent.

The hostess welcomed our group and sat us, even without reservations, the food was quite good as always, the service is always positive, and the same gang seems to be at the bar anytime you drop in adding to the welcoming ambiance. The price is very reasonable too.

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Tea at the Mandarin Oriental Lobby Lounge=Poor Service

Restaurant review, Uncategorized

With so many wonderful places in New York City to have Tea with friends, I would recommend skipping the Mandarin Oriental Lobby Lounge in the Time-Warner building at Columbus Circle. We received dreadful service, they did not prepare correctly for our reservation, and the sandwiches were on the verge of being dried out. Go anywhere else.

New York has places with so much more warmth, character and lovely views than this disappointing spot.  The 35th floor view of Central Park does not make up for their poor service. Our host arranged well in advance for a table at the window for 9, when we arrived, it was set for 7 and could not be expanded. We stood and waited (at least a half hour, until we asked to sit while waiting) , while they put together a space for us. The manager and hostess were not in any way accommodating and the busy staff had no idea what to do. 

Instead of being welcomed guests we were “in the way”…

Considering that Tea service is $38 per person, this proves that they have no idea that their real business is hospitality. Just ridiculous.

We are adaptable New Yorkers so it takes much more than just stupid rudeness to stop us from having a good time–We had an excellent time in each other’s company,  enjoyed the lovely snow over the park,  and we will have an afternoon Tea together again,  though we will not be back to the Mandarin Oriental.

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Dial L for Lansky’s!

Lily's notes, Restaurant review

The new Lansky’s Old World Deli on Columbus and 70th Street is a real winner! At last we have a pleasant deli on the Upper West Side. One of the owners, Robert Ross helped seat us, and our waiter Georgie, was welcoming, helpful, especially for a friend with special dietary needs,  friendly and charming. That itself is noteworthy and earns Lansky’s lots of appreciation. The decor evokes the “old times”, with tiled floors, flocked wallpaper, old time bread slicer, chain flushers in the (clean) bathrooms and a soft 40’s Jazz sound. Some food is on display in cases. Nice. Welcoming.

The really good news is the food. I always judge a deli by it’s corned beef on rye and the meat was beautifully flavored and smokey. A nice sandwich.  Others in our party had delicious chicken soup with matzah balls and the mavens at the table pronounced the soup to be really chicken flavored and not over-salted, as is typical to find in some other restaurants we know. Bubbe’s soup was never-ever over-salted. The baked salmon was excellent as was the unusual fish “schnitzel”. Not really a schnitzel, the fish was not battered and covered,  but quite a delicious dish which might need a different name or menu description. We also enjoyed the Kasha Varnishkas.

We enjoyed our food , talked and laughed throughout dinner, and the manager came by and introduced himself. We suggested that since this restaurant is named for Meyer Lansky, perhaps they should invite his grandson Aaron for dinner.

A friend was eating there at the same time and came by our table to schmooze a bit and said that this was his 4th meal there in a week…he said that he’s become a “regular” and is now totally hooked. This is a welcoming place.

The lovely desserts come from Magnolia Bakery and Citarella…hmmm…yummy and pretty.

They open very early in the morning, about 6 am, for breakfast, which includes eggs with turkey bacon, and they have a good brunch menu as well. The menu does not include any obvious treif (pork and shellfish).

And you will find this very hard to believe, but they are extremely reasonably priced. They are a really a welcome addition to our neighborhood and we all hope that they are a big success. Bring friends and family, we want them to succeed and be around in spite of the bad economy.

Mazal Tov to Lansky’s. Good Luck and congratulations.

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NOT a New York City Jewish Deli

Restaurant review

Authentic New York City delis are now hard to find. Once there were so many of them that we could take them for granted. So here is a little list to help you know for sure when you are about to eat in a fake:

the menu lists a selection of “Reubens”

the menu lists a selection of cheese burgers

the daily specials are meat with melted cheese and fries. Clearly, you are in an American fast food restaurant, not a Jewish deli.

There are Borsht belt type jokes about Jews on the menu

We ate in such a place called Artie’s Delicatessen on Broadway and 83rd St, last night. Please try this kind of food somewhere else. The “Israeli Salad” was large chunks of tomato and cucumber  with dill and vinegar.  Edible, but not an Israeli Salad which is finely minced cucumber, tomato, onions or chives, herbs and lemon juice. The kasha was mostly giant farfalle with some kasha, missing  onions and mushrooms and it was a bit too greasy, the chicken was overdone and not tender, with no particular flavor. In the past we have been served  flavorless pastrami and bland corned beef,  so we skipped those this time.

The night we had bland meat, we saw a bus-load of German tourists drive up to Artie’s for dinner. I wonder what they thought about it.

Please go to the Second Avenue Deli instead, click and compare the menu. That’s a deli.  Glad they have re-opened and I wish them good luck in their new location.

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