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09/22/2015
By: Yoseph K.
Cloister Cafe
Fittingly, the decor inside Cloister matches what you would expect to see at a church. The pleasantly sacrilegious ambiance for smoking hookah and drinking fine wine adds to your inebriating experience.Cloister is a term ingrained in the Catholic church, if you're curious regarding it's meaning, check out Wikipedia. I'm here to preach, not to teach.The pride and joy of CC though is the outdoor garden. When the weather is warm and the vineyard has grape leaves draping over slivers of sunlight, you forget that you're still in New York. The ambiance is amazing and the patrons can be very pleasant, even striking up a conversation with your table.The pricing is often ridiculous, and sometimes when our lovely waitress brings us "shots on the house" I swear we've had them show up on our bill. This adds to the charm albeit stings the first two times you see the bill. It's very European how they handle their business, complete with real Russian waitresses!So yea, Catholic stain glass, Mediterranean garden, New American cuisine, Turkish Hookah and Russian staff. It's not ideal, in fact it's all over the place in terms of brand identity. Given that I'm a regular, they treat me a little better than a first timer (My real rating for this spot would be a 4 by the way, but I want to counterbalance the bad ratings)On a wintery night, I came here with a friend, we were both sick and we asked them to make us honey mulled wine, they did it. They charged us whatever they wanted because it's not a standard menu item, but the fact remains, they do care about their regulars. Like many places in NY, you have to know when to come and when to avoid this spot.Some tips if you want to have a good time:- Come during warmer weather and sit in the garden.- Start drinking here, continue at your club/lounge. Not the other way around.- Order a pitcher (or 2) of Sangria rather than drinks for groups smaller than 4- Order Hookah with a mix, always keep one part leafy (Mint, Jasmine) with one part smooth (Vanilla, Apple, Coffee).- Practice self control when ordering shots.If you follow these steps, you'll have a good time
06/04/2013
By: sgt.tee
Benjamin Restaurant & Bar
2 Steps forward, 1 step back. You know how there are certain restaurants that go the extra mile and seem like this business is their lifelong calling? Well, unfortunately this is not the 1. In fact, ironically, those places often go out of business, but I digress. This is not 1 of those places. It has potential. The thin, tall sundress woman who greeted us seemed like she was up for the challenge. The menu is rather thin and my dinner guest said that their steak was only okay and certainly not worth the inflated price. I asked for a taste of avocado with my dish. The big boys typically give this to you as a courtesy or an obligatory $1. Benjamin's whopping $4 took my meal up to the next price bracket. I liked the diversity of the 2 light skinned minority waitresses. When I complimented the Manager on her kimono, she practically lectured me on how it was not. When I asked the waitress for an orange slice, in addition to not having any she got too familiar asking me what I needed it for. What ever happen to the customer is always right, even if my fashion jeopardy was slightly off. I actually wanted to like this place more for the several 2 steps forward, but I would be disingenuous to not warn people of the several 1 steps back. I read both the favorable and unfavorable reviews of the restaurant on this site. I figured I’d pay them the solid of letting them know of the site so one of them could perhaps write a response to any unfavorable reviews that were just miscommunications. The male manager who answered said he would get the female manager that I described only to return as if screening her calls. He was otherwise very polite cordial and professional. When I suggested that someone in his camp might want to write retorts to negative messages posted about the restaurant, he was not interested. Oh well.
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05/16/2017
By: Ami S.
Food Merchants Catering
I have been using Food Merchants (FoodMerchantsCatering.com) for ALL my catering needs in NYC for the past 4+ years. (approx. 6-8 events per year). As Tech Events Manager for a large university, I utilize Food Merchants for EVERY event I do because they are consistently reliable, the food is amazing, and their prices can't be beat. I have in fact taken to NOT using a venue if they don't let me use my own caterers. Once in 2015 and once in 2016 I held events at venues that required using their caterers and it simply reinforced my belief that Food Merchants in simply the best. They have done everything from $2,500 orders to $25,000 orders and everything in between. Once a month we host a hackathon at our university, Food Merchants provides our Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner for these weekend events. Students are amazing to be getting Shrimp Orechiette and Crab Cake Sandwiches, Kale Crunch salad, Quinoa, and more. But their prices are so amazing, it actually costs LESS than the basic options from other caterers. The fruit on the breakfast trays is fresh, the roles are an assortment of grains, many healthy options including vegan and gluten free. Peter is my guy at Food Merchants, and I truly cannot say enough good things, I have NEVER been disappointed. As an event planner, the one thing I know that I never need to worry about is the food. Peter and his crew are amazing. We have also used them for conferences, networking events, and more.
01/04/2016
By: Joli J.
Cloister Cafe
I have been coming here for an eternity, at first mainly for the mojitos, but once they changed their chef, I started coming back for lunch and mojitos. I don't know what magician pours the drinks, but you always leave with a "buzz". The Cloister cafe is the best during the warmer months, so you can enjoy many cocktails, under the grapevines and lush foliage, with hookah and friends. The last time I went, was with a friend, on a rainy day, to celebrate her graduation from Parson's. We were seated "inside-outside" area, which is a tented area, but still not deprived of many trees and plants. We ordered mojitos, a brie quesadellia appetizer, and two salads: the duck and the salmon, I'm not a big salad person, but I like the way they make theirs. Big portions of duck and salmon, well seasoned, fresh and filling. I love their fried potatoes too, with sea salt, time and pepper. To end our meal we ordered a hookah and dessert, and oddly enough it ended up being on a bit over 40$ a person(with out tip), which I think is beyond reasonable for the location, quality of food, and magical cocktails. I would recommend this place 100% for a first date, since they never rush you or take forever to bring your food.I would also recommend this place for sitting alone on a sunny afternoon, with friends at night, or whenever. It's a winner. It got a perfect rating from me, because it deserves it. You get the exact bang for your buck!
06/26/2014
By: Will I.
Malachys
I love Malachys! I have been going there for a while now and have got to say that this place is so comfortable that it has become a regular after-work or pre party spot. The bartenders are awesome. The drinks are cheap. The clientele is friendly. Buy-backs happen. What's not to love?Well... If you are looking for a club or lounge or some other hoity-toity establishment where drinks cost 14 bucks, then don't go. I can't make this clearer: This is an Irish Pub! An old one at that. And that's what makes it feel like you just stopped by your friends place for a drink after work. Bring friends and get your drink on.Here's what you NEED to know. The drinks are great! The food is great (get the burger, chicken fingers, mac-n-cheese, or ribs are favorites)! When there is an event at the park or later on the weekends, the place gets packed.Now for my Favorite part: Dorian!!! She's the bartender on the weekends and is amazing! Besides making one of the best darn Irish Coffees this side of the pond, she is hilarious and should have a column in some major publication. You can never get tired of her welcoming smile and the "How you doing sweetheart?"Go early, Stay a long time!Welcome to Malachy's!!!
06/03/2015
By: Mertie R.
Cloister Cafe
*This review is for my first hookah experience in NYC only, not for the restaurant portion of this place.Oh hookah, how I missed you so!I haven't been to a hookah lounge in so long, but am glad to have found Cloister Cafe! Actually, my friend & I were looking for this sake place when we stumbled upon this place. Decided to check it out since it was actually affordable ($20 per pipe plus one drink minimum per person).The Ukrainian bouncer wasn't all that intimidating, I've seen worse, but I did notice he didn't allow guys in easily (he told a random guy to call out his friend to meet him at the entrance instead). My friend and I, on the other hand, walked in just fine.The ambiance of this place is awesome; the outdoor garden is covered by trees and grapevines above you, and the music is loud enough to enjoy but still able to hear the other person across the table. Luckily the weather was perfect, it would've sucked if it rained.We got the rose & mint hookah (delicious!) and each got an iced tea (lemon was included, without us asking.. even better!) We must've spent about three hours here, and the server never pressured us to leave. I'm definitely coming back here!
07/17/2013
By: kevin.louie
Momofuku Ssam Bar
First off, I'd like to make a point that this page is about Momofuku Milk Bar, not Noodle Bar, or Ssam Bar. Majority of people here are posting about noodles and pork buns. You are all in the wrong place. Milk Bar is a small place that only sells baked goods and desserts. Before making reviews, pay some attention to the place you're posting about. Frankly, it's pretty embarrassing to read someone post negative reviews on pork buns at a place that doesn't sell pork buns.Review:I've been to Ssam, Noodle, and Milk Bar. Milk Bar is unique in their desserts. Their crack pie is amazing and literally like crack. You won't be able to stop eating one even though you should because it's mainly butter and sugar. Their compost cookies are also really good. Their cereal milk, which is what they're known for, is a unique idea, but at the same time a bit overrated. It's pretty pricey and is just sweetened milk pretty much. Overall, the place is very unique and the desserts are pretty tasty, just a tad bit pricey.
09/29/2015
By: Natale M.
Cloister Cafe
Oh, Cloister. I discovered this place a few years ago with some friends and found the slightly ratchet decorations, the shady and sometimes offensive bouncer, and the two-toilets-in-one-bathroom set-up all really endearing. (I have my theories about those toilets btw.) Hookah is 20$/4ppl and you have to get a drink each. If you're like my friends and stay for 86 hours every time and want your coal changed, you'll probably end up ordering more drinks to avoid the side-eying from the servers. Chocolate mint is the BEST hookah flavor. The hookah here is pretty good; food is also good and drinks depend on who's making them that night. I come mainly for the hookah and the atmosphere (generally popping on thurs, fri and sat. Sometimes there's a line outside...which is a little ridic considering this aint no club but its a popular place. Mainly college kids.) go! smoke! pee with a partner! do other things! (Or don't. please don't.)
09/29/2012
By: goreoc
Sushi Zen
A great place for those who want to enjoy a delicious food. It is not cheap, but the food and service you receive are top-notch. Sake "Born" is my favorite ;) Bar sits are the best: you get your order slightly faster, you see a chef preparing your dishes, and, if there are many dishes you have never eaten before, you can observe people around you and order something you spotted on your neighbor's plate ;). If you feel tired and want to freshen-up, just ask a chef to prepare a refreshing dish for you... It is that simple.If you do not clearly remember the proper chopsticks etiquette, make sure you google it before visiting the restaurant. (Just imagine yourself going to Arpège and not knowing which one of the three forks to choose to eat your favorite Savarins).P.S.: IMPORTANT! This is one of only two Sushi restaurants in NYC where I eat raw fish without worrying about catching parasites or having an upset stomach.
05/14/2015
By: Parul G.
Cloister Cafe
probably the most amazing environment you will find in nyc, the most beautiful garden setting perfect for a date or just friends coming to hang out and on top of that they have hookah making it that much better... if you go make sure you try to get Marc for your server, he is absolutely the best server there and he will take care of your every need also make sure you say hello and meet the manager Jerry he is the man and will take care of your future visits.. we've started making this an every night place to start the night if we're getting crazy or to end the night if it's a relaxing nightalso... at first we didn't know but the food is unbelievable and completely reasonably priced everything we've had is just insane and leaves you craving for another bite for weeks!if you're going to go anywhere for hookah you must go here, other places are smokey and gross but with this beautiful outdoor garden you just can't beat it

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