Eat New York: Ricardo Steakhouse

This past weekend, I headed to NYC for a work trip. Part of the reason I looooove my job is that I get to experience new places and things all the time. I had never been to NY before – having only been to Boston and DC on the east coast (I’m a west coast type of gal). We were lucky enough to stay in Times Square – which I don’t think I was fully prepared for. More on that to come in a post. On our first night in NYC we decided to go to dinner at a place recommended by my co-worker’s friend in East Harlem called Ricardo Steakhouse. We were promised a great atmosphere, terrific music and great food as “the” place to be in Harlem.

We called ahead to try to make a reservation but at 5 PM they told us that all of their spots had been reserved and now they were on a first come, first serve basis. We hopped in a cab and decided to head out there anyways – hoping for a chance at a table. The restaurant itself was really small, but pretty chic and cute. Brick building with lit up “R” sign out on front, interior brick walls and a dark and warm ambiance.  We were told there was a 1 hour wait when we arrived, which we were very disappointed by but decided to wait it out.

Well one hour turned into an hour and a half which turned into two hours. People were bring seated before – and at one point we noticed people that came in after us were being seated before us. One family came in and after waiting for 45 minutes, I noticed the father ask the bouncer to get them seated earlier and slipped the hostess a $20. Needless to say, my co-workers were not happy. They confronted the hostess who told us that our table was coming soon. Even though we should have been seated a lot earlier. Finally my co-workers asked for the manager who was this short man with a bad attitude. He came up to the front with his arms crossed and listened to my coworkers complaints. He then asked them why he should believe them because he’s told that people are always seated before others all the time. Sir – it’s probably because it’s true. It’s obvious that his hostess staff cannot run a wait list and that all of their staff has terrible customer service.

Once we were actually seated, we were placed at a table right next to the door. Very cold drafts every time someone walked in and not to mention that the music was so loud that we couldn’t even have conversation over dinner. The food was mediocre. It’s wasn’t worth a two hour wait at all. I ordered the the grilled skirt steak with grilled mushrooms and onions. It also came with a small salad with balsamic dressing and scalloped potatoes.

Grilled skirt steak from Ricardo's Steakhouse.

Grilled skirt steak from Ricardo’s Steakhouse.

So one warning if you’re headed to NYC and are looking for some where to eat- make sure you go to somewhere that accepts reservations, especially if it’s a small restaurant! And any two hour wait for food isn’t worth it. Especially when it’s coupled with awful customer service.

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