We are so lucky to have such an open dialogue between our team and all the SN followers. We love hearing what you want from us just as much as we love getting advice from you.
We’ve been taking your restaurant recommendations very seriously lately and wanted to update you on our new SN EATS guidelines. Basically, if we try a restaurant, we’re going to do it the SN way. Here’s what that means…
For starters, none of these meals are comped! We pay for everything. And secondly, we’re using a numerical rating scale from 1-10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best.
While it can get a little subjective depending on who is going to each restaurant, we came up with these three categories that will help level the playing field.
Food: How was the food? Were we, like, dying every time we saw an entrée or dessert head to a table nearby? Did the restaurant serve literal food porn? Are we still salivating every time we go through the photos we took of each dish that we tried? Did we read the menu and think to ourselves, “I need everything” and proceed to order it all?!
Service: This one is pretty simple, actually. Was the staff nice to us? Were they annoyed that we took photos of literally everything? Was our food on time? And most importantly, whether or not the service helped make this experience memorable and something we’d be sure to recommend to our friends and back to our readers!
Experience: Was this the kind of place you will remember? Was it chic, thoughtful, inviting and cool? Is it the kind of place that you need to know someone to get in or is it the perfect spot for a casual catch up with your friends? Is the decor amazing, but the people so-so? It the music too loud that I can’t even hear myself think? Is the bar crowded to the point where it’s a hassle or is it just right? These factors are what we’re looking for when we’re rating for experience.
We will vote 1-10 on all three categories.
If a restaurant scores 30/30, it’s freakishly good! If it gets 3/30, that means you should take it from us and don’t try it!
9: It was delicious Italian food, so I cannot complain. The portions are a bit small, making it perfect for a date if you both decide to order a couple things to share.
8: At first, I was not so pleased to realize that when I came at 5pm, they told me it was a two hour wait. To be honest, the woman at the door was a little rude about it, but we waited it out and it ended up being just over an hour instead of the full two. Our waiter was super, super nice and the food came out really quick, so it kind of balanced out our long wait before being seated. If you plan to impress someone on a date here, I would suggest going at 5pm to put your name down to get a table at 7:30-8pm.
8.5: The vibe is very romantic. We ended up in a back room that was more private, I personally like that better, but if you are in for more of a scene, the main room is beautiful. Overall, my experience was great, the food came quickly and it was so delicious. The really cool thing is that they change their menu every month, so you can go back and experience something completely new and trust that it will be delicious
8: Food here is pretty solid. They have a fixed-price menu, so you have to order an appetizer, entrée and dessert. They really nail it on the portion sizes though, so it doesn’t feel like too much food. The best thing we ate was a surprise the chef brought out – an amazing mini reuben sandwich.
9: We had to wait a few minutes for our table to be ready, but there was plenty of room at the bar. By the time our drinks arrived, our table was ready. The staff was super friendly and checked in multiple times to make sure we were loving everything.
9: Where Manhatta really shines is the experience. The restaurant is set on the 60th floor of a big building in FiDi, with panoramic windows throughout. You can basically see all of Manhattan and Brooklyn when looking out the window. The night we went it was snowing out, so visibility was pretty low, but we felt like we were in a big snow globe.
10: The food is the main reason why we come back. They make a perfect burger and they have gluten-free buns, which are good for me. The bartender makes drinks to perfection and they have big ice cubes, which I love.
10: It’s amazing. We became best friends with the bartender, I think his name is Anthony and we had him last time. He talks to you just enough, but not too much where it interferes with your dinner.
10: It’s an amazing experience because you are in the world of Ralph Lauren and it makes it feel experiential. It’s warm and cozy. The vibe, energy and decor truly take you into a different world.
10: I have to be honest, Nobu is a restaurant everyone talks about as being delicious and they never disappoint. I am definitely picky when it comes to sushi/seafood and I never question the quality there. Arielle basically ordered for everyone and I was forced to try things I would have never asked for myself.
8: The service was fine – not too great, but not bad either. We had a 7pm reservation, but waited until almost 7:30pm to sit, which was a bit frustrating. After waiting that long, you would think the restaurant would do their best to be super accommodating and eager to take care of our table, but to be completely honest, I don’t think they cared much.
10: I love that Nobu has that sexy, date night feel no matter what night of the week you go. We went on a Tuesday and it was completely packed. You really feel like you are in a true New York restaurant, which is one of the reasons I love it so much.
9: Hillstone has a very broad menu and everything is delicious. It is truly one of the most consistently great meals you can rely on in NYC! They have everything from spinach dip to sushi to ribs to salads to sandwiches!!!!! Major shoutout to the fried chicken sandwich – it’s my favorite. Why I’m rating it a 9 and not a 10 is because I ordered the focaccia bread, which I’ve been eyeing on their menu for quite some time. Sadly, it was the first dish that has ever disappointed me at Hillstone. Ending on a positive note, they are currently serving goat cheese olives in their martinis. 😉
10: Hillstone’s policy is that any waiter, waitress, barback, etc. can service you if you call on their attention. You’ll never receive that “let me get your waiter” snide comment. This creates a very friendly and efficient dynamic. Our service this evening was on point as usual. A great example: when I was halfway through my martini, our waiter came over and poured what was left into a freshly chilled glass. Such a good party trick!
10: We started the evening with drinks at the bar to elongate our time there. While the bar at Hillstone is usually very crowded, there’s always a nook you can find and the bartenders are fast. I don’t love the policy where you cannot be seated until your whole party has arrived, which Hillstone adheres to, but we sat fairly quickly. The ambiance is dark and cozy, such a great winter spot (although I’m a regular all year!).