194 Elizabeth St, New York, NY | Directions 1001240.721802 -73.994443
Neighborhoods: Downtown, NoLita
In a city where wood-burning ovens and rustic Italian food are common, Peasant has an unusually large number of devoted admirers. Maybe because it was the first, or because the atmosphere and food, under the direction of Frank DeCarlo. Getting in can be a hassle, thanks to all the regulars, but you can usually get a seat at the bar.
Worst Service Experienced in 20 Yrs – I completely agree with the comment below regarding having the rudest staff I have ever encountered at a restaurant. I'm not sure if they were having an off night but it really felt like we were on candid camera or something. I was trying to impress my girlfriend and take her to Peasant after hearing good things from co-workers. From the moment we walked in, we felt the maitre de had a bit of an attitude even though we had a reservation and were told we would have to wait 30 min. With a res, I can understand having to wait a couple of minutes, but this was a Tues night and that was the whole reason we made a reservation. So the rude Asian hostess told us to have a drink at the bar where the female bartenderess even copped an attitude with us when I asked what type of wine they offered. I'm not sure if they were looking not to be tipped but they all were doing a great job so far. Finally, once I realized that we had to sit at picnic tables with another couple, that was the last straw. We got out of there quickly & went to another Italian restaurant where we were treated the way one would expect to be treated. The food at Peasant looked ok but pricey for the extremely small size portions. My girlfriend now said this is the last time I get to choose the restaurant so now my credibility is a bit tarnished. Not sure what all the fuss is over this place. I would never return to Peasant after being treated with such disresepct!!
RUDEST WAITSTAFF IN NYC – Gave this place 1 star for rustic decor only.
I just want to note that this is my 1st time ever writing a review after all the years ive lived in this city!
Last Tuesday, my boyfriend and I wanted to celebrate a special occasion, so we decided to head downtown for dinner. We wanted to try somewhere new so I called a girlfriend of mine to recommend a good italian place with a decent wine selection and she told us Peasant wine bar. Walking in, the waiter comes up to us and says i have a table for 2 right here. A few mins later to take our drink order. I being the wine connoisseur , opted for a white. He asked if he could have a hard liquor. The waiter rudely answered " no, sir. we only have wine...go upstairs if you want to drink". So my boyfriend then said jokingly but also seriously, "oh, well can i get a drink from upstairs brought down considering its the same restaurant. I'll even buy the bottle!" The waiter then said "sir, i couldnt care less if you wanted to pay me a million dollars for the bottle...its not happening." WHOA! After getting our wine, i mentioned maybe we should just head to Il Mulino's or something because i was uncomforatble there. So, when he came back...i very nicely said "im not feeling well. We would jsut like to finish this wine and we'll take the check". The waiter said " oh well you cant sit here then. Thats what the bar is for (and walked away)". I was in shock! Couldnt believe how someone who earns a living off tips from customers, was treating us this way!
So then the asian woman came over and said " THERE IS 2 SEATS AT BAR OPENING UP. THE PEOPLE ARE PAYING AND THEN YOU GUYS CAN SIT THERE". We said ok fine. The people sharing our table w us were as disgusted as us at this point. 5 mins later...she came over and tapped my bf on his shoulder and pointed to the empty bar stools.
THIS SERVICE WAS TERRIBLE AND THE MGR/OWNER(s) SHOULD BE MORTIFIED AS TO HOW THE CUSTOMERS ARE BEING TREATED! WORST DINING EXPERIENCE IN NYC!!!!!!
Totally overrated – We were really disapointed given all the great reviews this place has received. First of all, the menu is completely unapproachable, and the waittress did litle to clarify. She rattled off brief descriptors of each item at such a rapid pace that it was incomprehensable, and seem annoyed when we had to ask her to repeat a number of items. How about just having the menu in English and save everyone a little trouble? Next - and even more annoying - was their "RULE" about ordering pizza. We had heard that their pizza was fantastic, so attempted to order one as an appetizer. We were told, in a very condescending tone, that their RULE was that we could only order a pizza as an appetizer if we also order a second appetizer. No exceptions. Their explanation was "this is a fine dining establishment, not a pizzeria". Then why make pizza at all, I ask? And by the way, every "fine dining establishment" I have been to makes it a point to cater to the diner's desires, not the temperament of a snooty chef. We sucked it up and ordered the pizza and another appetizer, both of which I have to admit were quite good. However, the entrees were a big disappointment. The risotto in particular was salty, undercooked and crunchy, and tasted like I had made it from a box from Trader Joe's. Ironically, the best part of this "fine dining" experience? The pizza.
Terrible experience with manager - food not worth the trouble – Mediocre food - wait time of at least 1 hour before food arrives...
We arrived on time for an 8pm reservation for 7 people, after being warned of a $25/person charge if we were late/did not show. When we arrived our table was not ready and there was no eta. After inquiring about downstairs, we were offered a tiny bench-like table. After seeing a nicer table, with at least chair backs for our older guest, we were told that table was reserved for at 9pm.
What is particularly disappointing is that our party was not treated the same way as other parties- the manager rewarded us with a mere shrug and comment "what do you expect me to do?"
What I expect is that mgmt be held to the same standards they require of their patrons - when the earlier party arrived late, why were they not told that the table was reserved for a party coming in at 8pm as we were told that we could not have a table reserved for 9pm?
I can only assume that my party was not "hip enough" in the contrived look the other patrons seemed to be sporting?
Delicious and relaxing – I think the problem with the review below me is that this guy sat on his a** for 30 minutes waiting for a menu. I'd be on my feet in 5! Not that I think you should ever have to "ask" for a menu, but seriuosly - who sits around for 30 minutes and doesn't say anything? Especially in New York! I happen to love this place and I've always had a good experience there.
worst service ever – The other reviews on here mentioning the bad service are dead on (especially the one from 12/2006 - nothing has changed). We waited 30 minutes before anyone even came over to us with a wine list - and then we did not even receive mention of an apology from the waiter. After all the waiting and rudeness - the food is only fair. The people sitting at the bar seemed to get decent, or at least timely, service. otherwise - seriously do not waste your time or money. The pretty atmosphere is not enough to counter the horrible service.
Great food wine and beautiful interior – The wood beamed interior with low ceilings and warm candlelight creates a beautiful and transformative atmosphere. I can't wait to go back in the winter. I had a few glasses of wine and margherita pizza, which were delicious. This is a great place for a casual meal. It is better to go with one or two friends rather than a large group, as seating is communal at wooden tables with benches. The service is a tiny bit slow, or it was the one time I went, but I was so happy there it didn't really matter. I am hoping to go back tonight.
The Gold Standard for Italian – WOW- where do I begin? My wife and I can be total food snobs. We've been back THREE times in the last couple of months. That is an NYC record for us! The staff is super nice and helpful-- they never mind translating the whole Italian menu for us! Here's a few tips about what you should eat to have the world's best meal at Peasant: First, they start you off with delectable, crusty bread and the most incredible, delicious ricotta cheese like you've never had to spread all over it. YUM. Then, you are insane if you don't get the BOCCONCINI. It's top-quality buffalo mozzerella wrapped in delicious procuitto and then somehow baked until it comes out sizzling and crispy on the outside, gooey and unbelievable. A-mazing!!! We also love the Skate fish and grilled Polpi (like calamari only WAY better) in this unbelievable sauce that i also dip my bread in. speaking of bread, the Bread Pudding kills. You may not be able to put your pants on tomorrow, but it's well worth it my friends. Did i mention the warm, inviting atmosphere and deliciously aromatic open wood-burning oven? Um. Yeah. in 3 words: Best Food Ever. The end.
Peasant is pleasant – First thing we noticed when we walked in was the smell. Took our noses to heaven. The ambiance and decor are nice, kind of made me think of the book "Under the Tuscan Sun". The food was good, the prices were reasonable and our server was pleasant, helpful and friendly. Not quite sure why others recommend the 28 oz Bistecca alla Fiorentina. People, it is $29 for 28 oz for a reason, but perhaps I have been skewed from all the high-end chophouses here in NYC. Our server also pointed us towards the downstairs wine bar, which had a similar feel as upstairs, and I hope to utilize for a date at some point.
best steak, 28 oz... best bread (with ricotta)... – I've been a couple of times. The music is a bit cheesy, a little bit opera a little bit love song a little bit dance, it's all over the place, but I pay entirely too much attention to music so it's not likely to be a problem for other people... I love the open kitchen. I love the detailing of the place. The service has been okay. I've had a whole fish which was amazing, rabbit lasagne which was just okay, a couple of the pizzas, the tripe, and a few other things which were okay... my favorite items are the bread and ricotta (placed at the table when you sit down -- i like to throw a few grains of salt on it, give it some fresh pepper, and put a little bit of olive oil, mmm) -- it's really delicious -- and the 28 oz steak which is insanely good. i eat all the fat on it. it's all so smokey and tender and rustic and delicious... i'm not a dessert person. the wine selection is good, though i think they need more by-the-glass options. the beer selection honestly is dismal... i'm generally very minimal and reserved and quiet with the staff but one guy here really had an attitude problem (i got there late, upstairs was closed, they said please go downstairs where we're serving meat dishes (not seafood, not pastas, not poultry), so i asked for the steak, he said they don't have that, i said it's meat i love the steak so much and i've been craving it for a week, he said that's steak not meat, i said steak is meat where i come from, he then proceeded to call me eurotrash -- which is funny because i'm from california and have NO accent or affection of ANY accent whatsoever)... i haven't been back in a couple months, because my feelings were hurt -- but i crave that steak (rare) almost daily... the scene is OKAY. lots of people looking to impress their date, lots of people who chew with their mouths open, quite a few of the silk-shirted-man three-buttons-undone sleeves-rolled types (not that there's anything wrong with that)... sorry if i've said something offensive!
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