$$$$ >Loi (formerly Compass Restaurant)
208 W 70th St, New York, NY | Directions 1002340.777460 -73.983338
Sun 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-10pm
Neighborhoods: Lincoln Square, Midtown
Hidden Gem/Great Experience – I recently moved to the upper west side and had my parents visiting on a monday night. I'm not totally familiar with many of the restaurants in the area but had seen Compass simply from walking around. Please don't let the simple exterior fool you, this place is fantastic. Everything we ate was incredible, the service was fantastic. I had tuna carpaccio to start and had venison as my main course with macaroni and gourmet cheese as a side. Everything was made perfectly. They also gave us a salmon tartare taster. Just an great experience and I can't wait to come back.
The Needle Of This Compass Points To Great Food – Really enjoyed the variety of offerings. Loved the First Course Spice Crusted Tuna Carpaccio w/ Green Papaya Relish and Ponzo Vinaigrette and the Pan Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras. The Main Course selections of Maine Diver Sea Scallops and Crescent Hills Farm Pan Seared Duck were exceptional. The waitstaff was attentive without being overbearing. The only complaint was that I never received a requested refill of my coffee with dessert, and the Key Lime tart was too delicious not to need a second cup. Definitely deserves a return visit.
Imaginative flavors and sharp design come together at this rare Upper West Side eatery. – In Short
After a few changes of the guard, original chef Neil Annis is back in the kitchen, providing innovative American cuisine to the uptown epicurean crowd. Though you'd never guess from the ordinary facade, a sizeable space awaits with multiple private nooks. The handsome interior combines glass and natural elements creating a contemporary museum atmosphere. The menu, equally artistic, includes confit of pork belly, crispy skate, olive oil-poached lobster and a salty sweet hazelnut and potato-chip gateau.
A thoroughly enjoyable evening – My friends and I visited Compass for the first time and I can't wait to go back. The decor of the restaurant is both chic and relaxing and the table arrangements allow for a great deal of privacy - particularly if you're in a booth or one of the many private dining rooms.
The service was great; our waiter was knowledgeable about the menu and provided excellent recommendations. We all enjoyed our meals. My friends ordered from the $35 Prix Fixe menu and I went A La Carte.
I devoured my Tempura Soft Shell Crab appetizer (delish!) and enjoyed the Pan Seared Scallops I had for my entree. My friends' dishes were quite nice as well - the hanger steak was perfectly seasoned and the monkfish was absolutely delicious. If you closed your eyes you would have thought it tasted like a lobster tail.
We shared two desserts (from the Prix Fixe menu) amongst the three of us. I'm a chocolate lover so I was disappointed in the chocolate cake (as was one of my friends), but we loved the Panna Cotta with mango sauce (yum!). And much to our surprise we were treated to a lovely amuse-bouche and received a delicious muffin to take home and enjoy the next day - which I did!
I have a friend coming into town next week from Dallas and I think I may have to go take her there for dinner. If not I'll definitely return in the coming weeks.
Another Chef has left – I admit, John the last chef can cook, but like all the others he too has left Compass!!! When are they going to be able to keep a chef. I also heard the GM left and the new Somm is soooooo pretensious. When are they going to call it quits?
Upper West Siders must go here! – I've lived on the UWS for 10 years and I work downtown in a restaurant myself. It is rare to find a good place to dine in this neighborhood. I'm not sure where the other negative reviewers have eaten before, but my experiences here have been quite wonderful. The atmosphere is relaxed and the service is extremely good. It is rare to see an NYC restaurant so accomodating with special needs- they really go out of their way to show you a good meal. The food is very good and I'm glad they've held on to this new chef. He is a keeper. I highly recommend Compass for a romantic date, business dinner or out for a celebration- I've done all and they have come through again and again. Their staff is so friendly and want to make sure you are pleased. Brunch is also quite good- can't beat their $26 prix fixe- you will leave full and satisfied! If you truly want an enjoyable meal, you should try Compass. Start with a drink or glass of wine (they offer many) in their cozy lounge area first- they also have a nice lounge style menu that's great!
White Chocolate Covered Pork Rinds for Dessert – Think of Compass as Abstract Food - ingredients thrown together on a plate that generally look better than they taste. I have visited most of the top restaurants in NY and this is not one of them. The ambience is modern and sophisticated and we were seated promptly. We opted for the restaurant week selections and asked for recommendations from our waiter. He suggeted the fluke served with a small salad. The fluke was rubbery and contained a mishmosh of tastes that were far from good. The shrimp entree was overcooked. Dessert was mildly palatable until we were served white chocolate covered pork rinds. Medium prices for NY, decent service. But the food... I would rather eat a painting than the food served here.
Not Bad for the upper West Side – In the UWS where many restaurant are bland or overpriced, Compass has original cooking, a nice decor, good service and it is quiet. I like it a lot for that, I will stop by when in the neighborhood. as far as the food is concerned, it's OK, it's better to precise, with any food they make, "not too greasy, not overcooked" ... unless you like greasy and overcooked of course!
Not too crazy about this place... – Although I'm not too crazy about the food, the restaurant was quite impressive. Dim lighting, looked very clean, and can be romantic. The grilled sword fish didn't have much flavor. Desserts are nicely presented but not that big on taste. Oh, the girl at the front was extremely rude and obnoxious. We made reservations and was asked to follow a waiter to be seated and she had the nerves to say,"Hey- where the hell are you going"? Can you believe that!? I totally ignored her and walked right past, but my friend was nice enough to explain to her that we were being led to our table by our waiter. She didn't even apologize, all she said was "Oh". I'm not sure if she's still there or she got fired or she quit on her own. But she definitely gives the restaurant a bad name.
One too many flavors – We enjoyed a quiet dinner at Compass with friends. The atmosphere was excellent - there was plenty of space and not too much noise. Two of us ordered the prix fixe menu and felt that the chef added one too many ingredients to each of our courses. The starter, a goats cheese tart with beet, was served with mache interlaced with onion, the onion unnecessary. The duck main course was delicious and properly cooked, but the fennel on the plate was limp and flavorless. The dessert, a chocolate cake, required neither the apricot and maple flavors added nor the olive oil drizzled on the plate and flavoring the ice cream. Overall, we felt that the chef made a valiant effort but delivered one too many ingredients, detracting from our overall enjoyment of the food. We will not rush back.
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