239 E 5th St, New York, NY | Directions 1000340.726993 -73.989284
Monday To Sunday From 06:00 PM To 11:00 PM
Neighborhoods: Downtown, East Village
for viewing rather than eating – Oh, please.. Do not come here hungry. Do come here if you are in the mood for gastronomic art (of the visual kind) and a decent glass or two of wine. If you do come hungry, you will feel tortured and teased. Unless of course you are used to spending $22 for a tablespoon of lobster ceviche or the like. The worst part is a wait staff who can't admit that the portions are silly, leaving us feeling that WE were the ones who were crazy. In desperation, after trying several (yes, I know this is tapas) dishes, we finally ordered the cheese plate which at least comes with a comparatively copious dish of pita points. This mercifully allowed us to skip stopping for slices on our way home.
what a disappointment – We were recommended to come here and we were so disappointed. We had to wait an hour for a table we reserved and when it was ready..they still made us wait. And the service was just unbearable..the only saving grace was the food
I wouldn't go back – There's no excuse for having to wait 30 min when you arrive on time for your reservation, especially for a place as pricey as this restaurant. The food was OK--way too much salt and really nothing special. Another negative for me was the relatively stuffy atmostphere and clientele.
Just Cozy... – Everthing that I tried on the menu was delicious. I couldn't dislike a dish, even if I wanted to. Granted, I haven't tried everything on the menu, what I did have was great.
The service was also spectacular. Extremely attentive and knowledgeable about the various wines and will give you an honest opinion about the dishes they serve.
What could possibly be a drawback would be the pricing of the place. It is a little bit on the pricier side, as there are a few different tapas joints that would dent the pockets too much... but honestly, it's well worth it if you got some cash burning in your pocket.
Horrible service renders food quality irrelevent. – We had a reservation at 7:30. Arrived a bit early. One couple was leaving, an we were informed that they'll set the place for us. No one else was waiting. Then a couple of middle-aged ladies who obviously were regulars march in, point to the place that's being set for us and say "we'll take that". The host then informs me that these ladies were ahead of us and that it would be another 15 minutes. Come on. I know you have to take care of your regulars, but don't take me for a fool. I told the host that he made a mistake, but he genuinely did not care. No food is worth this kind of treatment. Of course we left, and would never go back. Odd how it's always the "fashionable" places that think this kind of treatment is acceptable. You'd never get this at Jean Georges or any place that had the least bit of grace. (and neither Jack nor Grace has any, by the way) Little wonder their restaurants keep closing.
THE BEST TAPAS – "WOW! This was one of those meals - the kind where you wake up the next morning, and as you lay in bed you relive what you consumed the night before. I don't know where to start, so I will just say this is the kind of place for people who like to eat at the bar (very sushi bar-like). BUT I mean a really nice, cool setting (a la Casa Mono) where you can see your food being prepared by skillful, friendly food artists (yeah it's corny, but they are amazing).
OK now the food. I am Spanish and definitely have tasted the best (and worst) tapas around the world, not just Spain (and not just Madrid). The croquetas were UN B LIEVABLE! The pepper sauce made it. The poached egg with jamon serrano and chorizo "broth" for lack of a better term were so different I was suspect at first (since I am a tapas purist), but my fears were dispelled by my girlfriend's squeal of delight. The scallops were tremendous too. The wines were great - we had 4 different kinds total, my fav DEF was the ONIX PRIORAT. Rioja was also great, and the prices were decent. Also, the owner who I met after my amazing meal was more than just a guy happy for the business - he was genuinely pleased that I loved the place. Just read Jason O's review to show how this place operates. Ignore the bad reviews - this place is LO MEJOR!"
Fantastic – I had high expectations coming to Degustation, and this was one of the rare experiences where I truly wasn't disappointed. The setup of the restaurant is wonderful-all seats are directly in front of the exposed kitchen, so like an omakase you get to watch every course prepared in front of you. 5 and 10 course chef's tasting menus are EXTREMELY reasonably priced at 50 and 75 dollars, however we opted to choose 8 of the dishes that looked best to us from the menu. Everything is small because it is Spanish tapas, but not at all unreasonable in size. White asparagus with chaterelle mushrooms was extraordinary, as was lamb loin, foie gras with figs, slow poached egg with jamon, seared scallops....everything sang. Great wine list with reasonable prices by the glass (8-13). Service was extraordinary-only one server for the whole restaurant but she was never stressed, always gracious and took the care to explain every course when served. Only hiccup in service was a bit of a wait for dessert, but before we could even say anything we were sent complimentary glasses of wine. We were so happy with everything that we didn't even mind the wait, but it is nonetheless great to feel taken care of so completely. 8 dishes plus 2 desserts and 2 glasses of wine each came out to 80 per person before tip. With the quality of the food and experience here, that's pretty hard to beat.
Enticing Atmosphere and Food – I have read a lot of good things about Degustation and was very excited to try it. I'm sad to report that although the food was very well prepared, nothing blew my mind away. My favorite dish was the sea scallops. They were baby scallops which I prefer because they're more tender. Some other good dishes were the croquettes, the stuffed calamari and the suckling pig. I had the apple tart for dessert. It's sort of a seperated take on the tart with greek yogurt, the puff pastry and the apples all seperated on teh dish. The puffy pastry was a litlte slice of heaven, everything else was okay. The ambience is grown-up and enticing with latin-infused music playing throughout. A must try but, I would go with lower expectations.
Another Jack and Grace Lamb success – This is tucked away in a corner of the Jewel Bako sushi bar. The space consists of about 20 seats at a bar that surrounds the cooking and food preparation area. The food is tapas style small plates that are prepared while you watch. The food is inventive and delicious. The wines were carefully chosen to match the food, and were surprisingly cheap. A satisfying meal for two with a couple of glasses of wine costs about $100. As with Jewel Bako, the ingredients are high quality, and the staff professional.
The drawback of the place is that with only 20 seats, if a party stays longer than expected (and it is the kind of place where you can be easily tempted to linger over another glass of wine), then the staff are going to have problems keeping to their reservation schedule. Given the popularity of the place, if this is the kind of thing that annoys you, we would suggest going midweek.
Excellent Food and Ambiance – The ambiance in Degustation is very romantic (albeit very small) and the food is incredible. That said, this is a place for the more open-minded diner. Quail eggs, Sweetbreads and squid stuffed with short ribs...that kind of menu. Don't expect plantains or chorizo.
The plates are literally just enough to taste so don't expect to leave the restaurant as full as you would from Sala or Pinxos. You go to enjoy the experience and eclectic flavors, not to have a full meal. The wine selection is excellent and the glasses range from 10-15.00. Dinner for two with 4 glasses of wine (which were poured "to taste" it seemed) came to a little over 100.00 before tip. It's a wonderful date spot and a very special place for a nice evening. I would not take a first date there because of the limited food selection but it's a great place to take someone you've been with a while for a romantic evening out.
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