2178 Broadway, New York, NY | Directions 1002440.782460 -73.980706
Neighborhoods: Upper West Side, Midtown
Good food but missing the finer points – We had heard some good things about this restaurant which recently opened up. We love the restaurant in Fairway, but we go there too often and also love Ouest which is very good but just a little too expensive to go often so we tried this restaurant which as you enter as some aspects that remind you of Ouest. The bartender was very friendly, but when you sit down you wonder just where is the bread and / or muffins which you expect when you sit down for a brunch. It's there on the menu where you pay $12 for the muffins. While the food was pretty good particularly the cuban sandwiches, this missing nicety just takes away a lot and the service was OK.
WORTHLESS – Waled by yesterday around 4:45, on Mother's Day....gorgeous weather, plenty of tables set up outside with glasses, silverware, etc...but the front door was locked. However, a side door was open where the fat owner and his friends kept coming in and out. As I tried to enter, I was rudely told, "we don't open until 5pm, come back then..." No please, no thank you, no sorry...what a great business model, stay CLOSED on Moher's Day. And nothing like rude management to make things fun! Can't wait for this place to close.
Horrible Atmosphere - So So Food - a Total PASS – When you first enter West Branch, you'll be amazed at the idiotic layout that causes everyone entering and leaving, along with staff and bar patrons to dance around in a minuscule postage stamp sized space.
After you've been jostled and elbowed and had almost adequate time to reconsider staying, you're taken to your table in what appears to have been a slightly refurbished diner - or a huge budget-hotel banquet room. If you have the misfortune to be seated near the entrance, the annoying flat screen TV over the bar will help distract you from the circus and confusion you've just untangled from.
Food wise, there really isn't anything special to report - or anything so horrific as to distract from the strip-mall atmosphere. A salad of endive and lardoons was clumsily constructed and drowned in boring mustard vinaigrette - then, a skate dish followed that was surprisingly wonderful - flavorful and perfectly cooked. Wine selection was limited but well priced.
Service was mostly helpful but multiple servers emerged from the kitchen looking to quickly dump plates and dash back. The noise level would possibly have been moderate if not for the insipid light rock music pumped out from the bar - possibly in a effort to drown out complaints of squashed toes and bruised ribs.
I wasn't sure if West Branch wanted to be a really mediocre airport "pub" or a diner with aspirations of grandeur. What does seem to be working is its family and large-group friendliness. If you want a quiet meal with great food, keep looking - no really, keep looking.
Chef-owner Tom Valenti of Ouest heads several blocks south and opens a large, casual Euro-American brasserie with sidewalk seating. – Tom Valenti helped create the Upper West Side dining scene with Ouest, a pricey but easy-to-like collection of gussied-up French comfort-food standards. With his latest restaurant, West Branch, the same game plan is in place, but minus the high price point and luxe touches. The restaurant is big, clean, and busy, with locals in the brown booths tucking into nourishing standards like short rib pot au feu, skate in brown butter, and shrimp ravioli. We would call it Ouest Lite, but there's nothing lite about this food -- which is exactly why it's so perenially popular.
Terrible Service – My boyfriend and I dined here last Friday night, and while the food was very good, the service was terrible. It took over 15 minutes to get our drinks, and in order for me to get a second drink I had to flag my waitress down. Also, the appetizer plates sat in front of us for 30 minutes before anyone cleared them. Actually, when the table next to us left I took our plates and placed them on the other table. At that point our waitress came over and apologized. At the end of the meal, while the food was good, it was not good enough to make up for the poor service.
Great Bar Staff – My G'friend and I stopped in for a drink, and was very pleased with the bartender, Chris, who we just met. Great personality and very proffesional. Since then, I have returned a couple of times. This will be my afterwork bar quite often from now on.
Vincent is A Moron – Ha...first reviewer is DEFINITELY this Vincent from VAI...look at his review for vai...laughable....you can tell he has written alot of the positive reviews of his restaurant across the street....what a joker.
Unfair – The person who wrote the first review of the restaurant goes by the username CHEF10 and the only other review written by this person is for the restaurant directly across the street. Seems suspect!
pretty good, tried again – tried twice pretty good place after all, place is packed and service good, personable staff, and warm environment
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