281 3rd Avenue, New York, NY | Directions 1001040.737973 -73.983530
Mon. - Sun. 24 Hours
Neighborhoods: Gramercy Park, Midtown
Cool enviornment Crap Food – siiick decorations and such, but i guess im not that into crout food cause the food kinda sucks
Festive for the Be Real crowd – I was compelled to write, given the trashy reviews of the service.
The short: the place looks amazingly like the interior of an ornament, the sausage is excellent, and the drinks reasonably priced. The bar is frequented by locals who chat amiably in an area that is a bit cozy (which can be both good and bad).
The long: if you want or expect a waitstaff who will smile at you and bow to you, you'll not find it here. However, the service was impeccable, well timed and professional. Friendly? Well, no. But they weren't hostile either - just stoic.
I find this to be the case in many restaurants in Europe, and this IS a German restaurant, so it might be encouraging to look at it as an authentic experience.
If you want sugar and spice, make your way to Disney World and eat at the Magic Kingdom; I hear their frozen burgers are de-LISH.
Surly Service, even for drinks – I stopped by Rolf's last Saturday night for drinks with a friend. The decor is wonderfully over the top but we left after one drink (at a table) because the service was downright hostile. We'll never go back.
How to ruin a special occasion – Extremely rude waitstaff and manager/host. Rushed us through the meal. We had reservations but they actually had the nerve to ask us to leave before we had even finished our meal/drinks. They said they were really busy and needed the table. Bathrooms are filthy and not stocked. When meals average $25 per dinner not including drinks, you should be able to enjoy them and finish them and not be rushed out! We were at the table less than an hour when they started to ask us to leave.
Save your money and just take pictures from the window!
Valentine's day HORROR – Rolf's restaurant used to be one of those gateway places in the city. We'd always come back during holiday time, as Rolf's would transform into a magical fantasy world; Tons of decorations, great food, fun personnel...... NOT THIS TIME! Well, the place look well prep'd with decorations-the remains of good ole' Rolf's...what a hoax. We placed a reservation a week an advance, usually it takes a month, and arrived to celebrate valentine's day to find out the place didn't seem as busy and happy as it used to. It didn't even seem that the reservation was necessary to squeeze in the almost empty restaurant. We ordered the usual "good stuff"....But, we received BURNT potato pancakes, RAW lamb chops, instead of medium rare, topped with long wait, non existent service (the host was reading a newspaper throughout the whole time we were there). We left Rolf's hungry. I guess Indians, the prime personnel of the place, are not well suited to cook and serve German food.
Ditto to all the disappointed reviews – Used to love it. Not anymore. This place has seriously gone down hill. I hope the owners realize soon that you can't thrive on fun decor alone. Where has all the charm gone, and the good food? I don't plan to go back any time soon. Wish I could say otherwise because Rolf's has been a tradition since I moved here 8 yrs ago.
Changed for the worst – For years this place had very good German food and a pretty good waitstaff and bartenders. The last two years it has gone downhill on food, serve and bar to the point that we will never return unless it has an ownership change. very little real German left about the place.
Meh.. – I went to Rolf's recently with a date.. it was a great idea on his behalf. I LOVE the holidays.. The decor was great, but other than that, I can't say it was money well spent. I had the beef goulash.. it was just not good. For an $18 dish, even in NYC, I expected at least something decent. The waiter was not attentive, and we waited over an hour for our meals to come out. On a place that banks on holiday spirit, I would have thought the service would be a little more upbeat, instead of seeming stressed out and ready for the evening to end! My date actually apologized at the end of the evening for a mediocre dinner.. no harm done.. the beer was good, and I was plenty happy despite the meal. Def don't plan to go back though..
Wonderful for Christmas – I have already been to Rolf's twice this year (both times since Thanksgiving). Each time, I had a Saturday afternoon reservation. On both occasions, I took along friends who have lived in NYC for years but had never been to Rolf's. Each set of friends loved the food, the service and the atmosphere. In particular, there was no waiting to be seated for my first reservation and only a brief wait the second. Each time the food was delicious (including dessert) and the service was excellent: quick and unobtrusive. We were definitely not rushed at all during what was on both occasions a very leisurely meal. I felt so grateful (and somewhat guilty) that we weren't rushed that I left an extra $10 on the table in addition to my regular tip. Of course, the Christmas atmosphere is simply splendid. The whole experience was wonderful. If you've never been to Rolf's before, don't let the cranky reviews stop you. Try to make a reservation for a Saturday afternoon and enjoy a great Chrismas experience.
One of a kind – I have been going to Rolf's every holiday season for years now and I will tell you of my experiences and impressions:
- Service can be slow without a doubt
- Place is cramped and crowded
- Food is so-so
- Staff can be somewhat overwhelmed and therefore seemingly unhospitable to an extent
The decorations are absolutely unbelievable and this alone makes all the negative aspects I and others have mentioned tolerable. If you demand services that typical upscale restaurants offer....don't go here. If you want to revel in the spectacular decor and kick off the holiday season on an inspirational note....then by all means. I'm going again tonight and can't wait....just unbelievable. I'm anticipating a wait past my reservation time so you will see me at the bar wholeheartedly enjoying a nice German brew.
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