168 Ave B, New York, NY | Directions 1000940.727264 -73.979750
Tue-Thu and Sun, 5:30pm-10pm; Fri-Sat, 5:30pm-11pm; Mon, closed
Neighborhoods: East Village, Alphabet City, Downtown
An East Village spin on a dinner party in the French countryside. – The Scene
This pantry-sized restaurant crams in an unbelievable amount of chairs--26 of them, to be exact, and not one of them the same. A homey handpicked feel prevails throughout, as if the antique-framed photos and teapots filling the space were scavenged from a flea market. Service is a little spacey, with a touch of Gallic indifference, but the perpetual crowds of boisterous neighborhood vets don't seem to mind.
If the decor has a flea-market vibe, the cooking resembles a French country cafe you'd stop at on the drive home. Crunchy apples contrast against creamy gorgonzola in the mesclun salad, and a delicate puff-pastry keeps a caramelized onion tart unexpectedly light. Entrees, on the other hand, are heavy in the best way, including a thick garlicky rib eye and luscious duck with sweet potatoes. Although it would be hard to go wrong with any of the desserts, the almond cake is a moist, not-too-sweet extravaganza.
Mashed potatoes out of a box – A group of friends went to 26 seats for a birthday celebration. The birthday girl ordered the venison special, which was barely edible. One slice of meat was correctly cooked to medium-rare, where another slice so well done that we could have used it to make shoes! When she told the waitress that the meat was inedible, she was told "that is the way it is cooked". Really??
No offer was made to replace the dish.
My main course was duck confit, which was amazing. Unfortunately it was served with mashed potatoes that were not from nature - they were reconstituted powdered mash. Absolutely hideous! (I had two native-born Irish girls with me who concurred on my potato assessment.)
All in all, I would not recommend the restaurant unless you like terrible food.
lovely... – my husband took me here last night for my birthday and i truly enjoyed the experience.
staff are the nicest...can't believe it's nyc. the food, all so delicious...grilled asparagus, lobster bisque, striped bass, salmon, every bite was scrumptious. pinot was perfect with the fish. creme brulee with port, yum! all in between very friendly service. and, a tidy restroom made my night!
Nicely priced, cozy French-style dinner – I've been here at least a dozen times. There's much to love about this place (just read the other reviews). The place is really small so I urge you to go before 6:30 to feel most confortable. You will also get better service if you go a bit earlier. I like both the ambiance and the wait staff. They will not have patience with an impolite person however and really picky eaters who like to send stuff back to the kitchen should likely try some other restaurant.
Personally, this is one of my favorite NYC places for a quiet inexpensive tasty dinner.
great date spot for cuisine magnifique! – Took my g/friend for her 2nd nite b/day outing (yesterday was as sushi gari). My colleague recommended this small very quaint spot. As I entertain clients often on expense account, I tend to take for granted the restaurants I visit. I really miss out on these nice small unpretentious spots as I don't visit for entertaining. So I rely on others to steer me to these places, so nice to sit back chill out & not be deal-ing all the time. We had a delicious duck for entrees but the appetizers & desserts are equally as good. French wine was nice, service was very warm & friendly. And can not believe the value you get for French in NYC!! Can not beat the quality offerings for the price you pay. I can be spoiled by entertaining so much but I can also appreciate these understated spots around time.
It's worth the tight squeeze! – My husband and I loved 26 Seats! The prices on the menu are rare to see in NYC--very reasonable. The mussles appetizer was delicious along with my peppercorn steak. The food wes served steaming hot and the service was excellent. We will be back soon!
Fantastique – Where to start...I took my girlfriend there for her birthday, and as soon as we got in, it struck me that there certainly was no more appropriate name for this restaurant than "26 Seats". We were seated as soon as we entered, she took our order 5 minutes later, the food was delicious...but the Riesling could've been better, but that hardly ruined my duck with some amazing sauce, and the sweet potatoes...yum. It was $100 tax+tip
You're packed in like sardines, but its so worth it. We even started friendly conversations with the tables to our left and right. It was a first date on the left, and two unmarried elderlies discussing politics on the right. Mixed crowd.
Such a pleasure! – I ate at 26 seats this weekend and had an amazing experience. The service is a perfect balance; it is 100% attentive yet non-intrusive. Our waitress had a French accent and her caring and knowledgeable attitude she discplayed with each table led us to beleive she was the owner. Later, we overheard that she merely works there a few nights a week. The food is outstanding and the prices are a steal. With tax and tip, we only spent $72. We had the mussels and the 26 salad. For entrees we had the chicken & the duck. Both were tender and the flavors were tastey. The portions were overly generous for both the apps and entrees without sacrificing the quality. Our water glasses were always full and our beers were ice cold. The environment is cozy. We are definitely going back soon. I highly recommend it, but make a reservation.
Romantic, GREAT Value, Special!!! – This has to be one of my most favorite dining experiences in NYC and I've been dining out for years.
This place is definitely very romantic, with outstanding food and pretty good service. What truly sets this restaurant apart is it's diminuitive size which should not be confused with it's over the top food.
Dinner for two came out to $100 including tax+tip.
*Soup, forget what kind but it was great
*Appetizer-Snails in garlic sauce, which was so good, we confused the snails for mushrooms
*Entrees - We had the duck confit & lamb shank. I tried both and definitley thought the duck was amazing, I'm not generally not a big fan of lamb shank but thought they did a good job here.
*Dessert - Great chocolate mousse
*A bottle of white wine; only $24.
Make sure you make reservations as there are only 26 seats here.
Great French food in the city – Went there for new year's eve. They had a prix fixe menu with the most amazing cooked quail appetizer, then lobster bisque, followed by a divine choice of entree, and then the chocolate mousse dessert. Served personally by the owner. Very friendly and relaxed - not at all stuffy.
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