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
Love, Love, Love it! – My friend and I randomly decided to give this place a try after doing a search online for a place to eat around LES. So glad we did! We came on a Tuesday night, was pretty empty when we got there around 7 pm but more people filled in later on. It's small and charming, very quaint inside. There is small outdoor seating in the front. Service was fine, there was only one waitress/hostess there the night we went and didn't have any problems. She was quite knowledgable on wine recommendations and we each had the special of the day. I had the duck confit (2 legs) w mashed potatoes. It was incredible! The flavor was so good, and the meat was very tender and moist. The potatoes were creamy. I tend to get duck a lot when I see it on the menu and this one was the best duck meals I've had. My friend had the Chilean sea bass which was also deliciously tender and full of flavor. I would totally come back and try other stuff on the menu. An enjoyable dining experience and great price. The specials of the day were $18 each. I'm surprised I've never heard of this place before, think I will have to check out more places around Alphabet City to find more local good spots to try!
Great food, poor service – 26 Seats has been one of our favorite restaurants since moving here 5 years ago and we go often. Last night's experience will make us think twice about going back. We had an 8 pm reservation and were seated a bit later at 8:25pm - which was completely fine with us, except that there was a 9pm reservation on our table. We had ordered 2 apps, 2 entrees and a bottle of wine and had planned on dessert - enough to buy us a fair 1-1.5 hour meal...The 9pm party was of course impatient which I understand after waiting 30 minutes and they all came in and stood by our table - we agreed (before finishing our last bite of our dinner) to move to another table to finish our bottle of wine. Our waitress did not apologize for making us move, did not offer us dessert or coffee and brought our check while we were still finishing our last glass - the rudest service we've received in a long time. The apps were great (garlic sausages & escargot), but our Duck Confit was undercooked - in an attempt to rush us further. I've worked in a restaurant and I know how important it is to turn tables and I never linger longer than I need if people are waiting, but having reservations on tables 1 hour apart is poor management. Although the food is usually great, we might never go back because the service was so bad. If you want to try the food, my advice - go on a weekday!
Like Paris – We eat here often (early) and love the food. We are always surprised every time we come here that we feel like we are in Paris again. On a cold recent evening we were seated right away and served our wine. A big cowboy and his wife came in and had a tough time, I think, acclimating to the fact that there were only 26 seats. I think they moved to 22 of the seats trying to find the right one. The staff really worked with them. I was in awe. We had a lovely meal, too.
Time Limit (although they don't tell you) and Bad service – They fail to tell you, just expect you to know, there is a strict time limit on tables. We were virtually ignored. Customers seated after us were served entrees by the time we had our orders taken. I asked for bread 3 times before it was brought (and it was icy cold inside and hot on the outside). I was still drinking my coffee when we were told to leave because they needed the table. We didn't sign fast enough so the hostess yelled at us. When my friend told her what we thought she started an argument! In order to get up from the table they table has to be wiggled out into the isle. I asked her to finish pulling the table out so I could leave and she refused! The couple at the next table had been contemplating desert but decided to go elsewhere. i suggest you do too.
Can't even handle 26 seats... – What a horrible experience for a place that we were expecting to be a great dinner out. Made a reservation which they did not uphold and then lied and said they called to confirm (which I am 100% positive they did not). Hostess was rude and couldn't deal with the volume...and it's only 26 seats!! They need to get their act together and hire better service or AT LEAST teach staff how to run a restaurant. I don't care how good the food is (am not sure of that since we didn't have any). There are plenty of places with good food and no attitude. Would never even give it a second chance.
Hidden Gem! – Well, they aren't kidding when they say to reserve. The place really is tiny, but it makes the setting much more intimate and inviting. The ambiance was soft and warm and romantic, made you feel you were at a cozy dinner at your French friend's house. I went with 5 other girlfriends and got the benefit of trying everyone's dish. As for appetizers, the French Onion soup was good, as was the sausage and potato dish (though I wasn't as big as a fan as others). I got the mussels special as my entree, and it was very good! Very! Then the girls had the Bass, Lamb Shank, Duck and Steak, the latter two being my fav's of the night, but overall everything was very tasty. And filling. And the wine selection was good, but the price was affordable. And the desserts were wonderful as well. It really is a hidden gem. I'd say, if you're not into dining in over-the-top frou frou restaurants but you still want an over-the-top meal, go to 26 seats.
Wonderful East Village Gem – Went to 26 seats for a friend's birthday. It's a lovely gem on avenue B. Truly an ideal date place, candle lit interior with a wonderful atmosphere. The food is generally excellent with a few exceptions, generous portions and affordably priced. The Lobster Bisque app I had was a bit fishy but the Salad 26, and the Onion Tart were hits at our table. Entrees that were popular at our table were the Steak, and the Salmon. The duck was less popular. Best of all was dessert, with everything quite tasty. I will definitely return in the future.
Great food, middling service – Went to this restaurant a night back. The food was delicious, with excellent portions. The only problem was that the waitress was trying to hurry me and my date out the whole time. First, she shuffled us from one table to another, explaining that there was a 9:30 reservation on the table. Then she tried to take away our appetizers while we were still eating them. Even though we said we were still eating, she had the kitchen bring out our entrees within less than a minute!
I'm sure that there were some problems with their reservations that night, but they certainly could have handled the situation better than they did.
Tight space, well-priced food – I went with my husband last night and found the food to be aggressively spiced, but overall good. I ordered the striped seabass, which I actually had to send back because it was chewy and had wayyyy too much salt. Maybe it had been defrosted too fast or was old. The waitress was so nice and replaced it with a tasty lamb dish. My husband got the duck confit, which was amazing, and I loved the sweet potato side.
Good value, but be prepared to hear everything your annoying neighbor is saying whether you like it or not- the space is really tight!
Should be 16 seats – Unfortunately for the chef, who presented us with some great flavors and combinations, the venue brought this experience down on our list. It was cozy and charming, but maybe a little too cozy. The waitresses bumped into us every time they walked by, several times a minute. And every time they passed, we had to secure our cups and plates from falling on our laps. The table was hardly big enough to hold a medium sized plate and a glass. The menu was very interesting, and prices were very reasonable. The menu could have contained a few more small plates options.
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