23 E 22nd St, New York, NY | Directions 1001040.740373 -73.988772
Neighborhoods: Flatiron District, Midtown
Excellent Food and Exceptional Service – I went to to Bolo last night with my family for my father's 55th birthday. Overall the experience was very good - the service was topnotch, the food excellent and the ambience casual, yet with an upscale vibe. The tapas are small, and can come in plates of four. Good thing we ordered two sets of four tapas, because one set would not have been enough for the food of us. The tapas were all very good, with the exception of the quail egg in the artichoke heart, and the flavors were sophisticated in taste. The entrees too were nothing short of excellent. The pork tenderloin was perfectly tender. I got the butternut squash risotto which was very good, although a little too rich in butter for me. I would have like to taste the squash more. I definitely recommend Bolo.
If you love olives, this is your place! – My friend and I went to Bolo last night as part of Restaurant week. We couldn't get a reservation when we called, but were willing to sit at the bar as they told us they offered full menu service. When we arrived, the hostess greeted us with a big smile, and I told her we didn't have a reservation. She looked at us and said, 'but you're hungry,' and fortunately she sat us immediately. As we sat down, I noticed a plate of mixed olives sitting on the table- my kind of place! They kept bringing more too. We had browsed the restaurant week menu online but hadn't yet looked at the a la carte menu. Let's just say it was hard to stick to the set menu. Our waitress came over and took our drink order, and we ordered a bottle of white wine from the extensive wine list. It was off, but they were not phased at all and we picked a new bottle. We ordered a cheese plate to start, which was devine. There were four cheeses- machengo, blue, mahon and one other. For appetizers, I ordered the salmon tartare and my friend had the chopped salad. The salad was good, but nothing to rave about, but the tartare was perfect. I had the scallops served with spinach and lentils, which was also a really good dish. The risotto was a little on the bland side though. For dessert, I had the chocolate cake with apricot sauce, and my friend had the lemon pannecota, both really good, although we could only manage a couple of bites. Overall the meal was really good. It was a last minute decision and we were lucky to get in, but it was a real treat. The entire staff was so friendly and genuine, something I feel is lacking from a lot of restaurants in NYC. We will definitely be back again, so I can explore the a la care and wine menus a litle more.
Really Enjoyed Flay's Flatiron Treat – I ate at Bolo last night for dinner with my boyfriend. I had high expectations for this restaurant and I have to admit that I really respect Bobby Flay. I know most prefer and are bigger fans of Mesa, but I don't think people should write off this Flatiron Spanish treat. The host at the door was very nice, he told us that while he could not give an exact time as to when a table would be ready (we did not have reservations), he said we could sit at the bar, and he would keep us updated in 20 minutes if it should take longer than the estimate of 20-30 minutes. We each had a drink and were seated before we could finish one (about 20 minutes). It took more time than necessary to get a drink at the bar; however, the bartender was friendly. The service itself was very average, not terrible but not great either. Our waiter was polite, but did not come back to check how our meals were or if we needed more drinks, and when he finally did, did it much too late. I find that being a young couple (myself 21, my boyfriend 23) I get substandard service. The white Sangria was wonderful and full of citrus flavor. The tapas were the highlight of the night and I only wish I could have ordered more of them. I disagree with the negativity towards them, they are designed to be small and full of powerful, inviting flavors. I also disagree with the food being bland; it may not be as colorful as Flay's other restaurants, but certainly not bland. I had the rabbit and cauliflower risotto (creamy and delicious), and my boyfriend stuck with the safe choice of black-pepper Angus steak. Both were very good. The price I thought was very reasonable as well. The ambience and decor, while not very elaborate, was simple, unique and colorful. The tables towards the back provided a comfortable atmosphere perfect for conversation amongst friends or an intimate date. The cons here were very limited, and the food was above standard. I would highly recommend Bolo.
Teenie Tapas – The most memorable part of a recent dinner at Bolo was the lilliputian size of the tapas. Priced at 4 for $16, I would have expected that each set of 4 would equal the size of a normal appetizer. Rather, each item was roughly the size of a postage stamp, even the potato torte, the ingredients of which one might expect to be reasonably cheap. Clearly the idea here was style over substance.
Salads and appetizers were adequately sized and tasty, as were the entrees. Dessert and cheese selections were also portioned in a reasonable way and the flavors were good.
Service was poor at best. The waiter took one look at our table of 5 women and wrote us off for the evening. After taking our order (and brow-beating one of us into ordering twice as much as she wanted, half of which went to waste) he completely disappeared. Instead we had the constant attention of the bus staff which repeatedly tried to clear plates for each course before we were done with them, making the experience feel very rushed.
Bottom line, if you have one night for a nice dinner in NYC, choose someplace else. While Bolo isn't terrible, surely you can do better.
Neat place – I brought several out-of-town friends to Bolo for special dinner. The ambience in the space is really beautiful, and the staff was very nice. I ordered the fish, and though it tasted excellent, it was served with the skin on it. The dessert tapas were all fantastic! It was little pricey for what you got, but, overall, it was a great experience.
My New Favorite Restaurant! – I went here with a friend who had heard great things about this restaurant. We tried the tapas which were delicious. For appetizers we had the oven roasted shrimp and the chargrilled octopus. For Entrees we tried the Pork tenderloin and the sea bass. All was superb. The restaurant is intimate and warm, and the service is friendly and knowledgable. This is my new favorite restaurant and I can't wait to go back!
Hidden Gem! – Man, I wish I knew about Bolo sooner. This place is a gem.
First, I had no idea it was run by Bobby Flay which makes sense since I love Mesa Grill and Bar Americain. I never knew he did Spanish food.
I love how small and cute the place. I'd even feel comfortable eating at the bar by myself. The staff is so friendly too. Makes me feel very welcome which is what I am looking for in true hospitality and wanting to come back.
The tapas are just delicious and very innovative. I had the Bolo salad (oh my gosh) and the paella. Tons of seafood and flavor, just my style. And... don't forget about dessert. Think: cheesecake!
My boyfriend (who is unfortunately not a very adventurous eater) loved it too. He had the lamb shank which he wouldn't share with me.
I love this place. I will come back for sure!!!
Winter Restaurant Week 07: Disappointingly Mediocre – I had dinner at Bolo this week (winter restaurant week) with a group of 8 friends. [Beware: Bolo refused to make reservations for a group larger than 8.] The appetizer (salmon tartare) and desserts (chocolate flan and pistachio cake) were quite good, and my entree (grouper in parchment paper) was tasty, but unremarkable. However, those who ordered the "almond crusted chicken" accurately described it as "chicken fried steak." These chicken patties would have been disapponting for an Applebees (not like I would ever eat at one), let alone a restaurant with such a notable executive chef. I was somewhat embarrassed that I had chosen the restaurant when I realized that half of my party didn't enjoy their entrees. The Iron Chef needs to oversee his sous chef(s) a little more carefully. Our waiter was also quite harried, which may have been a result of restaurant week, but the sommalier was very attentive and did an excellent job with our wine as well as our port. With all the outstanding competition in the neighborhood, I probably will not eat at this restaurant again, even if it is only a short walk from my apartment.
Something is slipping here... – We were excited to try Bolo upon the suggestion of a friend, but I suspect she hadn't been there recently. The service was respectable, though the gruff manner of our waiter would be more appropriate at a tourist destination. The dining room was not remarkable, but comfortable. We started with the bite-sized tapas served four for $16 and were not disappointed. The waiter clearly explained that the tapas were small and his assessment was correct. However, the entrees, several of which top $30, were a disappiontment. The pork tenderloin offered an attractive presentation but a mediocre flavor. The squid ink risotto was very good as my dining companion generally enjoyed it, though the prawns were overcooked. The striped sea bass was tasty and properly prepared. Dessert was average at best and the espresso was served at room temperature.
The overall dining experience was underwhelming, especially in light of the price. I bet Bolo was a winner several years ago, but Flay has moved on and his name alone cannot save the menu.
nice lunch – Good place to go for lunch. Try the soups. Main courses were good and had a different twist.
I don't know how they would translate into a dinner menu.
Decor was ok - nice, but on the upscale diner side - nothing spectacular.
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