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I Saltz

Gennaro

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No reservations, O.K., we'll wait in the cold (it's a popular place).

Fifteen minutes to get the waiter's eye for menus (they're busy at dinner time).

Another fifteen minutes to place an order while the waiter keeps turning around to talk with another table (he doesn't have to turn very far).

Specials? Sound great, but no prices given until asked. Good reason: they are almost twice the price of the menu items, the same price range as restaurants that take reservations, have good service, take credit cards and aren't doing you a favor by letting you eat there.

We had a great potato tart appetizer and decently prepared main dishes (from the menu), nice dessert, and paid with cash.  

(Edited by I Saltz at 3:26 pm on Jan. 25, 2002)

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Jordyn wrote about his recent meal at A. Another restaurant in the UWS that gets good reports is Gennaro's (90ish and B'way).. Any opinions on this place?

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The food is good and reasonably priced. The only problem I have is that

the space is very small, for a big guy like me this sucks


I'm a NYC expat. Since coming to the darkside, as many of my freinds have said, I've found that most good things in NYC are made in NJ.

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Double O, are you referring to the old space or the new space -- or both? I'd describe the new space as crowded, not small.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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It must be the old space, its been about 1 1/2 years since I've gone.


I'm a NYC expat. Since coming to the darkside, as many of my freinds have said, I've found that most good things in NYC are made in NJ.

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Someone with better UWS historical knowledge please pinpoint the date of the expansion for us. The buzz I've heard is that this also heralded the decline of the cuisine, though my one meal there post-expansion was okay as I recall.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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If I remember correctly, the expansion happened about a year ago. There was a travel agent (or was it an insurance broker?) next door who closed shop and Gennaro bought the space, knocked down the wall, and roughly doubled in size. To me the new space is more generic and even noisier than the old, but the good part is that it's easier to get a table.

The food overall is decent, especially given the low prices and the lack of competition on the UWS. I've never found it as exciting as the rave reviews it gets, however. One plus is that they allow BYOB for a modest corkage fee. Overall, I find Gennaro a similar experience to Tartine in the West Village (low prices, good food, long waits due to no reservations) with the edge in food, prices and atmosphere going to Tartine.

I suspect the food may have gone downhill a bit over time. I have been going for 2 years, but haven't been in the past 3-4 months, so I'll leave that judgment call to Mr. Shaw. In my opinion, there are a few better options at a good price elsewhere in the city (i.e Lupa for Italian, Tartine for French), so if I didn't live on the UWS, I'm not sure I'd make the treck all the way to 93rd to wait in line at Gennaro.

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It's gotten very hit or miss - everyone is so rushed and busy - as long as you order something that doesn't require attention - i.e. fish that you don't want overcooked type thing - you're okay - but is the noise and commotion worth it?

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