We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Very Good Food, Lively Crowd, Tired Butt” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The National

The National
557 Lexington Ave at 50th Street, Midtown, New York City, NY 10022
212-715-2400
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Ranked #2,135 of 11,777 Restaurants in New York City
Price range: $20 - $40
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: 50th Street
Transit: Take 6 Train to 51 Street.
Description: Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian brings his vision of a contemporary New York grand cafe to life at The National Bar & Dining Rooms. Housed in the same 1927 Emery Roth-designed building as The Benjamin Hotel, The National's all-occasion modern bistro offerings satiate guests from breakfast through late night. Modeled after the celebrated grand cafes in Europe, The National is both residential and metropolitan in design and offers thoughtful details such as antiqued mirrors, a bronze spiral staircase, distressed peacock blue and chocolate leather banquettes, classic marble table tops, and black and white glazed-tile flooring. Each Sunday evening from 6pm to 10pm, The National features a lineup of New York City bands performing an array of musical selections such as classic jazz, funk, blues, and more.
Albany, NY
Top Contributor
140 reviews 140 reviews
109 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Very Good Food, Lively Crowd, Tired Butt”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2013 via mobile

The food was very good if not excellent. I had haddock as did one colleague. The other had chicken. Each of us was pleased. I saw the strip steak and it looked great. The service was excellent. The bar and restaurant were packed. My only disappointment was the table itself. Although trivial, this relatively small round marble topped table with light unpaid dead wooden chairs reminded me of what you'd find in a corner ice cream parlor sans the vinyl. Now, not all the seating was like this but most were. For a two hour dinner this was a slight disappointment. Still, the food and atmosphere made for a delightful dinner.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

381 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    122
    148
    73
    27
    11
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Best Burger Around”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2013

This place is super- yes its a $20 burger- but that's kinda the norm in NYC- but in this case you really get what you pay for. The Ugly Burger may be ugly but its certainly delicious- I am a medium rare fan- and they cooked it to perfection. I hate ordering medium rare and getting some over cooked deal- would I go there again- in a heartbeat! In fact my mouth is watering just thinking about it- the atmosphere is great- elegant and semi-formal, service is above average and you will not be disappointed- what else is there to want?

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Somers, New York
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Excellent food from start to finish.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

We were staying at The Benjamin and decided to have dinner at The National because it was convenient. We'll go back because it was excellent! The menu is very focused and the dishes are prepared to perfection. Service was attentive without being intrusive.

At the start of our meal I asked our waiter to take our picture because it was our first anniversary. He gladly obliged and at the end of the meal he brought us dessert in a plate decorated with "Happy Anniversary". Such a sweet touch!

  • Visited November 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Memphis, Tennessee
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Solid Hotel Bar/Restaurant for Visitors”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Has a swanky, upper feel to someone who is not from NYC. There are several places just like it in town, but I feel like the prices were generally cheaper than other nearby places.

The NTL burger is definitely solid and unique twist on a burger (pickled jalapenos). Would go again for sure.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los angeles
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Perfect for a bar dinner”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Restaurant is at the base of The Benjamin Hotel, I was staying at a nearby hotel and noticed the crowd inside. Sometimes a good sign. Grabbed the last seat at the bar in a packed restaurant. Had a wonderful meal, bar tender was attentive and offered helpful advice. The house chicken was spectacular. Perfectly cooked and wonderfully moist. Place was so good tried to come back a few night later with associates but couldn't get it.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed The National also viewed

 
New York City, NY
 

Been to The National? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage The National, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.