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“Skip it!”
Review of L'Ecole

L'Ecole
Ranked #1,582 of 14,396 Restaurants in New York City
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: American, French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: SoHo
Cross street: Grand St
Transit: J, M, N, Q, R, W, 6, 1, 9, A, C, E trains to Canal. we are located on Broadway 2 blocks north of Canal St.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

What a big disappointment this restaurant turned out to be. Be advised that, even though we were told on the phone that one could order a la carte or prix fix, upon sitting down to order at the restaurant, after much frustration from our waiter, who was ill informed and not a good listener to what is being asked, it became clear this was not at all true. The only a la carte item one was permitted to order was the fourchon lobster entree. Everything else must be the prix fix dinner of $44; you may, of course, add on lobster, $12 additonal in the salad, $16 additonal as the entree; side dishes at $6 each. Drinks, hot and cold are all extra as well.

The food is quite mediocre, certainly not the type of cuisine we expected from a good culinary school, and most certainly not at the prices being charged. On a Saturday evening, staff should expect to be well prepared, with some training. Overseeing staff. although pleasant, did not know what each was doing or who was responsible for what. Serving staff was friendly, but completely uninformed about every single item on the food menu and the wine list, that we gave up, asked the waiter to leave us alone for awhile, and simply tried to figure things out for ourselves as best we could.

Even ordering a bottle of wine became a comedy. When asked about a partiuclar bottle of red wine on the list from Burgundy, a gamay grape, the waiter insisted, quite adamantly, that it was absolutely not a Beaujolai. In our long experience with wine, that grape is used for dry,light wines. We decided it might be light enough for us for the meal, with our varied entrees, suspecting it was Beaujolais-like anyway, and ordered it. When the bottle arrived, it clearly stated "Beaujolais" across the front.

The ordering of each dish was much more difficult than the wine discussion. Our waiter simply could not describe anything, so we had to take guesses as to what the ingredients might be and the preparations. We had no idea what might or might not come with the main item on each dish, so we ended up ordering extra, which we did not need. Of course, we had to wait until the food arrived to see that.

The stuffed calamari appetizer was an interesting presentation; too bad the calamari was dry and chewy, because the stuffing, although very dry as well, was tasty. The pate selection appetizer had a bit of foie gras and then coarse pate samples, a bit too fatty but okay, except for one sample that was not edible- just too much gristle. Salads were fine.

The best prepared entree dish was the arctic char; although an extremely small piece of filet, stingy actually, it was moist and light. The other entrees each had a more reasonable sized portion; not large, but much more than the arctic char. The duck breast was pleasant, but the insides of the cherries were so brandy soaked, they tasted medicinal . The tuna was passable, but we have tasted much better. The veal was tasty but rather dry and chewy. And the big come-on about the fourchon lobster is a real joke. Those who ordered the appetizer salad, with a few small pieces of the fourchon added, found it to be okay, but not special. The one main dish of the fourchon was a joke. The tail meat was very tough and chewy; the claws were better, but none of it was moist, tender and sweet as good lobster should be. We have lobster often; this was unacceptable. Do not waste the money. Save your lobster desires for deserving seafood restaurants all around the city.

Desserts were okay: sorbet, creme brulle and their interpretation of a straberry shortcake were nice. Mousse square so so. Skip the turnover- small and dry, with barely any filling. The side of ice cream with it was less than a teaspoonful.

Too many good places to eat in New York City, better food and certainly better service, and for less money. There is no reason for us ever to return to this eating establishment.

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Thank PokeyPaddler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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132 - 136 of 480 reviews

Reviewed July 20, 2013

This is a lovely restaurant.we had lunch here when we were in New York.
The food was great,a good menu to select from.The service was excellent
We will return to this restaurant.

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Thank Annette221
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2013

This was not a meal, it was a gastronomic experience - I have never eaten a meal like it before - beautiful! The service was second to none and the food and wines were out of this world. I had the crab bake pudding, Alaskan char followed by chocolate and orange parfait. Eat there, you won't be disappointed.

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1  Thank Emma P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2013 via mobile

Had a really nice meal here on a recent Tuesday evening as part of a trip to NYC for a few days. So glad we sought it out! Read online they were serving the delicious Fourchu lobster and was craving shellfish so off we went! Everything was great, this is the restaurant at the International Culinary Centre so all the staff are there because this is their vocation and I feel that makes a big difference. Aaron our waiter was courteous, very knowledgeable and friendly. We did the prix fixe menu (plus supp for lobster) and were delighted. The air con was a fraction too high but I only noticed at the end I was so distracted with the food and wine :-) They gave us another dessert and 2 glasses of moscato dessert wine complimentary as I think the lobster heads fell off the plate on the way to our table (they were very apologetic but really it was no big deal as the head IMHO is pure aesthetics and either way it gave us more room to get to work on our lobster!) either way it was appreciated as I discovered I love moscato dessert wine! So all in all, really liked this place and wouldn't hesitate in recommending it! Found it to be great value for money in what can be a very hit and miss city restaurant scene!

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1  Thank KCZUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2013

i usually don't make time to write reviews but this one is worth the sacrifice.
The only thing that i liked the most about this restaurant was their drinks. very nicely done. The food, it's good...i wouldn't say outstanding. Just average french food i'd say.
For such an "upscale" restaurant the place lacks in professionalism.
As soon as we walked in, the hostess checked us in. however, instead of showing us to the table she pointed the table from her host stand. My boyfriend and i were both confused to where we had to sit. Granted the table wasn't terribly far, but seriously? this is not Applebees. Secondly, the menus one sheet. No complications. its either Al a cart or separate. when i asked questions about a few things on the menu, our server had no clue what was going. He had to constantly go back and forth with the kitchen to get the right answer. Lastly, the management. This lady in a stuartist outfit walks by and asking us if our drink is good and when we nod in approval, she just walked away. I had the lobster roll which came with fries. Duration of my meal, all these lobster shell pieces constantly getting caught in my mouth. i told my boyfriend who is also a chef, told me that's good because that means it's fresh. yeah that's nice but i don't like having to bite into these shells. so i told the server. the server takes it to the back. the next thing i know, the manager comes storming to my table with the same plate in her hand. Next thing i know, she's agruing with me as if i had insulted her in some ways. She confronted me that it should have been obvious that all these lobsters are fresh therefore it should have shells. whatt? She asked me if i wanted another one, but before i even got to answer she just puts down the plate in front of me and said the others will be the same with shells. Then walked away. Profound and speechless from what had just happened, i couldn't bare to look at the dish anymore. She did not come to our table after that incident. She clearly saw that i was displeased but nothing was don't to make up for it. Not that i was expecting. i work at high end restaurant in Westchester and expect a higher standard in the city..and this restaurant was not one of them. More so terribly disappointing and will not return.

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1  Thank LydiaC139
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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