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  • the Cardinal

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the Cardinal
the Cardinal

the Cardinal Details

  • Dining Style: Home Style
  • Website: http://www.arianeleblanc.com
  • Phone: (212) 995-8600
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 12:00PM - 4:00PM.

    Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 6:00PM - 12:00AM, Friday - Saturday: 6:00PM - 1:00AM, Sunday: 6:00PM - 11:00PM

    Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 11:00AM - 4:00PM
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Southern, Barbecue, American
  • Executive Chef: Curtis Brown
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Delivery, Farm to Table, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Catering: Full service catering available. From 20 guests to 100 guests NO event is too big. Farm to to table sensibility, lovingly homemade traditional southern fare.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Avenue B
  • Public Transit:
    Nearest Transit:
    2 Av (F)
    Essex St (J, M, Z)
    Delancey St (F)
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from the Cardinal
Southern Cuisine with BBQ
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Brunch
Diner Reviews
  • "I was unimpressed. I had heard good things about this place. I'm glad I went but most likely would not go back."
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "Great Sunday brunch. House-made bacon, sausage, pickled okra & preserves. Glad we made the trip."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "We had a fantastic meal here; unfortunately, it was overshadowed by the bad service. The servers just seemed confused and inexperienced. They forgot parts of our order more than a couple times."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Our table of 4 was extremely pleased with the food. We are all from the south and LOVED that there was catfish/grits/toad-in-the-hole and other delicious items on the menu. It was a little hot sitting upstairs but if you get seated downstairs you should be fine!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Our drinks took forever to get to the table, and when they did, they came in rounds - half our table got their drinks, then the rest had to wait even longer to get theirs. The Cheerwine (which we were excited to drink since we're from NC) was completely flat, both in the Cardinal (alcoholic) and standalone. There was just a LOT of waiting. We finally got the waiter to take our order - we ordered 1 app and the fried chicken & BBQ platter which each came with 4 sides. LOTS of food for 5 people, we ended up taking 3 to-go containers home. The food took SO long that the waiter offered us a free app only after a complaint. Food was EXCELLENT and the service was TERRIBLE. I'd 100% go back again, but I'd hope there is better service next time."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "It's all about the authentic southern cooking; and the friendly service. Prices are good too."
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "The food is amazing and they have cheerwine....pretty much a no brainer!"
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "Great Grits & Catfish, Fried Chicken & Biscuits, Bloodies & Mimosas, you name it – Cardinal is always a good choice."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "I love the food here but the staff must have been having an off day because the service was awful. It took 30 min for us to be seated even though we had reservations. The kitchen seemed understaffed and it appeared that there were only 2 waitstaff. I think they had a friend helping bus tables. We were very understanding of them being short-staffed and busy, but its ok up to a certain point. The struggle was really palpable and not really enjoyable from a dining perspective. Again, the food was wonderful- no complaints there, but we shouldn't have to be getting our own silverware and repeatedly asking for drink refills. I'll be back, but I hope the service improves."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "In the past, The Cardinal was at the top of my list of places to eat. I've been going there for years now, and no matter the size of my party or the time of my reservation, Cardinal always used to please. Back in May, I went with a small party for brunch and we had to wait over an hour for a table that we had reserved. A few weeks ago, we decided to give it another try for brunch again. The bacon was charred, the portions much reduced, and our server was surly. Sometimes when a restaurant gets popular, they change for the worse. It's a shame that that happened with Cardinal."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "This place is an ideal brunch spot - good food, able to handle reservations for large groups, and $5 unlimited mimosas. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Love the fried chicken, fried catfish, hush puppies and deviled eggs here. The service was really nice and attentive and went above and beyond for us. The only con would have been the seating arrangement which was a bit tight."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "I love The Cardinal. I've been four times for brunch & the food is great. The only problem I've ever had with this restaurant was this past weekend when my reservation was held but not exactly implemented. Four out of six of my party had arrived by the reservation time, & my two other friends arrived five minutes late. The hostess couldn't seat us until all six of my party was present, which was fine but when I looked around the restaurant with several four-person tables available I was a bit disappointed there wasn't a table already pushed together for my six-person party. We ended up having to sit downstairs. The downstairs seating area is very dark with no windows & wasn't a great setting for our brunch on such a sunny Sunday afternoon."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "Went to have brunch with a couple of friends. If you're going to have spotty service, where you have to hail someone down for drinks and have to repeatedly remind the server what you ordered, then the food should be amazing. The food was not. It was okay."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "This was my third trip to The Cardinal. The food is always good but this trip will likely be my last because the service was very bad. I chose The Cardinal knowing my parents were visiting from out of town and would love the food, but all that could be remembered was the poor service."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "The food at this "find" is so authentically southern, you can't believe it. The menu is the reason to come to The Cardinal; just overlook the surroundings and dig into the fabulous food!"
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "Booking for 15. Arrived at 8. Took a half hour for our orders to be taken. Took another hour to get any food. 1.5hrs until we were fed. Food was decent, but that may have been because we were so hungry. Drinks service wasn't very efficient either. Lackadaisical to our needs to the point of ignorance or idiocy- neither of which are acceptable."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "The fantastic food is well worth the noise level. Place is small but kind of hop. Wait staff attentive but definitely would not say over friendly. Previous reviews warned of awful service, not true in our experience. Service decent. Food was truly the experience. Went for brunch Sunday. Bottomless mimosa perfect blend for me. Chicken and biscuits with gravy awesome. Homemade sausage fantastic. Eggs cooked perfect for my husband. My daughter had the cheeseburger. The medium came out a bit rare but she said the meat was so incredible she preferred the temperature as was. "
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "I really enjoyed the fried chicken! It was a little more expensive than blue ribbon but it also comes with two full sides and chicken at cardinal impressed me. Light crispy and juicy. Would definitely go back."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Great customer service, great food and not wildly expensive. The staff is always smiling even when they are busy. This is by far my favorite spot to be!"
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Having gone to The Cardinal for a 2nd time this past weekend all I can say is that their chicken and gravy and biscuit platter is earth-shakingly good. Never have I rolled my eyes in such perpetual motion during a meal. And who could blame me? The food is excellent. The portions are substantial. The ambience is that of a polished hole in the wall that fittingly belongs in the Lower East Side. $5 unlimited mimosas served to you in huge beer glasses, too? The only thing this place might need to do is expand itself to a bigger locale to accommodate all the people who have yet to hear about this place but when they do will undoubtedly run here every weekend. Brunch is awesome here. Can't wait to go back any other time. #bestbiscuitsever"
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Hard to find great southern food but this place has it! The staff was amazing as well."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "I THOROUGHLY enjoyed my brunch here and I can't wait to go back for dinner. The fried chicken and biscuits with gravy was excellent without leaving me feeling greasy afterwards, and the cheese grits were amazing. I would recommend this restaurant to any friends who want a legitimate southern meal."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "The $5 unlimited Mimosa (when you purchase a main entree) deal is great, but that's about it. The coffee was undrinkable, the gravy was burnt, my eggs were severely under-cooked, and the service was terrible. I live across the street, and I wouldn't go back."
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "I honestly didn't think BBQ in NYC could be anything special but these guys have it nailed. BBQ Platter was amazing, man n cheese and candied yams were a couple of the best sides I've ever had."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Had a reservation for 2 but wasnt seated for twenty minutes due to the group before us. Overall food was delicious and we constantly had our mimosa glasses full."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Came here on a Friday evening with a reservation for a party of 3. Our one friend took a while to get there, but they would not let us sit at first and then when we did they were rude about when she was arriving. This is all while the restaurant was never actually full. I had the fried chicken with fried green tomatoes and mac and cheese, which was all absolutely delicious. My friends had the Kale salad and side dishes which looked equally great and we all had beers that were nice and really well priced. While we were eating the server needed to get to a table next to us and was very abrasive in asking my friend to move so she could get by and then at the end of our meal the minute we were done she handed us our check."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "The food was very bland, I couldn't even eat my food due to a weird smell coming from my fried pork chops. I couldnt blame it on the seasoning because there was no seasoning on the food. When I mentioned to the waiter that the pork smelled peculiar, he says "thats the way pork smells." Then proceeded to complain and make jokes about me to the other staff members. Trust me I know what pork should smell like. They took the uneaten pork plate off my bill. I was sorry I tried them in the first place. My girlfriend had to pour half bottle of ketchup on her catfish just to be able to eat it. Very poor service, very poor food."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Good down home southern cooking with a little bit of a twist. I don't know who invented deviled eggs but, they are prepared to perfection. If you are Methodist, they say you cannot enter heaven unless you bring a covered dish. Well, this is the place to get your covered dish."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Chicken biscuits are a little large but sooo good!"
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "This is such a cute, cozy place, with good cocktails and the ultimate comfort food menu. Highlights: fried catfish sandwich, fried green tomatoes, and the burger!"
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "We went with a Gilt deal, but turned out it ineligible that night. We decided to stay and order what the deal wouldn't allow us. The food was great. The hush puppies are a MUST. I can' wait to have my second pork chop for left-overs. Can't wait to go back and have the chicken, it looked amazing."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Valentines day dinner. Perfect setting. Darling waitresses."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Great ambience upstairs and down. Casual and fun. Cool vibe and yummy choices of tasty foods."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "We love eating at the Cardinal for brunch. The food is great and the wait staff is always so nice! We love the fried chicken biscuit and gravy with $5 bottomless mimosas. But it gets crowded fast and it goes from moderate noise with some background music to really loud where you are almost screaming at those at your table to have a conversation. So i would highly suggest that you make reservations. We will continue to go back for brunch."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Everything we had was delicious- especially the hush puppies. The fried chicken was a little overbreaded for my taste but the mac and cheese was spot on as were the mashed potatoes. My friend got the BBQ plate and couldn't finish half of it but enjoyed every bite. We sat a little too close to the door in January so it was kind of chilly as the place is super tiny but it was a nice little Sunday meal with leftovers to boot!"
    Dined on 1/26/2014
  • "Our reservation was for 9:15 and we sat at 10. The party before us had the exact same problem. This seems to be a recurring theme here so I would not go to this place unless you have a small easy going group because the odds of you sitting when you are supposed to are slim. The place is ran entirely by hipsters, the service is slow and mediocre, they make some off color comments...that being said the fried chicken was the best I've ever had in the city (compared to places like The Red Head, which is a much better ran establishment) and they have a trio of really good BBQ sauces. Kale caesar and hush puppies were very good as well"
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "On my second experience at Cardinal, my friends and I were not disappointed. We had a Gilt City certificate for the fried chicken dinner and felt very happy with our meal. Not only was the chicken excellent and plentiful, the sides and appetizers were equally excellent..... especially the fried oysters and Mac & cheese. It's a small place so it gets very crowded and loud. The staff are fun, attentive and accommodating."
    Dined on 1/7/2014
  • "Cardinal is a rare find in that it is one of the few restaurants that I love for both brunch and dinner. Their fried chicken with biscuits and gravy is epic, and their BBQ plate for dinner is the best plate of smoked meat you will find in NYC. If you haven't eaten here, you should!!!"
    Dined on 1/1/2014
  • "Addictively excellent food, particularly the fried chicken and the bbq."
    Dined on 12/20/2013