The National Bar & Dining Rooms
Great food, definitely coming backThe food was fantastic and had something for everyone. We really enjoyed the grilled octopus and ravioli appetizers. The lamb shank was also amazing. I strongly recommend trying the cocktails as well.6/14/2013 12:00:00 AMMy ReviewI thought that the greeting staff was terrific and the food was great.6/12/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat brunch selections. WeGreat brunch selections. We had shrimp tacos (3 generous portions) and steak tartare. Attentive service but very, very loud. My only complaint. I guess it didn't help that there were four women speaking as loud as they possibly could near us, but there are lots of hard services that don't absorb sound. I don't know what a dinner service would be like, but I would definitely give it another try.6/9/2013 12:00:00 AMWonderful Food, Even Better ServiceWe enjoyed drinks at the bar and then a very relaxing dinner. The food was excellent. There were three of us and we tried the lamb shank, mahi mahi and grilled branzino. All were excellent (minor nitpick - the portion of aspargus with the mahi mahi was miniscule!)
The service was outstanding: attentive, but unobtrusive. They actually understand what it means to create a relaxed atmosphere where you can enjoy your dinner and conversation.6/8/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat food, service was lackingWe had the oysters and grilled octopus for apps; watermelon salad and sea bass for dinner. The only complaint was the overly salted bed of greens underneath the bass. Everything else was sublime (as was my bloody mary).
The service, on the other hand, was amateur hour. Our well-meaning but busy waiter never asked us how we like our food. He combined the app and salad courses so that our table was overcrowed. And he failed to explain or apologize for the 30 minute wait before the main course. The guy who brought out our food didn't speak - he grunted so that we could discover his presence and make way for the courses. The service was a real bummer compared to the great food.6/7/2013 12:00:00 AMNice and quiet for a businessNice and quiet for a business meeting. Very nice staff.6/5/2013 12:00:00 AMChic and healthyThe National Bar and Dining restaurant has great food, generous portions, speedy service, and a great ambience for professionals. Would recommend for convenient location, healthy choices, and business friendly atmosphere. It is a little noisy due to nature of decore, nothing to absorb sound.6/3/2013 12:00:00 AMNice BreakfastWe went here for an earlier weekend breakfast at 9 AM. They had a nice menu selection, and the service was great. The food was tasty and filling. I hope to come back soon and try their brunch menu, which is different from breakfast.6/2/2013 12:00:00 AMExcellent food, competent serviceThe National is one of those woefully overlooked midtown restaurants primarily because they aren't as flashy as Ma Peche, or they don't have the pedigree of Townhouse. But the National is a very solid choice with a well executed lunch and dinner menu (fantastic salads and a good "ugly" burger) as well as an excellent array of wines, cocktails and teas. And once the work day starts to wind down, the National's bar heats up and becomes a very vibrant scene indeed. Do yourself a favor and make a reservation as the availability of tables sometimes fluctuates.5/31/2013 12:00:00 AMPerfect Dining ExperienceWhat a perfect place to have dinner! The menu offered a variety of appetizers, entrees, and desserts. The wine list paired well with each of our selections. The server was excellent; very knowledgeable and willing to make suggestions. All the way around it was a great experience. We couldn't have asked for more! We look forward to returning soon!5/30/2013 12:00:00 AMZakarianThe first time we visited NYC we missed this gem, not realizing it was associated w Chef Zakarian...the second time around we made sure to stop in for the 3-5 special tasting menu...outstanding, unique, and somehow simple. Loved it. Cocktails are phenomenal, try the smoked pineapple was spicy, smokey and refreshing. Ribs and steak frites were unique and cooked to perfection. Service was friendly, our waitress, who was great with helping us pick cocktails and food, made the experience more friendly than anything, did go missing when we needed to run out to catch the Yankees/Mets so we were a little pressed for time, but the reason we went at the late lunch time was because its usually so busy, and we had no wait, so no harm done. A+++5/29/2013 12:00:00 AMOf course the fact that thisOf course the fact that this restaurant is owned by Geoffrey Zacharian makes it intriguing to any foodie and lover of the Food Network. The best part however is that Chef Zacharian completely walks the talk. The food was amazing. All the words a foodie would apply to an almost perfect meal.....well balanced, refined, and amazingly delicious. What I love is that while the food is world class, the atmosphere is comfortably casual, completely unpretencious. I have eaten here 3 times now and every single thing I've had has been the best of that food that I've ever had. True Story!!!! Oh, and last time I was there, Chef was seen in the dining room several times. Added bonus!5/28/2013 12:00:00 AMDinner and a showWhat's wonderful about this place is the fact that Sunday night has life music while you dine. Of course if you're looking for something intimate, this won't be the place for you Sunday nights. We checked the menu online prior but what be prepared that items will change without notice. The food was well seasoned and the presentation was adequate. Our server must have had a long day, since he rarely came around to check on us and didn't offer to bring us any additional beverages. If I am back in New York, I would definitely try it out again before I render further judgement.5/26/2013 12:00:00 AMNew FavoriteThis was my second time in one month and the pancakes were as delicious as the first time. This is on my favorites list now. Great staff and beautiful space.5/26/2013 12:00:00 AMThis was exactly what I wouldThis was exactly what I would have expected from Geoffrey Zakarian. The food was wonderful, the polenta perfect, and halibut perfect! The service was lacking, the waiter was more interested in chatting it up with his co-workers then to attend to us, but good service in NYC is hard to come by.5/25/2013 12:00:00 AMThe NationalGreat for business breakfasts and lunches. Food is always good. Service is good. Food comes out quickly. Pleasant space.5/22/2013 12:00:00 AMOutstanding in EverywayThis was my third time visiting the National for lunch. The atmosphere is very lively, mostly suits having business meetings, but there is a good energy to the restuarant. The food is amazing and seems to get better with each visit and the servers do a great job of proving individual attention even when the place is packed with dinners. This is a can't miss restuarant and should be on your "Must Eat Here" list.5/21/2013 12:00:00 AMgreat food at a great priceTook my wife here and we enjoyed a great meal. Risotto, carpacio, lamb shank, grouper, and sundae and profiteroles for dessert. Come ready to eat. Nice sized portions at a great price.5/18/2013 12:00:00 AMWe thoroughly enjoyed ourWe thoroughly enjoyed our meal and were very pleased with the service. I was a bit apprehensive after reading some of the reviews, but have nothing but good things to say about the National. Food was terrific, although the fish portion that one diner got was small. We were not rushed on a Saturday evening and were able to dine leisurely. I would recommend this restaurant!
When we were leaving, around 9ish, the bar scene was picking up, but the noise level was tolerable.5/11/2013 12:00:00 AMThought it would be better....I was excited to eat here. I watch my fair share of Top Chef, Chopped and Iron Chef America and George Zakarian appeared to win his season of The Next Iron Chef with ease. The food was good -- maybe slightly overpriced, but I was eating an Iron Chef's restaurant. The ambience was nice.
What was disappointing was the selection. Very minimal stuff on the brunch menu. Would have really preferred to have more lunch options -- whose going to eat an omelette at 2:30 PM? Also, we were actively eating our appetizer (the pistachio/cucumber/pea gazapacho) when the server came up to us and said our entrees were there. One of the waiters tried to actively take my soup away BECAUSE the food was there - the entrees should be ready for us (continued)5/11/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat Restaurant!I work across the street and have been wanting to go to The National for years as I have heard so many great things. I had a business meeting and I was glad I made this choice. The service was not great though but that can improve, the food was delicious!!5/3/2013 12:00:00 AMSolid food/meh serviceThe National is a great local spot in Midtown East - perfectly snuggled in between the office buildings and hotels. What was once a great down-low spot for an after work drink is now MOBBED from 5 pm to 7 pm. But lunch is still a great time to go. Especially a late lunch. Great food, fantastic drinks, an impressive tea list (yes, you read that right, TEA LIST) all marred by lazy, inconsiderate and inconsistent service from our server. Which is too bad. The National is a great spot, but of late their servers have become ... perhaps less of what I would expect?5/1/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat spotPerfect for a business meeting but also cute enough for a date. Great food, nice French/1920s ambiance.4/29/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat Food and Great ServiceTook some co-workers here for dinner and had a great experience. We arrived at different times so some of us were waiting at the bar (where they make an excellent lemon drop martini) and as the rest of the group arrived, we were told our table was ready but no need to rush; just let them know when we were ready. The service from the Maitre d to the server to the bartender was impeccable. The food selection was nice; a lot of very different things to choose from. We all had different entrees and desserts and they were all simply wonderful. Their take on the wedge salad was just outstanding as well. Will definitely recommend and will return.4/29/2013 12:00:00 AMThe food was very good. TheThe food was very good. The service was very good. The special app, scallops, was a great pick.
Do not order their coffee or espresso. The cookie plate was a nice finish to a good meal.4/27/2013 12:00:00 AMThe National was superb.The National was superb. Comfortable atmosphere, attentive service, great location. The food was outstanding. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who appreciates truly wonderful food. Chef Geoffrey Zakarian is a brilliant artist, and our experience at The National is one that we will never forget.4/21/2013 12:00:00 AMWhen we initially arrivedWhen we initially arrived we had requested a quiet table with our reservation; however, the seating hostess apparently didn't get the message because she proceeded to sit us next to the bar and a drink station, both of which are huge noise generators. When we requested to move to a quieter spot in the restaurant they moved us to the 50th Street side of the restaurant which was perfect. We had a quiet meal along with great food (I recommend the Ceasar Salad and the Grilled Branzino) and great service. So, besides the initial faux pas over the seating, the dining experience was very good.4/20/2013 12:00:00 AMExcellent burger. A littleExcellent burger. A little to noisy for me BUT a very nice place.4/9/2013 12:00:00 AMJust so glad this place isJust so glad this place is there in a neighborhood otherwise void of GREAT dining options...4/4/2013 12:00:00 AMI was staying at the hotelI was staying at the hotel and had in-room dining the night before while I was working in my room and then lunch with business associates the next day. The braised short ribs were incredible. Just perfect. As was the polenta. We also all loved our lunch, especially the side order of brussels sprouts. Delicious.4/4/2013 12:00:00 AMThe Chocolate mousse, is to die forI need to start with this phrase: The Chocolate mousse, is to die for!!! A great place to go before our play. Great food and cocktails. The waitress was a little off but it was the start of the evening so I can understand. 2nd time there and not my last...4/3/2013 12:00:00 AMJust so loud! we were a partyJust so loud! we were a party of two so it was tolerable. Could never have worked with more than 2.4/2/2013 12:00:00 AMWarm and welcomingThe atmosphere is old world NYC, the service is friendly and efficient, the food was not spectacular, but very good. I try to eat here whenever I am in NYC anD it does not disappoint. The creamy polenta WAS spectacular, but skip the shaved truffles. It,s plenty good without them. The waiter was excellent, very welcoming. All in all, highly recommended.3/31/2013 12:00:00 AMLovely spot for Easter brunch.Lovely spot for Easter brunch. Excellent food, great midtown location. Will return.3/31/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat food, beautiful restaurant.Visiting on Vacation, went to The National on a Friday evening. Beef shank was to die for! Drinks were overpriced for their content. Waiter was very distracted-service stArted out great and went downhill throughout our visit. I was in the service industry for 17 years and am very aware of how important that aspect of the dining experience is. Beautiful atmosphere!3/29/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat American fare in Midtown.Great American fare in Midtown. Service was good and atmosphere was very energetic. It was a little bit loud though.3/26/2013 12:00:00 AMService was great. Food wasService was great. Food was good but a bit too salty. If you are sensitive it would be a good idea to request them to season lightly.3/25/2013 12:00:00 AMChicken & Salmon salad wereChicken & Salmon salad were delicious and perfectly cooked. Waiter also suggested brussel sprouts which were delicious. Service was great.3/25/2013 12:00:00 AMWe always enjoy finding FoodWe always enjoy finding Food Network Stars' restaurants. We were so excited to see The National right down Lexington from our hotel. We stopped in for dessert and everything was fantastic! Servers were nice and professional. The desserts were beautifully presented and were delicious!3/23/2013 12:00:00 AMVery Memorable dinnerEverything was stellar. Every bite was delicious. The service was impeccable and personal. It will never be forgotten.3/22/2013 12:00:00 AMHigh energy hotel diningBasic menu, but served with intelligence and grace. Pork chops are excellent.3/21/2013 12:00:00 AMFound this a great place forFound this a great place for breakfast and lunch business meetings.3/20/2013 12:00:00 AMFood and wine were great.Food and wine were great. Service was very good. Only negative is they sat us at a table right next to bar area where at one point, one of my dining buddies had a group of guys who were visiting the bar area standing almost on top of him.3/20/2013 12:00:00 AMGood food and drinks in aGood food and drinks in a part of town where that can be lacking.3/13/2013 12:00:00 AMVery professional service.Very professional service. My guests were 20 minutes late for our business lunch, but the restaurant staff remained courteous, patient. Would easily recommend.3/13/2013 12:00:00 AMFood was quite nice. Not aFood was quite nice. Not a quite place during lunch time.3/13/2013 12:00:00 AMSunday DelightThird time for breakfast with friends who had never been before. We are a group whose members each enjoy very different food items yet the National completely satisfied each of us. From oatmeal to bagel with lox, from sandwich croissant with meat to simple eggs and toast, wonderful selection, execution and flavors. The coffee - we could have sipped for hours it was so very delicious. We met friends there we hadn't seen in years. Our conversations went on and on we'll after our meal was finished yet we never felt the slightest bit rushed. The check came only when we requested it. Truly enjoyable to have our meal and chat-time on a busy Sunday morning be uninterrupted. Just a wonderful place to return to again and again!3/10/2013 12:00:00 AMThe sourdough grilled cheeseThe sourdough grilled cheese and roasted tomato soup is perfect for dunking, with great flavor and texture. The flank steak omelette was delicious and every bite had lots of flavor; no boring bites with just egg. Brunch was more relaxed, less crowded and with much better service than weekday lunch.3/10/2013 12:00:00 AMBest oysters ever, ugly burgerBest oysters ever, ugly burger was tremendous and the Brussel sprouts were second to none...one of our favorite meals while in NYC!!12/26/2012 12:00:00 AMGreat option for businessGreat option for business breakfast and lunch in midtown.1/1/0001 4:00:00 PM