The National Bar & Dining Rooms
The National Bar & Dining Rooms

The National Bar & Dining Rooms

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.thenationalnyc.com/
  • Phone: (212) 715-2400
  • Hours of Operation:
    Breakfast: Mon - Fri 7:30am - 10:30am; Sat - Sun 8am - 10:30am
    Lunch: Mon - Fri 11:30am - 2:30pm
    Brunch: Sat - Sun 10:30am - 3:30pm
    Dinner: Daily: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Paul Corsentino
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Special Events: The National presents The National Sessions each Sunday evening from 6pm to 10pm. Join us for this free weekly event featuring New York City bands performing an array of musical selections such as classic jazz, funk, blues, and more.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 50th Street
  • Public Transit: Take 6 Train to 51 Street.
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from The National Bar & Dining Rooms
Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian brings his vision of a contemporary New York grand café 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 cafés 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.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
The National Bar & Dining Rooms reviews from OpenTable diners
198 reviews since July 24, 2014
Overall Rating3.6
  • Food3.7
    Service3.3
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelModerate
70% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (67)great for lunch (45)vibrant bar scene (37)neighborhood gem (36)good for groups (31)hot spot (28)great for brunch (24)special occasion (21)romantic (19)notable wine list (11)late-night find (10)kid-friendly (4)scenic view (2)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • It was a pretty place, but service wasn't great.
    SS1964
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    Waited awhile for the food and mine came out lukewarm. It is pretty pricey for food not to be hot. Enjoyed the steamed milk in the coffee and had a good cocktail.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Relaxed sophistication
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Thank you for a relaxed, sophisticated experience. This is obviously the restaurant of an iron chef where the food is the star of the show. The set and supporting cast all play their parts to perfection.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Below average
    TXDogLoverVIP
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    We had to ask our waiter to tell us about the specials, he was not attentive and the food quality was average to below average. The cheese plate we ordered was left on our table for the entire meal - even after it was clear we were finished with it. Water was not refilled for the entire meal and the food quality was average to below average. I would not recommend The National.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Surprisingly mediocore
    edstorm51
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Perhaps being harsh but i was surprised at how average the food was. Tasted fine, presentation was good, just expected more. I'd go back for the grilled octopus and bar drinks. Those were outstanding.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fine evening
    Boston
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Had to wait a while to be served even water, but once we were waited on, the service was attentive and great. Ribs, soba noodle chicken soup highlights.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    The special Ugly Burger is one of the best burger in NYC.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great food
    maportsVIP
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    the food is very good and is offered at reasonable prices. Service was polite, attentive, and professional, although just a tad slow due to the large crowd. otherwise, the meal was very good and would return the next time i visit new york.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great.....with one exception
    Chris
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    We heard good things about the National and were not disappointed by the food or ambiance. Our waiter was attentive except once he realized we kept ordering glasses of wine instead of bottles he never reminded us of how less cost efficient that is. We were "well on our way" without thinking about it. Thus, we had a very hefty bill for 15 glasses of wine (ouch) I even said to him "can you just charge us by the bottle" and he kind of just looked at me.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hostess Need Training
    Nickname1VIP
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    My wife and I stopped in to the National without a reservation. We were told we could get a table in about 25 minutes even though there were easily 10 empty tables. We figured that reservations were coming in and we would get a drink at the bar. After the 25 minutes passed, we checked with the hostess again. At first she did not find our name because it was on the walk-in tab not the reservation tab on her computer screen. Finally, she figured it out and said we had another 10 - 15 minutes. Rather than wait, I checked Open Table and booked a table for two in 15 minutes. I went right back to another hostess and told her I was checking in 15 minutes early. She said not a problem, we can sit you now. We are never going back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A little pricey
    CherieVIP
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    and needs to add a little more artistry to its dishes, but otherwise well-executed. service was timely and efficient
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Seemed a little tired
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    This was my first visit to The National, and it likely will be my last. While the menu seemed appealing, the execution (steak for me, branzino for him) was just average. Not terrible, but not special. The server seemed to have way too many tables and did his best but ultimately was slow to meet our needs. Wine list was limited and disappointing. Even the decor looked like it had seen better days.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • National Treasure
    WJWardCPA
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    OK, so maybe not quite a national treasure, but National Bar & Dining room should be on anyone's short list in midtown east. I opted for the hamburger, but there were several other tempting options on the menu. The burger was very good. And though only a side dish, the french fries here are simply outstanding. The decor is quite inviting and the dining area seems bigger than you might expect. Service was attentive without being intrusive. My minor complaint was that the bus-boy literally took the french fries from under my nose while I was still eating. That is a massive pet peeve of mine, and while I usually say something, they were gone before I could. Regardless, don't let a minor thing dissuade you from putting National on your agenda.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Solid for business lunch
    LizDVIP
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    Food was very good. I had pumpkin squash soup and the octopus. Service was exceptional. Good place for a business lunch.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Underwhelming food
    SuzCTVIP
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    I took a group of business colleagues here as we all wanted to try it. The atmosphere is great - just what you would want for a business lunch. Not too loud and great natural light. The service was attentive and friendly. However, I don't think any of us were particularly impressed by the food. It was OK, but not great and for these prices, I would have expected something a little more special. They also put red pepper flakes on the broccoli rabe which none of my companions liked. I may try it again but would order different entrees.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing Brunch
    SofullIwillnevereatagain
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    We went here because it was close to the hotel and recommended by the concierge. We were able to get reservation on short notice. The place wasn't crowded yet our brunch took over two hours. We sat for almost a half hour with an empty coffee pot on the table. When my eggs and potatoes arrived they were cold. No one ordered desert but they brought out a desert for the one in our party who was celebrating a birthday - then they charged us for the desert no one ordered. Prices were reasonable for NYC, I guess. There was nothing at this brunch that would make me return to try it again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Too noisy and mediocre food
    dinnerVIP
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Made a 6:30 reservation on opentable, walk into a nearly empty restaurant at 6:20, got seated in the back room behind the bar, near the entrance to the kitchen. I guess that's where opentable folks get seated. Front dining room still had empty tables available when we left. Behind the bar was very noisy as it was Thursday night in NYC. Food varied from really good to ok. Ribs & octopus starters were delicious, as was the cod fish. Branzino was overcooked and it was just 2 pieces laid on top of some potatoes.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice little place
    ContractGuy
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    The National is inviting inside and out. We went for a business breakfast meeting and it was the perfect place. Service was at the right level and food was good.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dissapointed
    DRMTL
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    We were sat next to a group celebrating a birthday, they were so loud that we couldn't even hear ourselves talk. The accoustics are also terrible which only made it worse. This really ruined the atmosphere. The food was not up to par. The waiter forgot to give us bread to start and was too occupied with the group to properly serve us. Wedge salad, though good, had way too much dressing and too heavy on the vinegar. Steak frites was decent (a bit overcooked), but not worth the price. Hamburger was good and tasty, but the fries were WAY too salty. Didn't stay for desert.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delightful
    TrippinwithLSD
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    The National was the bright spot in our day whether we started out with the mushroom omelet, egg breakfast or late night small bites at the bar. The branzino was perfectly cooked and flavorful. Beautiful presentations across the menu. The steak tartare is fabulous. The cheese plate is not the best we've had but certainly acceptable. Pierre is a most notable sommelier at the bar and his recommendations are spot on. Wendy gave us perfect service each evening we stopped in for a nightcap! We will definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What did I miss??
    RlagnadoVIP
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    The thougt of attending the restaurant of an Iron Chef is enough to get my mouth watering and maybe my expectations were set to high because things fell a bit short. This wasnt my first time at The National and looking back, it has been a bit of a rollercoaster. A great meal followed by a just ok meal. This meal was just ok. The part that stands out the most was the slow, sub-par service. The place was rather quiet so there was really no excuse. The food was good but forgetful although I'll give credit where its due, the sides we ordered, brussel spouts and mac and cheese were very good. I would give the place another chance and hope for a high......
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good not great
    Reviewed
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    The services was average. The food was good but not great. My daughter had the chicken and risotto. It was slightly above average. I had the steak. It was cooked properly but it was over salted and tough. My wife got the pork chop. It was the best of tHe three. Overall nothing was bad it just was not great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing burger
    IvanchoVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    After having had overrated and overpriced patties around NYC, The National is the place I come for a really outstanding burger. The secret resides in the perfectly toasted brioche that is loaded with meaty and buttery flavors, great beef, and pickled onions that are a gem to the palate. Other things in the menu are also terrific (the branzino and their salads come to mind), but burgers and beers have in The National their cathedral.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing
    FoureyesVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    The service was uneven. The waiter was unshaven and had on blue not black jeans. The food was almost room temperature. Once was enough. Had high hopes but there are too many good places to waste our dining dollars.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • AMG4REALVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Good food. Mac & Cheese stinks and overpowered the table and my fish. I thought something was wrong with it until I figured this out. The M&C does however, taste good.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of my favorites
    eatoutwaytoomuchVIP
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Love the chef here but it's the kind of place you must have reservations for. Tables are tiny, portions are perfect. Winelist is fun.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Great food and Sunday night music was very entertaining. Loved the atmosphere- felt like I was at a friends house for dinner. The service was ok- not amazing. Our server was very busy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A favorite
    CaToll
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    For NYC fairly reasonable...nice portions..yummy fish..great location for us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious
    Girlfrompa
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Stayed at the Benjamin and this was a pleasant surprise to have downstairs. I had the lamb shank and it was melt in your mouth delicious. Portions were on the smallish size but food was well worth it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    JDG221
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    We ate here before a show. Staff was great getting us out on time and the food was delicious
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Super loud
    dealwalkerVIP
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Good location, food has it's moments but if you want to have a private conversation, perhaps go somewhere else as tables are very close together and there is nothing to absorb the loud racket.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • luv2dine
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Stayed at Hotel Benjamin so having National in lobby made a NYC entry after cross country flight an wonderful thing. Wife and I were bringing daughters to NY for first time. Were tired from flight and dressed casual but excited to eat in this restaurant. Both kids IRONCHEF fans. Were met at host stand by 2 women and a gentleman. He peeled off to greet a friend without any greeting. Two hostesses were cold and all business, a smile would have broken their faces. We felt unwelcome, bad first impression. Waiter was "Robkun" I believe, Indian accent. He and his team were FANTASTIC as was the food, he loved those girls up!! We relaxed and had a great bottle of Italian red, ate like kings and really enjoyed dinner, food exceptional.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • very social
    National4NYC
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    lots of business meetings held quite vibrant, VERY NICE BREAKFAST.... all in all very happy
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Rather disappointing
    BooBooZan
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    We went to The National Bar because it was a place I had wanted to try for some time now. We began with a cheese-plate appetizer. They give a large amount of cheese but relatively little bread. We had to ask for more bread at least 3 times. Both of us tried the lamb shank, which I found to be surprisingly tasteless. The chocolate mousse dessert, however, was quite enjoyable.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Notable decline since last visit
    amusebouche
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Had a nice dinner here about 8 months ago and the place seems to have taken a turn for the worse since. Pork chop was dry and overcooked, the grits were served at barely room temperature, and our waiter disappeared for long periods of time so service was highly inattentive. In all fairness, there were some hits, raw oysters and the steak with fries were both very good. But I won't go back unless it is a business function I can't get out of and someone else is paying.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Would not recommend anymore
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    The noise level was horrible. Don't go there for a business lunch or a social lunch -- only if you don't want to actually speak to nor hear your dining partners. And the polenta was utterly tasteless. No cheese whatsoever.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Decent for the area
    Diningwithfamily
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    I was looking for an easy place to take my parents and grandparent conveniently located near there hotel -- I chose The National. Overall the meal was pretty good. However, not all the dishes were up to par (the mac and cheese was good but when the Brussels sprouts were sold out, we chose the mushroom and polenta -- the polenta was just sad-- but a burger got rave reviews) and it was one of those meals where prices racked up quickly and I was left wondering what we'd really paid for. Final review: a well lit restaurant with comfortable seating. Some dishes were hits, some flops, and the prices are really meant for a corporate card.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food/location, poor service
    JeremyVIP
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    I was excited to try this place based in chef Jeffrey Zakarian's reputation. It's a great location and has a great vibe. The food was tasty, but my sandwich had onions (not listed on the menu) necessitating a trip back to my hotel too brush my teeth before seeing clients. The real diaappontment was the lackluster service. The folks at the maître de station were perfectly pleasant, but our waitress was essentially non-existent. After waiting a while to see her (understandable, given the lunch rush) she took our order and then was gone for the rest of the meal. No check-in on the food, and I had to flag down someone (else) to get my check. For these prices, you expect at least the barest level of customer service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    I've enjoyed lunch here many times with a nice meal and service each time. Dinner this week was a disaster. The food was marginally acceptable. My crispy pork belly was soggy. My dinner guest requested medium rare and received well done. The food service took too long so sending it back wasn't an option. The service staff was either all new with no manager on duty or perhaps the restaurant caters to lunch and their dinner business is an after thought. I may consider lunch again but certainly not dinner.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OTReview
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Fine option for those staying on the "hotel row" on Lex in midtown. Due to its location, it is full of tourists and not a Manhattan vibe. Waitstaff on my visit in Oct 2014 was fine. I did have a seating issue: I had a reservation and showed up on time. When I wanted to change my seat (even before water was poured) I received major attitude by the two 20-something know it all hostesses ("you've already been given a seat which you wanted to change and now you have to go to the back of the line" despite the fact the my reservation time was before anyone else in line…nice!). Other than that, a decent place to eat if you are staying in one of the local hotels and not feeling adventurous.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It is awesome
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    I never write reviews, but this place deserves one. I brought my mom here and our food was impeccable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate