Tolani
Tolani

Tolani

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://tolaninyc.com/
  • Phone: 2128736252
  • Hours of Operation:
    Brunch: Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Downstairs/Garden: Nightly: 5:00pm - 11:30pm, Upstairs/Lounge: Nightly: 5:00pm - 2:00am Special Events Join us for 'happy hour'everyday 4pm to 6pm- free tapas dish with every drink ordered! Please check in with us for our special event calander.
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: South African, International, Contemporary American
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Delivery, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Special Events: Starting Monday January 24th, Tolani will be hosting International wine tastings every other week! Each week, a four course tasting designed after the country of interest will be served, accompanied by wines from the same region. Make your reservation today! Also, join us for 'happy hour'everyday 4pm to 7pm- free tapas dish with every drink ordered!

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Tolani
In South African slang, "Tolani" means "too good," and that is exactly what this UWS gem is – an unpretentious spot of which you simply can't get enough. Drawing from the very best flavors, techniques and ingredients from each corner of the world, Tolani Wine Restaurant's menu brings a culinary adventure to your backyard, marrying authenticity with ingenuity.
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Tolani reviews from OpenTable diners
96 reviews since June 22, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4
    Service4
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for brunch (57)great for outdoor dining (49)neighborhood gem (46)fit for foodies (29)romantic (25)good for groups (23)great for lunch (21)notable wine list (19)vibrant bar scene (17)late-night find (12)special occasion (10)hot spot (8)kid-friendly (5)scenic view (2)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Good service and nice atmosphere. Our server Igor was excellent!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • better than expected
    lupe
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    I was pleasantly surprised by the setting and the atmosphere. the dishes and the staff were also wonderful. I treated my friends to brunch and it was a great time all around. the entrees were delicious. the stuffed French toast is more or a sharable dessert portion and the polenta was more of a small serving but still so good. chilaquiles and omelets are both winners...other plates looked really good as they went by as well. great food in a great place!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place!
    funfoodie
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Delicious good, nice ambiance, attentive waitstaff, what more could one need?!?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth a visit
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    The service was prompt and personal. The food was perfectly prepared and packed with vibrant flavors. A perfect date night spot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • All around great
    Cammie22
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    I had brunch here and everything was great. The food was delicious, although the portions were a little small. Brunch came with unlimited mimosas and our waiter made sure our glasses were never empty. He was also super nice and and courteous. We sat downstairs and it looked like we were in a wine cellar with some exposed brick. Overall, it was a great dining experience. I would definitely go back to try the wines.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Brunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Had the groupon for brunch entree + unlimited mimosas/belinis. It was great. We stayed for 3+ hours. Never felt pressured to leave. Very coll atmosphere and great service. Food was good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tolani
    KaiserBush
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    I purchased a groupon for a brunch for 2 at Tolani. I was about 10 minutes late for my reservation but they still seated me happily. The waiter that served us was very nice, but gave no direction on which entrées are part of the deal. Food took a little longer than expected but was good. Unlimited mimosas/bellinis were part of the deal and those tasted great. I just wished the waiter paid a little more attention to when we needed refills. When ready to leave it took us about 20-30 to get our check which seemed to be because there was only one waiter serving the downstairs area. Not a bad experience, would recommend to a friend.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful
    BRITTE
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    My mom and I went to Tolani for brunch Sept 21.14/ . I enjoyed everything about this little gem of a restaurant! I actually found it while searching groupon.com and came across a wonderfully priced groupon that included two brunch dishes and unlimited mimosas/Bellini. The ambiance of the restaurant is very relaxing, vibrant and I totally fell in love with the idea that it is near Central Park. The service from the staff was excellent. Speedy, informative, knowledgeable about the menu, and stayed on top of our free refills! The food is delicious as well. I had the eggs bene with a side of avocado, and mom had the nutella french stuffed toast. YUM I would be more than happy to recommend this restaurant to all future travelers.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love the food
    DuckFatVIP
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Really enjoy the small plates as they are very creative--even things that sound ordinary arrive with an extra flair or angle. Service could use a few tweaks (wine should arrive before food) but overall very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Brunch
    NycjennVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Had a groupon which made a great brunch even better but the $20 unlimited pour is a good deal at full price. The vibe inside is cozy and eclectic with dark furnishings and great lighting. Bar seating upstairs and tables down. Standard brunch fare with good portions and friendly service. I'll definitely be returning.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Cute place
    bruncher
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Came here with a friend for brunch after purchasing a unlimited brunch groupon. Got here around noon and we were sat immediately (had a reservation) and greeted by our very friendly server. She told us what we can get with our groupon and what was extra. We decided to go with the mimosas for the unlimited brunch drink selection. They were mostly OJ and not much champagne, but that would be my only complaint. The food was absolutely delicious. Good sized portions. The restaurant itself was cute and cozy. Would be a good date spot. Service was good, as well. Food came out reasonably fast. Server refilled our drinks often and checked in on us regularly.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice lil spot
    sdk6972
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    The staff was really friendly and attentive. For the two hours of bottomless mimosas, I'd say I was pretty satisfied with the short time the glasses at the table stayed empty. I'd frequent this place again if I lived in NYC.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great for brunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Tolani was a great place to have brunch. Food was great and service was excellent. However , we sat outside in back areas which was nice with exception to the air conditioner unit which was a loud.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great restaurant
    Moodyfoodie
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    The ambience was great food was lovely. The staff was very friendly. I arrived early and they were very accommodating. We really enjoyed the sharing plate style menu and happy hour drinks.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Small selection but food is good
    Dluvsc
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Brunch was good, service was excellent and our waitress was friendly
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just an off night...I hope!
    UWSnancy
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Tolani is our favorite go to UWS spot, very nearby where we live. This particular evening I brought a friend for her first time. They were out of bread (they usually serve baguette) and we wanted it with our shared mussels (delicious) so finally they brought toasted white bread- 2 slices. Waitress tossed it off as "our backup, stuff happens). It was also difficult to get her attention. We were a party of 2 late middle aged women. No alcohol with dinner. We are both world travelers and accustomed to good service. I will make a point to avoid her when next we visit. Salmon and scallops perfect. Out of decaf coffee, out of cream so we settled for tepid decaf espresso. My husband and I love Tolani but they must not forget the details.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent
    travelpleasures
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Excellent food, excellent drinks , excellent service, and excellent atmosphere!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful
    great
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Found this spot on groupon.. great deal for a great brunch. can't wait to go back. they are very generous with the unlimited mimosas and service is outstanding. looking forward to returning for dinner
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Tables
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    I have been there a few times..one time sat downstairs and fell in love with the place, second time i went was still in love with the place..I went the other night and they had changed the tables to bar seating..the seats were too high for ur legs to fit under the table so i was very uncomfortable..I had asked to sit downstairs but i was told there is a large party coming in and so it was closed…I think you have lost this customer..
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always Excellent!
    TRB16VIP
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Tolani is one of our favorite neighborhood gems. Stanton does a great job with the South African fare he has on the menu and the new small plates are all delicious. A must for the upper west side!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OK experience
    Sylvester
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Food is decent, nothing bad to say but wasn't too impressed either. The service from the main server is significant poor. The host and bus boy are friendly and attentive, but our main server was rushing and not detailed oriented. She did not provide information of what comes with the brunch when questioned, we asked for suggestions of additional side(s) and it was not provided. It seems that they were so busy at 11:30am brunch time we felt rushed.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious
    UWSQ
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    We came for brunch and the food took a quite a while to come out, however it was amazing. The unlimited mimosas were always refilled without having to ask anyone. I will definately be coming back!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    I wanted to like Tolani, but our food took over an hour to come out. I liked the ambiance and vibe of the place. I brushed it off because I was using a Groupon. I would have loved to say I'd go back - but now not too sure.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food, lackluster service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    The title says it all. We went for brunch and the food was good, but our server was clearly put upon to be working that day.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overpriced for what it is
    JenniferVIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    The seating arrangements are great, especially at their large downstairs booths and little garden. Most of the food is confused. It sounds great on paper but is pricey and not high in quality or preparation.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Consistently delicious
    Itzaboutzfood
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    With an ever-changing menu, Tolani keeps you coming back again and again. Some seasonal favorites disappear (Brussels sprouts) only to be replaced by others like the unbelievably delicious gnudi. The wine list is an excellent adventure into lesser know but delicious South African wines. All in all one of my favorite NYC restaurants.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • MogrothVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Really enjoyed it. It was our 3rd time here and the food is consistently very, very good, the service is excellent and the ambience is very nice. The wine list is also great. Love the small plate format also. Definitely recommend it.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • tolani a million stars
    weheartfood
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    We recently visited this hot spot for brunch on Sunday. We were a early immediately with our reservation, from the looks from the outside I knew this was going to be a great experience. Down stairs was even more beautiful then upstairs! Loved the ambience! !!! The food was to die for! From the French Toast to the tolani burger to the omelet and then the blt with smoke salmon. Everything was delicious! The unlimited mimosas and belinis was right on. They really honor the unlimited part and was not at all cheap about it. Bring your friends and family! Can't wait to have my wedding brunch there!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome for brunch
    UWSlivineasy
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Got the Groupon deal and went to brunch with a friend this past Sunday. Got seated outside in the downstairs garden, which was wonderful because it turned out to be a nice day. Our waiter was pretty attentive and multiple people came around to refill our unlimited mimosas/bellinis, which were pretty strong. We both got the burger, which was excellent (although it was a few extra dollars on top of the Groupon price). Will definitely come back, probably with a date next time, to try out the wine list!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice place in the neighborhood
    FoodhunterVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    It is just a nice place. They took some time to bring us water, but in the end it was pleasant.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • amazing all you can drink brunch
    suneelkamath13VIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Great food, very attentive service. Refilled drinks quickly despite us doing the all you can drink Groupon deal. Ambience is great. Classy and fun. Also has outdoor seating.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent
    Foodie8
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Food was really good and the service was impeccable. I would absolutely go back.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Creative and comforting food
    DancerDiner
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    There wasn't a ton on the menu, but what they did have showed a sophistication and attention to combining flavors to create delicious dishes. Also some standard brunch items. The bottomless mimosas were fun, tasty, and filled often. Beautiful presentation outside with flowers, but you can end up sitting very close to your neighbors. The second time we went, we sat inside and the service was much slower. Definitely would recommend snagging a table outside. Bottomless mimosas are a little expensive, but they have a groupon for brunch w drinks, so look for that!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Four stars because...
    roxyknows1
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    The food is great. Brunch is excellent! Love the ambiance and the staff especially our waitress. She was attentive and provided great customer service. However, one of the hostess not so much. She was rude, not welcoming at all.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Vacationlover
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Great food in a cute neighborhood. It was a nice change from the fast pace of Midtown.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    JRaddVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    I was really looking forward to dining at Tolani for brunch. The selections on the menu looked fantastic. They weren't. The server was great and friendly but she was also alone working the patio during a sunny weekend brunch so I feel like she could have used some help. It took awhile for us to order but that's no fault of hers. The food (chilaquiles and steak and eggs) was disappointing. However the french fries were good. That wasn't enough to make up for the rest though. The environment was nice and the mimosas and bellinis were good.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • No service
    Kwa990
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    We came to tolani to celebrate friends birthday. It was a Friday night and seemed busy but they put us downstairs in garden which was nice and less crowded vs upstairs. Food was good except we didn't order enough of small plates and wanted to get more but our server was MIA for most of the night! We had to ask several times for her and then we had to ask another server to help us. My friend even got up once to look for someone, anyone!! We finally gave up trying to order more food and just got dessert which also took forever. Dinner took 3 hrs when we could have been done in 2 and we left hungry. I noticed the same thing happened to two women behind us, they were angry at lack if service and were waiting for bill for a long time
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Usually excellent, not this time
    MarkS
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Been to Tolani many times and have almost always had a really good meal. The most recent visit was unfortunate though, and I hope it was just a fluke. Time in between dishes was uncommonly long and, based on prior experiences at Tolani, the food was uncharacteristically flavorless and just not as well prepared as usual. It's unfortunate, because I was entertaining an old friend from Chicago, and I don't think he was terribly impressed. I'd still go back to Tolani, but of course if I had another below average experience I'd have to reconsider future reservations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • sniff1
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    service excellent, small plates fairly hearty seated immediately +++
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outback Garden
    Wilda
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    The bottomless mimosas and bellinis are always a great hit! Eggs Benedict and banana battered pancakes with Nutella filling and fruit were delish! Love the outback garden. I'd definitely return!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.