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
119 reviews since May 1, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.1
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for brunch (63)great for outdoor dining (62)neighborhood gem (53)romantic (43)fit for foodies (38)notable wine list (37)vibrant bar scene (24)great for lunch (23)good for groups (21)special occasion (17)late-night find (14)hot spot (12)kid-friendly (6)scenic view (5)Show More
  • 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.
  • 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
    JRadd
    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.
  • great place
    miss62
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    Me and the girls came for brunch. We took advantage of the bottomless brunch. The waiter kept filling our glasses and we were happy. Great atmosphere. Nice hostess and waiters. Enjoyable time.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Rat
    imameyerhoff
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    We were having dinner in the outside back patio when a huge rat ran by... not the most romantic way to enjoy a date.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Gem!
    DuckFatVIP
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    I can't believe I've been walking past this place for years and never went in! Fabulous!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful service!
    Lub2Grub
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Had a wonderful brunch on a Saruraday afternoon. Never felt rushed and always had my Mimosa full- Thanks!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    Four of my friends went on a Groupon. Sometimes restaurants can be very rude since their profit margins must be squeezed. Tolani was amazing. They had great service and did not push us from the table. We had a long, refreshing brunch. It was nice to not be rushed.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great place
    Zach
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Service was excellent, wine was great, portions too small
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • steakloverVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Great brunch spot. Bottomless brunch really is bottomless.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yummy
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    It was really good. Our only issue was that us took almost an hour for our meal to come out. But our server was super sweet and acknowledged the problem without us having to say anything. And when the food came it was delicious. We will definitely go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Food is very good but service is chaotic and disorganized. Probably Either they do not have enough servers or hire slow ones. Either case the owners should really look into this issue. We go there often and like the food but inconsistent and slow service is a real pattern not a one time occurrence
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Brunch Spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    One of the most enjoyable bottomless brunch spots I've been to in the city! The food is very delicious, but portions are a bit on the smaller side. The owner and staff of the establishment were extremely accommodating and the service was exceptional!! We will definitely be returning again soon!!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • delicious and different
    food4dandyVIP
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    we had a reservation, and we were seated in a desirable location in a timely manner. The cocktails were well crafted and added to the experience and the flavors of our tapas. the main course and our wine took entirely too long to arrive. we had nothing to eat or drink for 15-20 minutes. when our food finally arrived we had no utensils or beverages. this situation was rectified by the manager. the table next to us was over served by the same manager ~ and they didn't want to pay their tab ... so there was some drama that i was not a part of ~ however, our waitress just left. No idea what happened, but we were left with no way of paying for our meal. if these issues are fixed, the menu and the location will be a recipe for success.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food, TERRIBLE Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    The food was great, if not a little on the lukewarm side, but that was probably because we had the worst server! She was absolutely horrible. Condescending, rude, absent, told my wife that she could only have the cocktails listed on the menu, nothing else from the bar. We decided to bring out of town guests, but she only embarrassed us as we had talked so highly of this place. On no less than 5 occasions did we have to flag somebody down to get another drink, to ask where our food was, and even to get our check. I think Tolani is great. We live a block away, but I'll skip it from here on out if they don't get their service in order. It's not worth it.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • First time out!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    My wife and I have 3 children, so we have not been on a romantic outing in a very long time. Tolani had great reviews and the photos on the website made it a perfect place to take my wife for some quality alone time. Our visit definitely made it worth getting a parking ticket. We agreed to make Tolani our spot. Great times with great memories.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Service
    Aadebowale
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    The staff was very attentive to our needs even when we has a Groupon. We greeted warmly by the hostess and were seated in the outdoor patio downstairs. Our waitress came right away and the food did not take long to come out at all. The food was great, I ordered an egg white omelette (could have used more salt/seasoning) and the breakfast burrito (which was absolute heaven). The mimosas and bellini's were just right as well - I will be returning soon!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Big Disappointment
    ibp1018VIP
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    My husband and I were looking forward to our date night and reliving our trip to South Africa. First it took them 20 min to bring us our wine only to find out that they were out of both South Africa Sav Blancs so they brought us a french one and then they were out of Biltong. The service was terrible and the food had practically no flavor. We will not be returning.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great find
    Greatspot
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    Cute little garden area downstairs. We were seated right away. Very knowledgable staff. Food was excellent especially the fish tacos. It began to rain so we seated inside where it was much noisier than outside. Prices are very reasonable. Great meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.