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26 Seats - 31 Reviews - 168 Ave B, New York, NY - Local Favorite Reviews - Phone (212) 677-4787

26 Seats

168 Ave B (at nr. 11th St.)
New York, NY 10009
(212) 677-4787
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26 Seats - New York, NY
26 Seats - New York, NY
26 Seats - New York, NY
26 Seats - New York, NY
26 Seats - New York, NY


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Well, they aren't kidding when they say to reserve. The place really is tiny, but it makes the setting much more intimate and inviting. The ambiance was soft and warm and romantic...


26 Seats has been one of our favorite restaurants since moving here 5 years ago and we go often. Last night's experience will make us think twice about going back. We had an 8 pm ...

Love, Love, Love it! 8/21/2009

My friend and I randomly decided to give this place a try after doing a search online for a place to eat around LES. So glad we did! We came on a Tuesday night, was pretty empty when we got there around 7 pm but more people filled in later on. It's small and charming, very quaint inside. There is small outdoor seating in the front. Service was fine, there was only one waitress/hostess there the night we went and didn't have any problems. She was quite knowledgable on wine recommendations and we each had the special of the day. I had the duck confit (2 legs) w mashed potatoes. It was incredible! The flavor was so good, and the meat was very tender and moist. The potatoes were creamy. I tend to get duck a lot when I see it on the menu and this one was the best duck meals I've had. My friend had the Chilean sea bass which was also deliciously tender and full of flavor. I would totally come back and try other stuff on the menu. An enjoyable dining experience and great price. The specials of the day were $18 each. I'm surprised I've never heard of this place before, think I will have to check out more places around Alphabet City to find more local good spots to try! Pros: Food, ambience, wine Cons: nothing more

Great food, poor service 2/14/2009

26 Seats has been one of our favorite restaurants since moving here 5 years ago and we go often. Last night's experience will make us think twice about going back. We had an 8 pm reservation and were seated a bit later at 8:25pm - which was completely fine with us, except that there was a 9pm reservation on our table. We had ordered 2 apps, 2 entrees and a bottle of wine and had planned on dessert - enough to buy us a fair 1-1.5 hour meal...The 9pm party was of course impatient which I understand after waiting 30 minutes and they all came in and stood by our table - we agreed (before finishing our last bite of our dinner) to move to another table to finish our bottle of wine. Our waitress did not apologize for making us move, did not offer us dessert or coffee and brought our check while we were still finishing our last glass - the rudest service we've received in a long time. The apps were great (garlic sausages & escargot), but our Duck Confit was undercooked - in an attempt to rush us further. I've worked in a restaurant and I know how important it is to turn tables and I never linger longer than I need if people are waiting, but having reservations on tables 1 hour apart is poor management. Although the food is usually great, we might never go back because the service was so bad. If you want to try the food, my advice - go on a weekday! more

Like Paris 2/9/2009

We eat here often (early) and love the food. We are always surprised every time we come here that we feel like we are in Paris again. On a cold recent evening we were seated right away and served our wine. A big cowboy and his wife came in and had a tough time, I think, acclimating to the fact that there were only 26 seats. I think they moved to 22 of the seats trying to find the right one. The staff really worked with them. I was in awe. We had a lovely meal, too. more

Time Limit (although they don't tell you) and Bad service 3/1/2008

They fail to tell you, just expect you to know, there is a strict time limit on tables. We were virtually ignored. Customers seated after us were served entrees by the time we had our orders taken. I asked for bread 3 times before it was brought (and it was icy cold inside and hot on the outside). I was still drinking my coffee when we were told to leave because they needed the table. We didn't sign fast enough so the hostess yelled at us. When my friend told her what we thought she started an argument! In order to get up from the table they table has to be wiggled out into the isle. I asked her to finish pulling the table out so I could leave and she refused! The couple at the next table had been contemplating desert but decided to go elsewhere. i suggest you do too. Pros: Nice customers Cons: Poor wait staff, Rude Hostess, food not so great more

Can't even handle 26 seats... 5/29/2007

What a horrible experience for a place that we were expecting to be a great dinner out. Made a reservation which they did not uphold and then lied and said they called to confirm (which I am 100% positive they did not). Hostess was rude and couldn't deal with the volume...and it's only 26 seats!! They need to get their act together and hire better service or AT LEAST teach staff how to run a restaurant. I don't care how good the food is (am not sure of that since we didn't have any). There are plenty of places with good food and no attitude. Would never even give it a second chance. more

Hidden Gem! 4/22/2007

Well, they aren't kidding when they say to reserve. The place really is tiny, but it makes the setting much more intimate and inviting. The ambiance was soft and warm and romantic, made you feel you were at a cozy dinner at your French friend's house. I went with 5 other girlfriends and got the benefit of trying everyone's dish. As for appetizers, the French Onion soup was good, as was the sausage and potato dish (though I wasn't as big as a fan as others). I got the mussels special as my entree, and it was very good! Very! Then the girls had the Bass, Lamb Shank, Duck and Steak, the latter two being my fav's of the night, but overall everything was very tasty. And filling. And the wine selection was good, but the price was affordable. And the desserts were wonderful as well. It really is a hidden gem. I'd say, if you're not into dining in over-the-top frou frou restaurants but you still want an over-the-top meal, go to 26 seats. Pros: Warm and Inviting, Great tasting food Cons: A wee bit cramped more

Wonderful East Village Gem 3/3/2007

Went to 26 seats for a friend's birthday. It's a lovely gem on avenue B. Truly an ideal date place, candle lit interior with a wonderful atmosphere. The food is generally excellent with a few exceptions, generous portions and affordably priced. The Lobster Bisque app I had was a bit fishy but the Salad 26, and the Onion Tart were hits at our table. Entrees that were popular at our table were the Steak, and the Salmon. The duck was less popular. Best of all was dessert, with everything quite tasty. I will definitely return in the future. more

Great food, middling service 2/25/2007

Went to this restaurant a night back. The food was delicious, with excellent portions. The only problem was that the waitress was trying to hurry me and my date out the whole time. First, she shuffled us from one table to another, explaining that there was a 9:30 reservation on the table. Then she tried to take away our appetizers while we were still eating them. Even though we said we were still eating, she had the kitchen bring out our entrees within less than a minute!\r \r I'm sure that there were some problems with their reservations that night, but they certainly could have handled the situation better than they did. more

Tight space, well-priced food 11/15/2006

I went with my husband last night and found the food to be aggressively spiced, but overall good. I ordered the striped seabass, which I actually had to send back because it was chewy and had wayyyy too much salt. Maybe it had been defrosted too fast or was old. The waitress was so nice and replaced it with a tasty lamb dish. My husband got the duck confit, which was amazing, and I loved the sweet potato side.\r Good value, but be prepared to hear everything your annoying neighbor is saying whether you like it or not- the space is really tight! more

Should be 16 seats 11/2/2006

Unfortunately for the chef, who presented us with some great flavors and combinations, the venue brought this experience down on our list. It was cozy and charming, but maybe a little too cozy. The waitresses bumped into us every time they walked by, several times a minute. And every time they passed, we had to secure our cups and plates from falling on our laps. The table was hardly big enough to hold a medium sized plate and a glass. The menu was very interesting, and prices were very reasonable. The menu could have contained a few more small plates options. Pros: Great flavors Cons: Incredibly small and uncomfortable more

Mashed potatoes out of a box 10/20/2006

A group of friends went to 26 seats for a birthday celebration. The birthday girl ordered the venison special, which was barely edible. One slice of meat was correctly cooked to medium-rare, where another slice so well done that we could have used it to make shoes! When she told the waitress that the meat was inedible, she was told ""that is the way it is cooked"". Really??\r No offer was made to replace the dish.\r My main course was duck confit, which was amazing. Unfortunately it was served with mashed potatoes that were not from nature - they were reconstituted powdered mash. Absolutely hideous! (I had two native-born Irish girls with me who concurred on my potato assessment.)\r All in all, I would not recommend the restaurant unless you like terrible food. Pros: the duck confit was fab Cons: the venison was overcooked, the mashed potatoes were out of a box. more

lovely... 10/11/2006

my husband took me here last night for my birthday and i truly enjoyed the experience.\r staff are the nicest...can't believe it's nyc. the food, all so delicious...grilled asparagus, lobster bisque, striped bass, salmon, every bite was scrumptious. pinot was perfect with the fish. creme brulee with port, yum! all in between very friendly service. and, a tidy restroom made my night! Pros: scrumptious romantic dinner with vino and dessert all for $100 more

Nicely priced, cozy French-style dinner 8/30/2006

I've been here at least a dozen times. There's much to love about this place (just read the other reviews). The place is really small so I urge you to go before 6:30 to feel most confortable. You will also get better service if you go a bit earlier. I like both the ambiance and the wait staff. They will not have patience with an impolite person however and really picky eaters who like to send stuff back to the kitchen should likely try some other restaurant. \r \r Personally, this is one of my favorite NYC places for a quiet inexpensive tasty dinner.\r Pros: excellent prices and nice ambiance Cons: Tiny place and way too crowded after 8pm more

great date spot for cuisine magnifique! 8/28/2006

Took my g/friend for her 2nd nite b/day outing (yesterday was as sushi gari). My colleague recommended this small very quaint spot. As I entertain clients often on expense account, I tend to take for granted the restaurants I visit. I really miss out on these nice small unpretentious spots as I don't visit for entertaining. So I rely on others to steer me to these places, so nice to sit back chill out & not be deal-ing all the time. We had a delicious duck for entrees but the appetizers & desserts are equally as good. French wine was nice, service was very warm & friendly. And can not believe the value you get for French in NYC!! Can not beat the quality offerings for the price you pay. I can be spoiled by entertaining so much but I can also appreciate these understated spots around time. Pros: best little french spot in NYC! more

It's worth the tight squeeze! 3/25/2006

My husband and I loved 26 Seats! The prices on the menu are rare to see in NYC--very reasonable. The mussles appetizer was delicious along with my peppercorn steak. The food wes served steaming hot and the service was excellent. We will be back soon! Pros: prices, food, service Cons: close tables more

Fantastique 2/25/2006

Where to start...I took my girlfriend there for her birthday, and as soon as we got in, it struck me that there certainly was no more appropriate name for this restaurant than ""26 Seats"". We were seated as soon as we entered, she took our order 5 minutes later, the food was delicious...but the Riesling could've been better, but that hardly ruined my duck with some amazing sauce, and the sweet potatoes...yum. It was $100 tax+tip You're packed in like sardines, but its so worth it. We even started friendly conversations with the tables to our left and right. It was a first date on the left, and two unmarried elderlies discussing politics on the right. Mixed crowd. Pros: Great food, Good service, Good value Cons: Cheap wine list more

Such a pleasure! 1/29/2006

I ate at 26 seats this weekend and had an amazing experience. The service is a perfect balance; it is 100% attentive yet non-intrusive. Our waitress had a French accent and her caring and knowledgeable attitude she discplayed with each table led us to beleive she was the owner. Later, we overheard that she merely works there a few nights a week. The food is outstanding and the prices are a steal. With tax and tip, we only spent $72. We had the mussels and the 26 salad. For entrees we had the chicken & the duck. Both were tender and the flavors were tastey. The portions were overly generous for both the apps and entrees without sacrificing the quality. Our water glasses were always full and our beers were ice cold. The environment is cozy. We are definitely going back soon. I highly recommend it, but make a reservation. Pros: food quality, prices, cozy Cons: very small, need advance reserv., no bar area more

Romantic, GREAT Value, Special!!! 1/17/2006

This has to be one of my most favorite dining experiences in NYC and I've been dining out for years. This place is definitely very romantic, with outstanding food and pretty good service. What truly sets this restaurant apart is it's diminuitive size which should not be confused with it's over the top food. Dinner for two came out to $100 including tax+tip. We had: *Soup, forget what kind but it was great *Appetizer-Snails in garlic sauce, which was so good, we confused the snails for mushrooms *Entrees - We had the duck confit & lamb shank. I tried both and definitley thought the duck was amazing, I'm not generally not a big fan of lamb shank but thought they did a good job here. *Dessert - Great chocolate mousse *A bottle of white wine; only $24. Make sure you make reservations as there are only 26 seats here. Pros: Excellent Value, Great Food, Friendly Staff more

Great French food in the city 1/2/2006

Went there for new year's eve. They had a prix fixe menu with the most amazing cooked quail appetizer, then lobster bisque, followed by a divine choice of entree, and then the chocolate mousse dessert. Served personally by the owner. Very friendly and relaxed - not at all stuffy. Pros: Intimate, Romantic, Great food Cons: A bit rushed more

My new Home away from Home 11/10/2005

This is hands down my new fave in NYC. After eating there for the first time two weeks ago, I commented to the person I was with that this tasted like home cooking...and sure enough I was right...The chef/Owner ,Bernard, is from the same town that I grew up in. Poitier,France. Now i knew i had found true home cooking. This tiny restaurant is sure to be your next fave. The duck confit, which I have already had 4 times in the past 2 weeks, is the most spectacular I have ever tasted. Please try to order a dish that is served with the corn cake. It is amazing. The lobster bisque is warm and rich and the chocalate mouse is delicious. I have never been to a restaurant where the staff was more charming or gracious. The staff here makes you feel like family. Pros: prompt, friendly, inexpensive Cons: seating more
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Menu for 26 Seats

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  • The Scene
    This pantry-sized restaurant crams in an unbelievable amount of chairs--26 of them, to be exact, and not one of them the same. A homey handpicked feel prevails throughout, as if...

  • 10/24/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Tue-Thu and Sun, 5:30pm-10pm; Fri-Sat, 5:30pm-11pm; Mon, closed
  • Payments:

    American Express
  • Neighborhoods:

    Downtown, East Village, Alphabet City