August 7, 2008

Peasant - The restaurant name belies its snobbery

PeasantMediocre food - Not worth the rude service.

So I arrived on time for an 8pm reservation for 7 people, after being warned of a $25/person charge if we were late or did not show - this is a new phenomenon taking place to try to curb the rampant no-shows precipitated by the ease of Open Table.

While understand that it is frustrating for restaurants when faced with no-shows, I think a simple confirmation call is the most you can do.

Anyhow, onto the experience. When we arrived exactly at 8pm our table was not ready, which would be fine except there was no estimated time for availability.

After inquiring about downstairs, we were offered a tiny bench-like table. This too may have been fine, but we were entertaining out of town guests, some of who were a little older and the prospect of sitting without a simple chair back for a 2 hour dinner (and trust me, dinner at Peasant takes 2 hours) seemed a little daunting.

After seeing a nicer table, with at least chair backs, we were told that table was reserved for a party coming in at 9pm. Understandable...except how come our table hadn't been similarly protected?

We were told that our table was occupied by an earlier party who arrived very late for their reservation.

What is particularly disappointing is that our party was not treated the same way as other parties- and the manager rewarded us with a mere shrug and comment "what do you expect me to do?"

What I expect is that management be held to the same standards they require of their patrons - when the earlier party arrived late, why were they not told that the table was reserved for a party coming in at 8pm as we were told that we could not have a table reserved for 9pm?

I can only assume that my party was not "hip enough" in the contrived look the other patrons seemed to be sporting...

Make sure you have on your best hipster duds...girls put on those gladiators, and boys...don't shave for a couple days before you come. It gives you the grungy rocker look that seems to earn you more points with the hostess. (picture from

194 Elizabeth St., New York, NY

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