by Matt L. on
So I'm going to give the Ranstead Room a 3 with revisit needed. On one hand, the atmosphere is awesome and the lamb tacos are out of this world (and the large driver behind my happiness leaving Ranstead Room last night). The problem is, El Rey is the restaurant, not Ranstead Room. First, the staff was disappointing at best, bad at worst. The bouncer was downright rude -- the place had emptied out by the time we were leaving, so there was no space issue -- we were waiting for a couple of friends to finish up in the bathroom and the bouncer told us we couldn't wait there and had to stand outside in the rain. Wonderful service culture. The waitress didn't appear very knowledgeable -- compared to the Franklin, where we had started the night, her recommendations were nothing like the drinks they couldn't make. I'm not sold on the bartending team either for the same reasons. When I asked for something tequila based similar to a Oaxaca Old-Fashioned (which they couldn't make...no agave? no mezcal?) I got something frothy and egg white based that kind of reminded me of a Pisco Sour. Somewhere communication broke down along there. My friends did not fare better. One of my friends tried Boulevardiers at both the Franklin and Ranstead Room. One was perfect, one all wrong -- wild guess which one was which? :) The bright side is that the potential is HUGE. Oh and Stephen Starr himself was there -- he was pretty personable when we called him over and I'm psyched to see how SRO Chef Kevin Sbraga does on Top Chef 7. He also said that he's mentioned to the producers the need to do the show in Philly... but that's another story for a different review.
by Damien Budiao on
80s night Thursday = much sweaty fun. I think I prefer the back room music, but I think I would have enjoyed the whole concept even more if the drinks had any alcohol in them. A "double" doesn't mean just pour more mixer in! I need my fix!