Saturday, September 21, 2013

Review: Revel in Garden City

New place, opened on Tuesday (Sep. 17), on Franklin Ave. in Garden City (TD Bank building). Had lunch there on Friday.

The dining area is small, so they try to create the illusion of space with an open ceiling and big mirrors on the walls. A big bar spans almost the entire back of the dining area.

They also did a good job of hiring all cute waitresses, a la the hostesses at Insignia. That's smart, of course. Older, successful businessmen (and their male clients) want to be around young, pretty girls.

The decor is an overall gray and dark blue/green, which I didn't really dig, though my lunch companion liked it. Unusual for a Franklin Ave restaurant. I guess it's trying to be city, edgy, modern--even the font of the letters. They seem to be targeting the local finance and other professional crowd for lunch and dinner.

The seats are covered in a fabric that was on a couch my grandma had when I was a kid (which she called a davenport). So my first thought was "cheap". Maybe that's unfair.

The menu is big and ambitious and a little strange. Grilled octopus sandwich? With olives on it? Sounds f*cking gross.

Prices for lunch are $2-3 more per dish more than an average Garden City place. Dinner is priced like an upper-tier Long Island restaurant (though not the most expensive). Dinner entrees average around $27. Much more for steak.

I had the 1855 hamburger ($14.00!) because not much else on the lunch menu sounded very good for under $15. The meat was dry, the bun was dry and crumbly/stale (hate that), and way too big for the hamburger. There was no cheese, and instead of onions, there was a red wine shallot marmalade, which didn't really add to my enjoyment. So, it was OK, not great.

My lunch companion had the chicken & avocado BLT ($12.00). She said it was OK but was dry and needed some kind of sauce.

The sandwiches are served with "waffle fries." They are not waffle fries, more like french fry pillows. They also come with a little mesclun salad and a mustard vinaigrette. That did nothing for me.

If I were the owners, I'd scale down the menu and concentrate on getting each dish perfect. You're a small restaurant, and it's Garden City. And if you're trying to stand out with the flavors of the food, don't get too crazy. (I'm sure they don't care what I say.)

2.5 out of 5 stars
Revel Restaurant & Bar
835 Franklin Avenue
Garden City, NY


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