Eating Fabulously, Christopher Stewart, VANDAL, restaurant review, Vandal restaurant review by Eating Fabulously, NYC, Vandal NYC

Theres something really weird happening with the NYC dining scene these days. 
The thing about the NYC dining scene these days is that people are dining out in high numbers to enjoy the experience and grab high numbers on Instagram, all the while settling for mediocre food. 

Eating Fabulously, Christopher Stewart, VANDAL, restaurant review, Vandal restaurant review by Eating Fabulously, NYC, Vandal NYC

Enter Vandal, the new and extremely large restaurant located on The Bowery here in NYC. Brought to us by The TAO Group, its globally inspired street culture from corner to corner of  this building all the way down to the menu. There is OVANDO, an extremely beautiful full service flower shop and botanical gallery as you walk in the restaurant and lounge. This place is huge, dark and sexy and the art and decor at Vandal is breathtaking. Each room has a different artistic vibe which is perfect for grabbing your girls and blowing up social media on a fab night out. 

Another NYC problem is reservations. Vandal is also hard to get into sometimes. Reservations online go quick and I just so happen to try my luck and was able to grab a reservation on Opentable a week prior for my best friends intimate birthday brunch. As we got escorted to our table in the secret garden, now is the time for the real deal. Brunch in NYC. Here's what we ordered....

Peach Bellini's x valdo prosecco x peach puree 
Blue Roses x blueberry simple x rosemary simple x lemon juice x sparkling water
Churros x spicy chocolate 
Chilaquiles x skirt steak x verde sauce x sunny side up egg 
Smoked Lamb Gyro x tzatziki x feta x lettuce x onion x tomato 
Jerk Spiced Salmon BLT x smoked bacon x avocado x mustard greens x blood orange scotch bonnet aioli 
Chicken Katsu + Hong Kong Egg Waffles x braised collard greens 
Grilled Brussels Sprouts x chipotle kewpie x queso fresco x cilantro x lime 

I really wanted to like Vandal. Once seated no one came to our table or even offered us water for 10 minutes. Aside from my table of 4 guests in the secret garden, there was a larger table and 3 smaller tables as well, so its not like we were forgotten in the rush of a busy brunch service. We ordered churros for the table as a starter, only to our surprise to not receive them until the end of our meal as our server took it upon himself to make that decision for us. 30 minutes later our food arrives only for it to be cold, room temperature at best. No matter how busy or slow you are, cold food should not be coming out of any restaurant kitchen at any time, especially when the rush of brunch has already died down. 

I will say that there were 2 good dishes on our table, the Chicken Katsu with Hong Kong waffles (think chicken and waffles ) and the grilled brussels sprouts. These 2 dishes aren't worth going back to Vandal for, but they did help make the stay more palatable, along with my blue roses mocktail. I ordered the smoked lamb gyro which was neither smoked or enjoyable. I am a fan of gyro's and for just $8 I could have gotten a more fabulous, hot and flavorful gyro from the Gyro King on Fordham Road in the Bronx. 

As we paid our $209 brunch bill for mediocre food I began to just sit back and not only think about all of the better more composed food Ive eaten, but if I just received the short end of the stick on the Vandal experience people constantly rave about. What exactly are they raving about?  There are so many restaurants in NYC that people are becoming desensitized to what great food is and what great dining experiences are. 

A fabulous dining experience opens all of your senses, from the time you make a reservation all the way down to signing your bill. None of my senses were enlightened at Vandal, but my Instagram likes did go up a few notches.

199 Bowery 
New York, N.Y. 10002 
Website | Instagram 

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