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  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out Italian Lower East Side Moderate Don't Bother

One word comes to mind when recalling my dinner at Pulino’s, Keith McNally's newest restaurant specializing in wood-fired pizzas by chef Nate Appleman of A-16 in San Francisco. That word would be, well, chaos.

The experience is positively drenched in it, from the moment you enter, behind a haphazard queue of doe-eyed male models, bronzed twenty-somethings in leggings, long skinny tanks, and gladiator sandals, sunglassed throngs of European tourists, and the occasional happy toddler with overtired parents if you are there before 6:30 (Free pizza is given to all kids from 5-6:30pm). Finding the host to check in with is the first problem. Handsome men with impossibly high cheekbones and fantastically smooth skin man the door in plain gray t-shirts, but these are not hosts. These boys are just here for show and to alert you to the fact that there is a host, and that he will be with you shortly or as soon as he returns, whichever comes first. The host, who actually did arrive in good time, is a tall, equally handsome and distinguished man with a graying mane of dreadlocks tied back neatly, who does seem to have some ability to rein in and control the chaos. Impressive. He will eventually seat you. As to where you will be seated, well, that would be in the midst of chaos yet again.

Tables are jammed together like they were trying to make the last lifeboat off the Titanic and the hodgepodge of metal chairs paired with them are cold, hard, and down right mean. They are not made to be lingered in. What’s worse is that the din of noise in the dining room makes sitting outside on the Bowery seem like an oasis of calm. Dining on the 4-train platform during rush hour might be less stressful. Every sentence we uttered that night was punctuated by “What? I can’t hear you. Can you say that again?” A friend was talking about her great deck. All I heard was mention of a great dick. I was confused. Not good. But look around the place and the noise level is really not all surprising. With the signature McNally subway tiles, distressed mirrors, and raw weathered brick on the walls, black and white linoleum tiles on the floors, and tin ceilings above, the place is a recipe for noise on the level of a jet engine. It delivers, and then some.

Chaos is not only in the air at Pulino’s; it’s on the plate, too. Food is practically tossed out of the open kitchen with the force of a javelin. Our first cour ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Lower East Side :
+ Mojo   + WD-50   + Schiller's Liquor Bar   + Azul Bistro   + Barrio Chino   + 71 Clinton Fresh Food-- Closed   + Little Giant   + Kuma Inn   + Falai   + The Stanton Social   + The Tides   + Thor   + The Orchard   + El Bocadito-- CLOSED   + Bondi Road   + Rayuela   + Suba   + Bun (boone)   + Sorella   + The Fat Hippo   + Pulino's   

“Funny... :)”

This is the funniest negative review of any place I have read in a long time -it rivals those of Alan Richman. I've been wanting to visit Pulino's since it opened, but always got the vibe that it was exactly the place you are describing here....Glad I read this! Keep up the excellent work!

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