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Good News/ Bad News Macondo

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Macondo, the new Latin American "upscale street food" restaurant from the owners of Rayuela, opened just two weeks ago on the LES, and already there are user reviews, planted shills, and write ups about everything from the cocktail list to the stools on various food sites. It sounds like the place has experienced more than a few service blips in their short existence but that they still have some early fans in the nabe. Let's take a look at the Good News and the Bad News:

1) The Good News: Gastro Chic is the first blogger to report on the new space and she has some mostly good news: "The decor verges on the kitschy, with rope baskets slung above the bar holding bananas and pineapples, but it's also creative...We came more for the cocktails for the food, but the food at this pan-Latin spot...more than stands up to the drinks menu...All in all, Macondo looks like a promising place to bring friends, especially that bizarre breed of friend that always wants to meet at the dinner hour 'for drinks'...Cocktails for a liquid diet, food for everyone--what more could you ask for? Macondo should be around for the long haul. [Gastro Chic]

2) The Bad News: The Macondo Citysearch page has a suspicious number of five star reviews by users who have only reviewed it and its sister restaurant Rayuela. But there are a couple detractors with bad news: "I was very excited to try this new restaurant, but unfortunately was extremely disappointed. First of all it was about 100 degrees inside...The food was very average. We ordered the lamb tacos, vegetarian arepas (completely tasteless), patatas brava -- but the rest of our order was forgotten. When we pointed out that we were still charged for the plate we never received, it took a very long time for the waiter to return with the corrected bill." [Citysearch]

3) The Good News: Like on Citysearch some of the Yelp reviews sound shilly, but this person may have just had a really good time: "...although it was a tuesday night and not as busy as a weekend, there were still a good amount of people in the new and pleasantly luscious space...everyone from the hostess to the waiter to the manager was pleasant and friendly. we got a complimentary starter of delicious calamari and although the drinks are delicious - definitely on the small side...our waters were constantly replenished which i appreciate. the mofongo con conchinillo...was tasty...the willianco arepa...was really interesting and very good especially since i'm loving fig in my food lately...i would come again and maybe stick to cervezas in lieu of delicious yet unfortunately small cocktails..." [Yelp]

4) The Bad News: Not all Yelpers enjoy the place : "Dinner on Friday evenings can be hectic. I understand. Especially if it is only your second day open. But seriously? If your food is mediocre, your drinks are small, and your service is shoddy, you're not likely to build up a stellar rep...Tips for Macondo: Do not run out of 2 of the 6 beers offered on your beer menu...When your customer says, hey, I ordered the shrimp empanada and not this spinach one you brought me, say woops, sorry, let me get you that shrimp empanada. Do not come back and say defensively, but I put the order in for shrimp, therefore, it must have been shrimp...When your customers ask for hot sauce, don't look at them as if they have 3 eyes." [Yelp]
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