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The Early Word on Yotel Small Plates Spot DohYO

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Krieger, 6/13/11

Three weeks ago, DohYO a restaurant designed after a sumo wrestling ring, opened up inside quirky Hell's Kitchen boutique Yotel. The hotel itself has garnered less than stellar reviews, and to describe the food served at DohYO is a mouthful in itself: Latin-Asian fusion, small-plates cuisine. But what's the restaurant actually like? A few early customers find out:

The Good (but Previewed) News: A Yelper has nothing but praise for an on-the-house preview dinner she had early this month. She says, "The halibut sliders and the grilled salmon were the standout winners of the evening. The bread on the sliders was perfectly toasted on the bottom, the halibut was nice and soft and the thick cut of tomato over the top was one of the juiciest I've had...The crunchy shrimp and the shrimp ceviche were also both outstanding...If your Dohyo can run as well when it opens to the public as it did for F&F [Friends & Family], this spot will be unmatched for food, ambiance and design for years to come..." [Yelp]

More Good News: New York Drinkie enjoyed the cocktails at DohYO: The Strawberry-Lychee Mojito has a "bright taste and a good balance of sweet and tart," while the Blueberry-Shiso Caipirinha, "mixing cachaca, fresh blueberry puree, torn shiso leaves and lime wedges muddled with raw brown sugar," had a "smoky spirit and aromatic herb [which] complemented the cocktail’s fruity flavor." The reviewer also enjoyed the food, noting a Seared Tuna Causa that "looked like Play-Doh, but tasted great." [New York Drinkie]

The Not-So-Good News: The one negative Yelper (out of three) encountered service so bad that he didn't even bother to sit down. "We were there for dinner, and the host first sat us at these two white rocking chairs, and there was a small cocktail table next to the chairs (not an ideal place to eat dinner). I told her that we wanted full-dinner, and asked if we could please be seated at a table and she said, "it'll be fine here." After a few minutes of sitting there, I heard the host talking to a gentleman seated at a table nearby, and the host was saying she was, "so sorry!" I then heard the man say that he had been waiting more than 20 minutes for a server to come over and greet him. Now, be aware that this table was the closest table to the host podium, and I would think one of the two or three managers and/or the host on duty last night would have noticed that sooner." It gets worse, too: "We sat at the table and five minutes passed, then 10. The host noticed that we still had our menus and that no one had come by and said that she would get us a server. 15 minutes later, still no one had come by. I had enough." [Yelp]

The Pretty Decent News: Robert Sietsema (of the Village Voice) takes an early look, and he likes some of it: "The food at Dohyo parallels the room-price relationship of the hotel's cabins, that is, the prices seem reasonable for small plates, but when you find out how small the plates really are, not so much...Many of the twists are things you've seen many times before, but the quality of the raw materials is astonishingly high, and many of the dishes delicious." In particular, he notes an "excellent", but "comically small" black cod. "Would I go back? Yes, for a drink and a snack on the wonderful terrace, which was only half full when we were there, but probably not for a whole meal," he concludes. [FitR]

The Not So Great News: An Eater tipster writes in: "I tried Dohyo and the food was okay. I liked the halibut slider and the shrimp especially. But it's not a place I'd ever want to return to, just because you feel like you're in an airport food court. That said, the outdoor space is pretty sweet and fairly underpopulated at this point." [Eater Tipline]

The 140-Character News: It doesn't get more blunt than a tweet from (@i8and8): "Dohyo was a huge fail. Food is lacking in many ways." [Twitter]
—Alex Ma


570 Tenth Avenue, New York, NY 10036


570 10th Ave., New York, NY