Two weeks ago, famed downtown Jewish delicatessen 2nd Avenue Deli spread its wings northward and opened up shop on the Upper East Side. Loyalists and deli-deprived Upper East Siders are happy to have the import in the neighborhood, while the penny pinchers and naysayers complain of the high prices and ho-hum food. Check out those and more early responses up ahead.
The Rave: One Eater commenter is an early fan: "Just ate here yesterday. Food was amazing as always and totally worth the wait. So glad they are finally uptown near me!" [Eater Comments]
The Overpriced News: From a Yelper: "New Yorker born and raised. 1)Brisket=one star 2)pastrami=one star 3)matzah ball=one star. Cost of my mistake with 3 cream sodas= $52.04" [Yelp]
The Pricey but Good News: From a tipster who went on opening day: "Mama and I got take out since the line was crazy long for a table. Prices were high, as expected. But 11.95 for gefilte fish? One piece? Anyway, the printer messed up our blintze order and we had to wait 30 mins. The manager was so sweet and kind and offered us a nosh of chopped liver and even sent us home with a complimentary container! It is so nice to finally have a GOOD, even GREAT, diner in the neighborhood. This place smells like grandma’s and heaven put together. Tastes the same as well." [Eater Tipline]
The Bad News: Another Eater commenter is not so easily impressed: "Just had lunch there and was way underwhelmed. The one thing I wanted (hard salami sandwich) they did not have (it was going to be $16.) And it was stupidly expensive for a place with ho-hum food, no atmosphere--nothing really to recommend it other than very nice waitstaff. Just around the corner, but I won't be going back. Who eats that stuff, anyway? Fat people, that's who. [Eater Comments]
The Good News: Phude NYC, a longtime 2nd Avenue Deli fan, tries out the new iteration and loves it: "This level of hospitality cannot be taught at a culinary school; it is mentored and measured through generations of real families. Families who grew up with other families, loved their neighbors, and would go out of their way to make someone feel right at home. That kind of care and attention—if you’re lucky—can also carry over into some really fine food, as is the case right now at the newest 2nd Avenue Deli, where everything is being served with love, finesse, a friendly salutation, and a smile." [Phude NYC]
The Great News: A few Yelpers file complete raves for the place, including this one: "A great addition to the area. I will miss Wicked Wolf, the great understated bar/restaurant that occupied this location for over 20 years, but the UES is really weak in the pastrami dept. These guys spent a lot of money making this location special. The dinning area is wide and the seating is comfy, not cramped like the 33rd location, like flying coach (yuck). Yes, its a tad expensive. My sandwich with fries was $24 bucks but I wont eat this every day. They are going to be open till 4am so I am sure this will become THE place to eat after a night of drinking." [Yelp]