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The Early Word on Flatiron's New Alison Eighteen

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Alison Eighteen, Alison Price Becker’s return to the NYC restaurant scene after a nearly 10 year hiatus, opened its doors to the public a little over two weeks ago. Aptly named for its location on West 18th Street, the French-inspired American restaurant is currently serving dinner with hopes of opening up for breakfast and lunch soon. The opening was shrouded in excitement and anticipation, but since then, reviews have been few and far between. Those that have eaten at the new flatiron spot are embracing it, for the most part, with open arms. Take a look at what they’re saying.

The Okay News: Wine Spectator writes a detailed description of a recent meal at Alison: “The menu is brief now, with straightforward dishes elevated by careful preparation and presentation. The short wine list focuses on affordable wines, mostly from France and Italy. I went with a friend and we had some hits and some misses. A stew of oysters and celery was thick and a bit dull, but grilled octopus ($15) was succulent. Lamb shoulder cooked on a rotisserie was flavorful, if a bit gristly; the root vegetables that accompanied it were delicious. Briny, juicy razor clams were terrific over tasty but slightly heavy fettucine ($29)?I will definitely return to the restaurant, after giving it some time to find its footing.” [Wine Spectator]

The Over the Top Rave: The lone substantial Yelp review is a rave: "One of the best meals I've had in my life!! I took a date to this new restaurant that opened near my office and both of us agreed it was one of the best meals we've ever had. The dishes all have an elegant simplicity to them, or put another way the dishes aren't challenging to your taste buds. I really didn't know that octopus or lamb shoulder could be so delicious. Highly recommend. I've already been back twice more." [Yelp]

The Mostly Good News: A tweet from @chriswooster: “good start and a nice addition to our neighborhood. a little heavy on the salt across the board, but we enjoyed.” [Twitter]

The Great News: Another tweet is chock full of love: “Just had the most amazing octopus appetizer @alisoneighteen !! And the signature drink is to die for!" [Twitter]

The Good News: An Eater Commenter is pleased: “I just ate there tonight, it's going to be hot hot hot." [Eater Comments]

And the Good News Keeps on Coming: A happy customer recommends the restaurant on Facebook: “Great spot--will def rec to friends looking for a great meal or wine in the flatiron district." [Facebook]

The Rave: A Menupages user files an almost suspicious swoon: "I work in the neighborhood and took a date to this new restaurant that just opened up and had one of the best meals of my life, needless to say she was thrilled as well. All the dishes have relatively simple flavor combinations that aren't too challenging, which usually isn't my style. However, everything we ordered was truly special. My favorite dishes were the octopus and lamb shoulder. I don't know how they manage to cook everything so perfectly and evenly but they do manage. Besides the food the dining room is one of the most romantic and relaxed settings I've seen in a New York restaurant. Truly elegant place. I've already been back twice. Can't wait until they open for lunch too." [Menupages]

The Okay Not Great News: NY Journal files it under "Just Fine": "That old standby, the Raw Yellow Beet Salad shares the plate with slices of escarole and honeycrisp apple (neither very flavorful), with watermelon radishes and cider vinaigrette. It was a dish that read better than it tasted...Both entrées were competently executed, if unexciting...The bread service (baguettes and olive oil) could be better, but petits fours...I won’t run back to Alison Eighteen, but for the intended audience it fulfills its mission well." [NY Journal]

—Claire Nugent

Alison Eighteen

15 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011 212-366-1818

Alison Eighteen

15 West 18th Street New York, NY 10011