|Venue name:||Calle Ocho||Contact:|
45 W 81st St
|Cross street:||between Central Park West and Columbus Ave|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Thu 6–11pm; Fri 6pm–midnight; Sun 11:30am–3pm, 5–10pm|
|Transport:||Subway: B, C to 81st St–Museum of Natural History|
|Price:||Average main course: $25. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V|
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Average User Rating
3.3 / 5
- 5 star:1
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:1
Calle Ocho is situated inside the beautiful Excelsior Hotel on the Upper West Side, just across the street from the Museum of Natural History. Despite the beautiful location and the restaurant’s festive decor, I don’t necessarily visit Calle Ocho for the fine dining experience. To me, their real draw is their fabulously boozy brunch. The brunch menu can be considered tangentially Cuban cuisine, at best. You’re not there for the food as much as you are for the bottomless sangria. The rules are that if there is still food on your plate, then the sangria will keep flowing. This enticing deal draws crowds and you need to book brunch reservations over a month in advance, but my friends have made a habit of turning the morning into a large get-together, after which we sleep off the sangria buzz by spending a sunny afternoons in Central Park.
Came here at the tail end of Sunday brunch and had to make a reservation a month in advance. The place was a mob scene and the service was terrible. Our waiter ended his shift in the middle of serving us and didn't tell us... Then nobody took over for him. The food and sangrias were good, but the subsequent food poisoning certainly left a lasting impression. That being said, we will not be returning.