Earlier this month, we were invited to the opening preview of RSVP Restaurant and Lounge where we were one of the first to taste-test cocktails and delicious hor d’oeuvres. Last week, we were invited back for the full dining experience. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and caliber of the food, and the night was full of magic – quite literally!
The decor is grand with opulent chandeliers, reminiscent of a trendy hotel bar. If you’re too busy staring at the glistening mirrors on the wall, you may miss that the dark back wall is actually a small stage. We’re still not entirely sure what the stage is for, but stay tuned to hear what’s coming in the works.
Because of the ritzy interior, you can tell that the restaurant is catering to upscale clientele who want more than just food with that price tag: they want a fully immersed dining experience, they expect the unexpected in variety and quality, and they seek friendly service and hospitality, along with entertainment and a lively atmosphere. You’re sure to find that here.
Walking inside from the sweltering heat, I was immediately offered water and wine. In desperate need of a chilled glass of white, the polite waiter sense my frazzled-ness and suggested a crisp, chilled glass of pinot grigio, not to sweet but entirely refreshing. Don’t forget about the cocktail list, which is a great way to kick-off the evening, as indicated by a gaggle of girls at the table across the room dressed for a Saturday night out in the Hamptons, in on a balmy Tuesday night in West Soho.
It was difficult to choose what to start with from the appetizers, from duck buns, foie gras dumplings, and ahni tuna spring rolls to the signature RSVP crab cakes, beef tartare tacos, and rock shrimp tempura. We went with our waiter’s suggestion to try the burrata, imported from Itay with a homemade red pepper. The burrata was impossibly smooth and creamy, which complemented the sweet red pepper. We also went with the miso black cod skewer, which I also felt could have been an excellent main dish as a bigger portion with additional veggies.
For the main course, RSVP has been heralded for their seared ahi tuna, served with a trio of sauces. The truffle honey rack of lamb also got me starting to drool, but we decided to try the lobster ravioli. While tasty enough, I really wanted to feel lobster as opposed to the heavy cream sauce. Keeping with the seafood trend, we also tried the cedar roasted branzino, which did not disappoint. The bass was coated with a nice flavor of lemon, garlic, and olive oil, with roasted heirloom tomatoes on top.
Just when you think you’ve had enough, there’s suddenly room for dessert. We were surprised with what we thought was just a normal chocolate molten lava cake, but after cutting through the center and tearing it apart, we discovered that it was a red velvet chocolate molten lava cake, drizzled with even more chocolatey goodness on the outside.
And when that almost pushed us over the edge, we were presented with a large platter of s’mores. Not your typical campfire s’mores: the airy, crispy cracker bottom was topped with a generous heap of Nutella and chocolate syrup, and the small marshmallows were toasted ever-so-gently to a perfect golden brown. While I’m a champ with desserts, this dish needs to be shared with probably a table of at least four.
While we were dining, we had personal entertainer right at our table. John B. Born, International Champion of Close-Up Magic, roamed to each table and performed some slight-of-hand magic to guests. Not wanting to spoil anything, let’s just say that it’s quite mind-blowing – but pay close attention or you’ll miss out on the fun. Mr. JBB will be at RSVP every Tuesday where he will stop by individual tables throughout the night and take the stage at around 11:00 pm for a finale. Check out his site for more!
RSVP is the place to go for a night out, whether to impress a date or having a celebration with friends. The menu does not run cheap, but with the decadent experience from start to finish with great food, strong cocktails, friendly service, and a trendy, chic setting, it’s the place to be seen.
RSVP Restaurant and Lounge
15 Watts St
(at Thompson St)
New York, NY 10013
Photos via RSVP and by Socially Superlative