The restaurant you’ve been eyeing on Bleecker Street for months is now open. By day, it’s the perfect quaint Italian restaurant. At night, though, we would say it’s become one of the more sceney openings in recent New York history, where the Uptown meets Downtown crowd. Saint Theo’s NYC clearly has atmosphere nailed, but how’s the food? Here’s our first-look review.
Clearly, we weren’t the only ones who eagerly awaited the opening of Saint Theo’s. The décor is one of the most striking aspects of the restaurant. Colorful green walls, pale yellows, Ravello-esque printed ceilings and a just-right sized bar all catch your eye. It’s lively for sure, and even with a packed house, you can still hear your dinner companions, as well as the conversations of those around you. Here’s where the Uptown finance crowd and the West Village neighborhood locals intersect. And quite honestly, the interaction between the two is not always pleasant. People are intense at times, especially since everyone thinks they’re VIPs. Saint Theo’s is clearly the place to be for residents of all geographical locations in NYC at the moment.
Despite the challenges of the guests, the service borders on great. If you don’t have a reservation, they are kindly apologetic. However if you do, then it’s like Norm on Cheers. Michael the manager seems to know everyone’s name. Bartenders take their cocktail responsibilities seriously, and service, considering how packed it is, is also strong.
We expected this to be all scene and merely mediocre food, but that’s happily not the case. The branzino served with mint pesto is one of the best in the city. It’s a huge fish that easily serves two. Pastas are also solidly good, as are the smaller bites like the baccalà mantecato, which is a unique item. Salads are generously portioned to share, and there’s an excellent selection of crudos. Saint Theo’s is like a next level of our beloved Sant Ambroeus. It’s worth a try.