Saturday night my roommate and I headed out to dinner with a few friends. Â Since two of the six of us live on the West Side, we decided to try the dining scene out on the West Side for once. Â About 20 places were booked for the night for a table of six, but East of Eighth on 23rd (and east of 8th) was available. Â Honestly, the place was two floors and huge. Â It had two bars and some of us even commented that it felt like we stepped into the suburbs because of the sheer size of the restaurant. Â Definitely good for large parties
We were surprised to see how the diverse the menu was – burgers, quesadillas, pizza, pasta, fried chicken and a listing of specials. Â While it was great that there were all these choices, it certainly was tough for us to make a decision – in fact, it must have been a half hour before we finally ordered. Â Several of us were choosing between a few things, so we looked to the waiter for advice. Â We quickly found out half the specials on the menu were gone, and then when asked the waiter what he recommends, he said “everything is good.” When one of us girls named two entrees and asked what he’d pick, he said “eh, they’re both ok.” Â Clearly, she ordered something else. Â Thanks for the help.
We kicked off dinner with calamari and a red sauce, and between the six of us we each got a few rings. Â Calamari was breaded in cornmeal and was pretty good. Â I’m not a huge tentacle fan, so despite sharing the platter with several people, there were plenty of rings to go around.
On to the main courses. Â Between the six of us, two of us got burgers, two of us got shrimp/scallop/lobster ravioli in a spicy crab meat sauce, one got meatloaf and one got fried chicken. Â The favorites at the table were the burgers and the pasta. Â From what I could tell, burgers were huge and the fries, which I stole off of my friend Amy’s plate, tasted really good. Â I got the ravioli though and thought it was pretty good. Â As you may recall, I’m not a huge red sauce person, but since there was shredded crab meat throughout the sauce I may have licked the plate. Â While East of Eighth was generous with the bread basket at the start of the meal, offering different types of bread and foccacia, I would have loved a refill to dip in my sauce.
I found East of Eighth to be good, but with so many restaurants in NYC, it wasn’t a favorite to come back to. Â However, if you are in Chelsea and aren’t familiar with the area, it is a safe place to walk into – you’ll get a decent meal. Â Any suggestions though for great places to eat in Chelsea for the next time I’m in the neighborhood would be appreciated!The Basics Name: East of Eighth Location: 254 W. 23rd Street between 7th and 8th Who to bring: Friends, Groups Price: $$ Most entrees between $10-$19 Overall: Okay. Â 3 stars.