Friday, February 11, 2011

It Barely Opened, But Carroll Gardeners Already Have Love/Hate Relationship With *Diego* On Smith




Diego, the new Mexican restaurant that opened in the space occupied until recently by the Union Smith Café at 305 Smith Street, just opened this week. However, long before its doors opened, the eatery generated a bit of controversy when owner James Geritano who also owns Bagels By The Park, told Carroll Gardens Patch that the Executive Chef of Dos Caminos, currently one of New York City's hottest Mexican restaurants, was involved in the new venture. doubted that Stark had such an involvement in the new place, and wrote that her association "has been exaggerated" and that she merely suggested a chef for Diego.
When the actual menu was revealed, many were disappointed and commented on the prices.
($5 for a side of refried beans does seem a bit steep for Smith Street.)

So how is the neighborhood reacting to Diego? Reader Sandra tried it out. She writes:
Diego is now open. We ate there last night and the food was delicious. The guacomole is prepared right at your table and the waiter asks you how much of each ingredient to put in. Very unique and fun. The choc cake was out of this world with the center nice and runny. Diego is def a must to try and go back again and again.
However, this anonymous commenter didn't quite buy Sandra's glowing review.

I think "Sandra" is a shill.
I saw the non Mexican owners quibbling over the old Cafe sign while piles of fake mexican stuff was being delivered. How can they OPEN with piles and piles of trash piled on the side? Two busted tree pots in front and a covered barbeque? FYI AGAINST THE LAW to burn/ grill use fire in front yards. If they try and use it I will report them. I loive a fw houses away from this dirty filthy place. I smell the greasy smelly trash in Summer and have to walk by strangers eating on a dirty corner with trash cans piled high. I will never go here.
Where do you stand? Have you tried Diego yet? How was it?

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Anonymous said...

How can the commenter note how dirty their operation is when they JUST OPENED?

Courtney said...

I think both of the posted comments should taken with a grain of salt. Tableside guacamole hasn't been "unique" since the 80s, and faulting a new establishment for the transgressions of the previous tenants and imagined future transgressions is just bad form. That said, I will try it, but I honestly don't have high hopes for this place. It would be great if they can get a some brunch going... maybe even a decent breakfast taco, please?!

Anonymous said...

Same owners. Same trash. I want the antique store back...and remember, they are reusing the kitchen fryer which I saw being rinsed out with a garden hose. Enjoy those fresh tortilla chips everyone.

Anonymous said...

If this is owned by the Bagels on the Park people then it must be run by the kitchen staff. The only flavor of Hispania there. They can't even toast a bagel properly how do they expect to serve a taco?
Love the comment about "gaucamole being unique and fun". Dude, have you ever left Westchester before?
Look, if they fix the filthy trash situation then why not? I think everyone just needs a punching bag so why not Deigo..or Diego. :)

Anonymous said...

C'mon Katia. The second posting...complaining about the stench in the summer? Has nothing to do with the New restaurant. Is the food any good? How is the staff. Maybe a polite discussion with the owner/manager might reduce the odor problem in the summer.

(I too live on the block and walk by every day on my way to the subway. smells in the summer....but no worse than the rest of the city.)

Sasha said...

My husband and I tried it out last Friday. The decor is not bad, with a little "lounge" section cordoned off near the bar with little cocktail tables where you can still order food. The guacamole and still-hot tortilla chips were good, but everything else was just ok. The tacos were tiny (about half the size of a normal taco) and the meat, rice, and beans were all pretty bland. Service was about the same as Union Smith---on the slow side, but generally friendly, but it was the first Friday after opening, so I'd be willing to blame it on being new and busy. All in all, we agreed to give it another shot, but if the food doesn't improve, we'll happily go back to Oaxaca up the street.

Sasha said...

Oh, and no one made the guacamole to order at our table.

Katia said...

Hi Sasha,
Thanks for the review. I walked by there on Friday evening and the place was pretty busy. I guess everyone will try it once or twice.
Sorry you didn't get the guacomole 'treatment."

RNYC said...

I call BS on the person who complained about the outdoor grill or something. Their unhinged posting I think demonstrates they don't even know which place they're talking about. And the trash being outside has been like that everywhere. Have they been in a coma the last few weeks with the sporadic garbage service we've had since Christmas??

Anonymous said...

Food is not good. And since it's by the same owners as Bagels on the Park, who have the worst service and the worst bagels in Carroll Gardens (which isn't saying much, since they're aren't any proper bagel spots in CG) - I will not be going back to this place, the same way I never went back to Bagels on the Park after I found out how bad their service is: 20 employees behind the counter, and they can't get a proper egg sandwich right.