CLOSED: Counter

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 15 reviews )



105 First Ave (at 6th & 7th St, East Village, Manhattan), New York City, New York, USA, 10003

Counter serves elegant Mediterranean inspired dishes in which local, organic ingredients take center stage. It is the only organic bar of its kind in NYC serving over 300 organic and bio-dynamic wines and nearly every organic beer and spirit available. Mostly vegan. Reported closed to HappyCow.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Organic, Beer/Wine, Delivery, Take-out

15 Reviews

First Review by nychippie

Eligant Restaurant - Edit

Visited on 27/06/11. Nice food, well presented and tasty. Amazing deserts. Modern yet cozy surroundings, very friendly staff. I would recommend this restaurant.

Pros: Nice, healthy food., Friendly Staff

Cons: Quite expensive.

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I don't know - Edit

I was really looking forward to eating here. I heard so many good things about this place, but both my husband and myself thought the meal was just okay and very expensive, even by NY standards. I got the Farmhouse Panni, which again wasn't bad, but not amazing. My husband got the tofu scramble, which he didn't like at all, so we switch cause I at least thought it was okay. I thought the waitress was a bit on the rude side, although she never actually said anything to us, it was just a vibe I got, like we weren't up to her standards. We have had a lot of amazing vegan meals in NYC, and if this were in a small town where there weren't a lot of other place this would be a good choice, however, with so many other amazing choices at your finger tips in NYC, go somewhere else.

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What a great vegan brunch! - Edit

We stopped here for brunch at 11:30 AM on a Saturday. We were expecting a huge crowd, but there were only two other tables with people at them. The restaurant's interior is nice -- comfy and contemporary at the same time. There were nice things to look at on the walls, like cute terrariums in wine glasses and pretty artwork. We started off our brunch with mimosas and the homemade pastry basket. The basket was filled with mini cranberry muffins, biscuits topped with chocolate, and sweet bread slices. The pastries came with a trio of housemade vegan toppings: cinnamon soy butter, berry soy butter, and vegan nutella! Everything was tasty; we gobbled it all up. For my brunch dish, I got the new potato-chive frittata, which was made with tofu and smoked tomato jam. It came with a huge, refreshing spinach salad and whole grain toast. I loved the smokiness of the fritatta. (It tasted like smoked salt may have been used in addition to the smoked tomatoes. Go smoke!) My husband got the biscuits with herb and veggie sausage gravy. We both thought that his dish was just okay. The biscuits seemed a little too thick and dense, and the sausage and gravy could have used a bit more oomph. (We prefer a spicier homemade veggie sausage with a lot of crushed red pepper, fennel seed, sage, basil, and black pepper.) The biscuit dish came with nice home fries and a small mesclun salad, though. Overall, we were really pleased with our experience at Counter. The women that served us were all very nice and attentive. Our bill came to about $60 including the mimosas, which is a little on the high side. It was a special treat for us while in NYC, though, so we didn't mind.

Pros: creative vegan options, vegan brunch, alcohol served

Cons: a little pricey

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Great food, nice ambiance, good wine - Edit

I went here with two friends and has a great meal and excellent wine. We had between us pan roasted brussels sprouts, grilled sweet white corn as appetizers and for a main I had almond crusted tofu, spicy bok choy and farro-wild rice pilaf. The dessert was a trio of ice creams. The food was really very good for the most part -- I thought the flavor of the brussels was especially nice and the tofu was fantastic. It makes my crusted tofu look soooo sad.

The decor was pretty. I didn't notice the chairs were leather and while it doesn't change my opinion of the food I do think it is tactless and inconsiderate to use leather furniture in an almost vegan restaurant. JMO.

The portions for the appetizers and desserts was small -- especially compared to the price.

The wine ranges from 8 to 12 dollars a glass which is probably standard for high end Manhattan, but seemed a bit high for me.

I would go again, gladly, but be prepared for a hefty bill to go along with your good meal.

Pros: food is excellent, ambiance, variety on menu

Cons: leather furniture, price

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Brunch is great - Edit

I'm vegan and take no offense to this place and am surprised by the reviews bashing the furniture and wine. The food was delicious and the service great. I am used to doing some research if a place doesn't claim to be vegan.... and even if they do I never trust the wine, etc. I would be a bit let-down if they labeled themselves as "vegan" - but they aren't so this place is top-notch in my book. Get over it.

My vegan party of 3 enjoyed the frittata (which was a sort of benedict thing and amazing!!!) served with home fries (ok) and spinach with a light dressing. We also had the banana french toast which is more of a dessert-style french toast with a fired outside rather than a traditional french toast - the banana flambe on top was amazing! We also had the pancakes, which were very tasty and crepe-like which was a nice change, but the portion was rather small for the price.

The atmosphere is a nice oasis and overall I/we were very pleased. I can't wait to go back!

Plus - big thanks to the organic/local swing of the place!

Pros: food, service, atmosphere

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Good food weird people - Edit

We loved the food at counter. The service was perfect. The people next to us weirded us out though.

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Leather Chairs?! - Edit

Is this place really vegetarian? The wait staff wasn't vegetarian nor knew much about vegetarianism. And typically, in wine making fining agents are used during to remove tannins, reduce astringency and remove microscopic particles that could cloud the wines. The winemakers decide on which fining agents are used and these may vary from product to product and even batch to batch. Gelatin has been used in winemaking for centuries and is recognized as a traditional method for wine fining, or clarifying. Besides gelatin, other fining agents for wine are often derived from animal and fish products, such as micronized potassium casseinate (casein is milk protein), egg whites, egg albumin, bone char, bull's blood, isinglass (Sturgeon bladder), PVPP (a dairy derivative protein), lysozyme, and skim milk powder. Also, some aromatized wines contain honey or egg-yolk extract. The wait-staff at counter has as good an explanation as to the tannin removing fining agents their vintners use, as their explanation for the leather chairs in their dining room which was basically, none. I'm trying to click on 0 cows as a rating, but the system is saying 2 cows minimum.

. . . Leather Chairs?!?!

Pros: Everyone looks pretty

Cons: Leather Chairs, Expensive, Not vegetarian

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Good, but slightly over-priced - Edit

I would give this five stars if you're really interested in organic wines, but only four if you're interested in just the food.

This is probably the best place to go for a date, because the decor is very nice and it certainly has an upscale feel to it. The food is kind of expensive though compared to other similar restaurants nearby. Also, I once made the HUGE mistake of ordering their "three appetizers as an entree" option, which results in three tiny little plates of food for $15. This does not result in a full meal, and I left there still very hungry and unhappy!

The other entrees are quite good though, and the wines are excellent (if still a bit too expensive).

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Soul Mate - Edit

Well, I'm opening up my own vegan organic and raw cafe and they have very similar style to us!
lvoe the root beer float idea, something i make at home!
and who would've thought u can replace carbohydrates with vegatables like califlower risotto!

1 Response
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prettysmartideas 22 Feb 2013 - Uh, you do know that cauliflower is a carbohydrate, don't you? I mean, you do realize that all fruit, vegetables,nuts, and nuts have carbohydrates, don't you?  

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Loved it! - Edit

We started with the most amazing appetizer, I had to confirm that it was vegan! It's called Mezze, choose the corn beignets and artichoke heart! It was awesome. I had the cauliflower "risotto" which really was more like mashed cauliflower. It was good, but not worth getting; I make something similar at home. My husband had Tournedos of Seitan. It was fantastic w/ a great mustard sauce. We took a chance and got the raw dessert, a nut cake in lavender broth. We still joke about how our adorable waiter pronounced it: lah-ven'dar. It was sublime, I love nuts and I've never had anything like it, crunchy and delicate at the same time. Wow.

We happened to be staying just blocks from Counter, but it's worth the trip downtown.

Pros: Good raw options, Very nice service

Cons: Bathroom is oddly next to a table

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Decent, at best - Edit

Counter is decent at best, but this rating rests heavily on its location, atmosphere and generous portions. The service was friendly. But for the most part, I found the food to be bland and uninspiring, especially considering the hefty price tag. My paella was large, but had no zing to it; it seemed more like a mishmash of fresh vegetables, with little thought to seasoning or taste. Similarly the "tornadoes of seitan" was something more akin to a cloudy day; there was no "pop" to the dish. In the end, I found Counter to be an imitation of other upscale NYC joints like Blossom or Candle 79; though it charges in the same price range as those two, Counter fails to bring the accompanying expectation of taste and novelty.

Pros: Service, Location, Portion sizes

Cons: Bland taste, Expensive, Not distinguished or novel

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Loved it. - Edit

First off - excellent and elegant atsmopshere ... very good customer service. Visited Counter in June 2007 and enjoyed a Chilled Peach Soup - YUM as well as an organic Peach Martini that was the best martini I have ever had - awesome. I will make this a point on my future NYC trips.

Pros: friendly staff, good menu, great martinis!

Cons: pricey

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B-Day Dinner - Edit

I went here last october for my friends birthday. we had a nice dinner and a tastey dessert. i would reccomend the gnocci. i had a veggieburger (it was ok not to die for) the waitstaff were friendly even with our table's ogling. we had fun and got a good meal. i would definitely go back

Pros: appetizers, staff

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wonderful - Edit

this place is wonderful. great tofu scramble and home fries. good vegan place to eat!

Pros: clean, friendly staff, awesome food!

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Romantic and Great Food! - Edit

My boyfriend and I ate at Counter on the last night of our NYC trip over Memorial Day 2007. We sat in the front at an open-air table and shared a bottle of ice wine before ordering dinner. We shared 3 dishes because everything looked so good we couldn't decide. Everything was delicious! The service was extremely friendly and attentive. We ordered two desserts AND the chocolate coffee drinks. Mmmm. We couldn't finish everything we ordered and wished we'd discovered Counter earlier on our trip -we would have come back for seconds!! I enjoyed absolutely everything we ordered. We had a leisurely two hour dinner late at night...and the server was kind enough to let us know when the kitchen was closing so we could order and enjoy our desserts.

Pros: Great Food & Desserts, Friendly Service, Clean, Open Atmosphere

Cons: Expensive

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