So I haven’t yet mentioned how much I love Groupon. I LOVE GROUPON. There it is people, my true feelings about the group-coupon website. Groupon (because not many people actually know what it is) is a website that features daily deals on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in a variety of cities across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. You buy what is basically a gift certificate, for a percentage off the actual amount of the gift certificate. Follow?
My boyfriend and I receive daily emails for the New York and North Jersey Groupons, and came across a restaurant that sounded quite appetizing, so we bought the Groupon. Chris (the boyfriend) paid $15 for $30 worth of food and drink at Cafetasia in Greenwich Village, NYC. So we received 50% off the actual amount we got.
I could honestly write an entire blog post on how great Groupon is, especially if you want to try out new places without spending a boatload. But this post is about our Cafetasia experience.
Cafetasia is located on East 8th Street, near NYU and Broadway. The dimmed lights and sleek ambience gave off a young, hip vibe. Mirrors lined the walls and tall taper candles decorated the thick wooden tables. The middle of the restaurant held long wooden tables and benches, where couples or groups would sit comfortably next to each other. The tables lining the walls were single tables, holding parties of two, but very close to one another. Cafetasia combined cafeteria style seating with an NYC attitude.
Chris and I arrived around 6:30pm, just in time for happy hour! While we should have been armed with our printed out Groupon, we weren’t, because Chris forgot it at his office (looks like we’ll just have to go back!). Unfortunately, neither of us own an iPhone, so we couldn’t just show the purchased Groupon on our phone. (Groupon has an application for iPhone, so you can just bring the Groupon up on the phone and they can scan it right there and then. For those of you who don’t own an iPhone, like Chris and I, you have to do it the old fashion way, print it out.)
So Chris and I were seated and greeted by our server. The service was decent. Waters were brought to us without asking and dishes were cleared away when appropriate. We ordered drinks off the happy hour menu (which, unfortunately, Groupons are usually not applicable for). I ordered a Mai Tai at $4 and Chris ordered a bottle of Amstel Light at $3. Happy hour was only until 7, but the drink prices were good. We were also able to order off of the happy hour dinner menu which was a fabulous deal. An appetizer, entrée, and beer, wine, soda, or tea all for $10! Of course the happy hour menu was limited, but it still consisted of popular menu foods.
I ordered Gyoza as an appetizer, grill salmon topped with 3 flavor sauce served with mix vegetables as my entrée, and a glass of merlot as my drink. Chris had fried calamari as an app, pad thai as his entrée, and a draft of Brooklyn lager as his beverage.
My gyoza was yummy. It wasn’t like any other gyoza I’ve ever had though. This seemed to be fried or baked because it had a somewhat crunchy, thick shell and was filled with a dark meat (probably pork). Three of these dumplings were served over soy sauce.
I thought it was kind of strange that Chris would order fried calamari at an Asian restaurant, but boy did they do that calamari right! It was crisp and crunchy, laid over lettuce, sided with a spoon full of green sauce with a dab of red in the middle. To be totally honest, I have no idea what the sauce consisted of. To us, it tasted like a combination of honey mustard and duck sauce; but it was green! (If anyone has any idea of what it could be, please, enlighten me!) Whatever it was, it was delicious.
When my meal came out, it looked delicious, I just wish I could say it tasted as delicious. I am in no way a picky eater, but this salmon was just so… bland. The 3 flavor sauce seemed to be a combination of sweet chili sauce, hot sauce, and another ingredient I can’t seem to put my finger on. The vegetables were nothing special, and the rice was simply white, which I guess was used to soak up some of the sauce. The salmon was cooked well, maybe even a little overdone. Chris had a taste and said it tasted like dish soap. I’m not quite sure that was the other ingredient, but it did have a little bit of a weird taste to it. I’d stray from the salmon and 3 flavor sauce.
Chris’s pad thai on the other hand was excellent. Traditional chicken pad thai done right. The noodles were soft, the sauce was just right, and that peanut-y flavor stood out fabulously. We both thoroughly enjoyed this meal.
All in all…our Cafetasia experience was refreshing. The chic ambiance, good location, great prices, unique food, and tropical selection of drinks will definitely bring us back.