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Rattle N Hum

Not Rated.
Rattle N HumRattle N Hum

222 Ratings
Ratings: 222
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: n/a
Taps: 40
Bottles: 141
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

14 E 33rd St
New York, New York, 10016-5013
United States
phone: (212) 481-1586

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @rattlenhumbarny

Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-27-2008

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Ratings: 222 | Reviews: 154
Reviews by donniecuffs:
Photo of donniecuffs
3.55/5  rDev -17.2%
vibe: 1 | quality: 5 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | food: 2

After a trip last week to the Victory promo (thanks for being a great guy and making even better beer, Bill Covaleski), I figured I would update my review of this establishment..but I was surprised to find that I had never reviewed it in the first place. Shame on me...but frankly, I think this was a fortuitous serious of events, because what follows should be a fairly comprehensive account. The quick-and-dirty is this: a once great place that has already...unfortunately...jumped the shark.

First of all, it is extremely important to point out that...on the beer selection/quality front...few beer bars in midtown Manhattan rival this place. Since I first set foot in RNH in March of 2009 (not too long after the bar had opened its doors), Patrick & Co have done an excellent job of procuring a dizzyingly diverse array of quality craft beers, and organizing fantastic promotional events, attended by, in many instances, the brewers/founders of the respective breweries themselves.

The departments where this place lags is in almost every other category, save maybe service, but it wasn't always this way. For the bulk of 2009, I was unemployed, and hence spent many a night..and day..in this establishment. The beers (as mentioned earlier) were always fantastic (e.g. Founders, Speakeasy, Nectar, Troegs, Ballast Point, etc etc etc), the prices were ok (though not glaringly cheap), and the predominantly female staff made up for any lack of beer knowledge with a great attitude. The food...traditional comfort fare like bangers & mash...was modestly above average; definitely not a selling point, but not a detriment either.

Fast-forward to November 2010. Because I am now employed and working crazy amounts of overtime to compensate for the time being out of work, I haven't been able to set foot in RNH since February. You can imagine that I was quite surprised when, upon entering, I was greeted with 'did you make a reservation?' Excuse me? A beer bar that takes reservations? I had not, but luckily, a nice server named Tracey was able to find something for me and my friends. Then I looked around the room, and I had to pinch myself to make sure that I hadn't gone to the Ginger Man by accident...as the place was half-filled with suits. Now, I totally understand that the point of owning a small business is to make a profit, and that in a neighborhood like midtown Manhattan, it's difficult to toe the fine line between the down-to-earth types with little money and the suited types with more money. In all fairness, of course not all suits are bad...only the ones that delight in the fact that they are fishes out of water, and furthermore treat the drinking establishment with an overall lack of respect. Back in March '09, the vibe was great, as it was definitely tilted towards the 'good crowd', but I definitely noted a change in atmosphere upon this most recent visit, more than likely attributable to a distinct shift towards yuppies. To be clear, the vibe wasn't bad, it was just nowhere near as good as it once was.

Then I looked at the beer prices. I had trouble finding a 16oz pour under $7. Of course the argument becomes, "it's Manhattan, stupid"...and I get it...but somehow I have found other respectable bars that seem to have slightly lower prices, and not just because they are sneaking 14oz pours. Anyway, that was surprise #2.

Surprise #3 was the food prices: $28 for 24 boneless buffalo chicken bites, and $24 for 9 sliders. That's over a buck a wing...whereas there are MANY competitors whose prices equate to about 10-30cents per wing...and, while they weren't bad, they certainly didn't taste like the best appetizer I had ever had. Ditto the sliders.

Surprise #4, though a somewhat mixed surprise, was the service. As I had mentioned earlier, a nice young lady named Tracey helped us find a seat, but whenever we ordered our beers, I felt like a racehorse being whipped by the jockey. "What else? Is that it? Are you guys done?" ..this was all repeatedly mentioned, and what was surprising about it was that...I believe...the server was Patrick's wife (Roz?). Admittedly, I found this personally insulting, given the fact that I had spent a lot of money in this establishment when I was out of work, and now felt a general sense of ingratitude. And it didn't exactly help the desired vibe of being able to sit down, relax, and drink some great beers in due time...which is what this place used to be like. Instead, this place felt like it had subscribed itself to the traditional NYC 'churn-&-burn customers' mentality. Maybe it was due to the Victory promo, but regardless, I didn't like it. And what a change..in less than a year.

In summary, the beer quality and selection continues to be outstanding, but the beer prices, food prices, food quality, service, and vibe are all lacking...at least during after-work hours.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Figoeric710
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of Srkolodn
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75

Photo of slasich
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.5

Photo of eawolff99
4.48/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of PhillyBoy23
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of misternebbie
3.45/5  rDev -19.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of Budinetz
4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Photo of jeiiVP
4.94/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Jlabs
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of HugeBulge
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of MichaelLamb
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Jortiz512
5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of Matagal
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of Mangbus
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Was there in October when they had a Founders tap takeover. Was able to try a lot of the Founders beers that I hadn't yet. Bartender was knowledgeable and they had an excellent bottle list.

Photo of mikeg67
3/5  rDev -30.1%

Small, cramped, busy mostly with students place. Very noisy. Food is OK, not expensive for NYC. A lot of taps, but service is just so so. Not my type of place.

Photo of wheezlelump
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of ncelauro
4.36/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of StephRai
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of JStewart00
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Eman17
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of botanu
5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of seedyone
5/5  rDev +16.6%

I must confess to not having a whole lot of craft bar experience to use as comparison because once I had set foot in Rattle n Hum I was smitten. They have become the measure by which I regard all others & few match up.

Having over 20 years in restaurant kitchen experience, I have a pretty good idea what it takes to run a good show & at RnH they do a great job.

Some may find the beer selection confounding by the sheer number of choice. Even those with some knowledge will find areas for further 'research'. To top it off, the staff are always more than willing to (when time permits) to guide a novice.

I saw one comment somewhere, which rightfully observes the biggest drawback is their very success. Things can get pretty hectic during the "rush hours" but the staff always seems to keep up.

The rotating beer selection never fails to offer new choices. They have $5 pints during "Happy Hour(s)" that comprise most of the day. Every Tues night there are promotions & tap takeovers. The selections are presented on a large blackboard & printed on placemats. The printed presentation gives just about every detail of the beers, barring opinions. Customized guidance can always be had from the knowledgeable staff.

The food menu is pretty standard pub fare with daily lunch, dinner specials & weekend brunch & NFL items.

Most of the seats are at large family style tables & reservations are accepted. The restrooms are numerous, ample & well kept.

I prefer to go mid to late afternoons & stay for a few before the after work crowd. Even at it's most crowded, I find patrons & staff both to friendly & polite.

If there is one negative, it's that the kitchen can get backed up at times. Being a victim of your own success isn't the worse thing for a bar or restaurant.

Yogi Berra is quoted as saying "Nobody goes there anymore...it's too crowded." From what I've seen, the crowd seems to be willing to hang in for a quality experience, which is what you get at Rattle n Hum.

And finally...no, I am not employed by RnH, but do feel I've found some good friends there that deserve a pat on the back.

Photo of Pinball_Guy
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

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Rattle N Hum in New York, NY
95 out of 100 based on 222 ratings.