Fittingly, the decor inside Cloister matches what you would expect to see at a church. The pleasantly sacrilegious ambiance for smoking hookah and drinking fine wine adds to your inebriating experience.Cloister is a term ingrained in the Catholic church, if you're curious regarding it's meaning, check out Wikipedia. I'm here to preach, not to teach.The pride and joy of CC though is the outdoor garden. When the weather is warm and the vineyard has grape leaves draping over slivers of sunlight, you forget that you're still in New York. The ambiance is amazing and the patrons can be very pleasant, even striking up a conversation with your table.The pricing is often ridiculous, and sometimes when our lovely waitress brings us "shots on the house" I swear we've had them show up on our bill. This adds to the charm albeit stings the first two times you see the bill. It's very European how they handle their business, complete with real Russian waitresses!So yea, Catholic stain glass, Mediterranean garden, New American cuisine, Turkish Hookah and Russian staff. It's not ideal, in fact it's all over the place in terms of brand identity. Given that I'm a regular, they treat me a little better than a first timer (My real rating for this spot would be a 4 by the way, but I want to counterbalance the bad ratings)On a wintery night, I came here with a friend, we were both sick and we asked them to make us honey mulled wine, they did it. They charged us whatever they wanted because it's not a standard menu item, but the fact remains, they do care about their regulars. Like many places in NY, you have to know when to come and when to avoid this spot.Some tips if you want to have a good time:- Come during warmer weather and sit in the garden.- Start drinking here, continue at your club/lounge. Not the other way around.- Order a pitcher (or 2) of Sangria rather than drinks for groups smaller than 4- Order Hookah with a mix, always keep one part leafy (Mint, Jasmine) with one part smooth (Vanilla, Apple, Coffee).- Practice self control when ordering shots.If you follow these steps, you'll have a good time
I have been coming here for an eternity, at first mainly for the mojitos, but once they changed their chef, I started coming back for lunch and mojitos. I don't know what magician pours the drinks, but you always leave with a "buzz". The Cloister cafe is the best during the warmer months, so you can enjoy many cocktails, under the grapevines and lush foliage, with hookah and friends. The last time I went, was with a friend, on a rainy day, to celebrate her graduation from Parson's. We were seated "inside-outside" area, which is a tented area, but still not deprived of many trees and plants. We ordered mojitos, a brie quesadellia appetizer, and two salads: the duck and the salmon, I'm not a big salad person, but I like the way they make theirs. Big portions of duck and salmon, well seasoned, fresh and filling. I love their fried potatoes too, with sea salt, time and pepper. To end our meal we ordered a hookah and dessert, and oddly enough it ended up being on a bit over 40$ a person(with out tip), which I think is beyond reasonable for the location, quality of food, and magical cocktails. I would recommend this place 100% for a first date, since they never rush you or take forever to bring your food.I would also recommend this place for sitting alone on a sunny afternoon, with friends at night, or whenever. It's a winner. It got a perfect rating from me, because it deserves it. You get the exact bang for your buck!
*This review is for my first hookah experience in NYC only, not for the restaurant portion of this place.Oh hookah, how I missed you so!I haven't been to a hookah lounge in so long, but am glad to have found Cloister Cafe! Actually, my friend & I were looking for this sake place when we stumbled upon this place. Decided to check it out since it was actually affordable ($20 per pipe plus one drink minimum per person).The Ukrainian bouncer wasn't all that intimidating, I've seen worse, but I did notice he didn't allow guys in easily (he told a random guy to call out his friend to meet him at the entrance instead). My friend and I, on the other hand, walked in just fine.The ambiance of this place is awesome; the outdoor garden is covered by trees and grapevines above you, and the music is loud enough to enjoy but still able to hear the other person across the table. Luckily the weather was perfect, it would've sucked if it rained.We got the rose & mint hookah (delicious!) and each got an iced tea (lemon was included, without us asking.. even better!) We must've spent about three hours here, and the server never pressured us to leave. I'm definitely coming back here!
Oh, Cloister. I discovered this place a few years ago with some friends and found the slightly ratchet decorations, the shady and sometimes offensive bouncer, and the two-toilets-in-one-bathroom set-up all really endearing. (I have my theories about those toilets btw.) Hookah is 20$/4ppl and you have to get a drink each. If you're like my friends and stay for 86 hours every time and want your coal changed, you'll probably end up ordering more drinks to avoid the side-eying from the servers. Chocolate mint is the BEST hookah flavor. The hookah here is pretty good; food is also good and drinks depend on who's making them that night. I come mainly for the hookah and the atmosphere (generally popping on thurs, fri and sat. Sometimes there's a line outside...which is a little ridic considering this aint no club but its a popular place. Mainly college kids.) go! smoke! pee with a partner! do other things! (Or don't. please don't.)
probably the most amazing environment you will find in nyc, the most beautiful garden setting perfect for a date or just friends coming to hang out and on top of that they have hookah making it that much better... if you go make sure you try to get Marc for your server, he is absolutely the best server there and he will take care of your every need also make sure you say hello and meet the manager Jerry he is the man and will take care of your future visits.. we've started making this an every night place to start the night if we're getting crazy or to end the night if it's a relaxing nightalso... at first we didn't know but the food is unbelievable and completely reasonably priced everything we've had is just insane and leaves you craving for another bite for weeks!if you're going to go anywhere for hookah you must go here, other places are smokey and gross but with this beautiful outdoor garden you just can't beat it
I got together with my companion Sabra E. at The Gray Dog for espresso when I was around the local area. I picked it for immaculate accommodation, yet it was a charming spot, alright with a clamoring, warm, villeinage vibe. We got a table and requested up at the counter. The barista was pleasant.I got a major mug of cappuccino, and it hit the spot on a drizzly day. I'm not a periodic espresso consumer, but rather I thought it was a decent glass, and I do love me some milk froth. Sabra requested a club sandwich and wasn't excessively content with it. It's conceivable this spot is preferable for espresso over for nourishment. It did feel more like a café than an eatery.Anyway, I was content with The Gray Dog and would visit again in case I'm ever needing an espresso place in this some portion of town. I preferred my cappuccino and had a beautiful time unwinding and making up for lost time with my companion.
I LOVE CLOISTER! Have been here a good number of times and have always been satisfied. Okay so. Here are some things to note about Cloister:1. It has a large outdoor section which is PERFECT for the current New York summer weather. Came here with a friend yesterday; we were both in comfortable summer clothing, it wasn't too hot nor cold (there was a light breeze), hookah was delicious-smelling, drinks were nice and cold, it wasn't too loud etc etc etc...super chill and SERIOUSLY a great way to spend a summer night.2. Hmm perhaps I said it all in 1. Oh oh. I like the the peach and watermelon combination for the hookah itself. Apple and grape was good the first time I tried it.3. Best place for conversation. I ALWAYS enjoy the conversations I have there...there's really something about Cloister. It always leaves me happy! Haha. ALRIGHT. See you there guys.
I love this place! Especially on summer nights in the garden.. it's super cute and relaxing, and one of the better places around to smoke hookah and just talk. Though the waiters aren't constantly checking up on you, they are very responsive when you need them and always make sure to change the coal at least once. Food: I've only tried the zucchini fries - those were okay. Green tea ice cream is listed on the menu, but they never have it. All they have are vanilla and chocolate. Drinks: Alcoholic drinks are really strong, it's like taking a shot per sip! They have girly names for their drinks, but they definitely don't taste girly. Their cappuccinos are really bland. And their teas are just.. well, teas. Also, a little ridiculous they charge for water. Hookah: I'm always mixing mint with something fruity. I love the apple & mint, and peach & mint.
I've been here many a times, and I know I'll keep coming back. I love this place, but, my experience here always varies. Sometimes, when the stars align and they seat you in a nice section, the hookah is strong enough and the waiter is kind enough to keep changing the coals, I have a great time. It has character, it has good hookah ($20 per hookah) and a nice vibe. The music is upbeat and their hookah flavor list is extensive. You can even mix flavors! The drawbacks are that some areas of the place are nicer than others, the service itself can vary from good to terrible, you have to keep buying drinks to for them to keep changing the coals, and they limit one hookah per four people. Also, the food is expensive, but hey, that shouldn't be what you go here for. Overall, this is a good go to place for hookah that you might find yourself returning to.
This place has amazing food, very alcoholy drinks, and decent hookah. The best thing about the hookah is that it lasts. 4 hours is the current record with me, and that's with several (free) coal changes. Their flavor selection isn't the widest, but among the offerings there are some gems. Try mixing Jasmine and Honey for something smooth. Mix Rose and Mint for strong, heavy smoke. 3 Berry is all right as well. I am in love with all of the duck dishes here. Roasted over couscous is my favorite. They also have a heavenly sweet mango and black sticky rice pudding. Better when mango is in season... The hookah is good. The food is great. The atmosphere is exactly right.