8th Hill Opens on Columbus Avenue, Owner Promises the Wait is ‘Going to Be Worth It’


Lamb chops, anyone? Photo via 8th Hill.

By Carol Tannenhauser

There is finally life again on a crucial corner of the Upper West Side. On Monday, a new “inspired” Mediterranean restaurant called 8th Hill opened in the space at the southeast corner of 77th Street and Columbus Avenue occupied by the iconic Isabella’s for 30 years.

WSR spoke to the excited owner, Semi Feyzioglu, who gave us the details:

“The opening was delayed for the last two weeks by a leak, but we finally opened on Monday,” Feyzioglu told us. “It was a soft opening. We got a lot of walk-in customers, and yesterday was really busy—around 100 people. Open Table is open and we’re getting a lot of reservations.”


Photo by @sabotagesarah.

“I think the weekend’s going to be really busy. That’s why we’re doing a soft opening. The first two weeks we’re going to open only for dinner, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. After the first two weeks, when we see we are ready, we’re going to start to do lunch. And then another two weeks, we’re going to start with the weekend brunch, Saturday and Sunday. And then, by July—in time for Independence Day—we’re going to open the sidewalk cafe. We’ll be truly open by July. It’s going to take time, because the first impression is really important for the people, we don’t want to mess anything. So far, people are really happy with the food, so we just want to keep going. I know it’s taken a lot of time, but it’s going to be worth it.”

The menu is up on their site. Entrees include lamb chops, Adana (a kind of kebab) and the Sultan Burger.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 81 comments | permalink
    1. dannyboy says:

      I’ll wait until July. If anyone eats at 8th Hill and cares to share their opinion; I do rely on locals more than I’d trust yelpers.

      • meshuggah says:

        I’ll wait to see if the crazy high prices come down (see menu)

        • Billy Amato says:

          My fellow Westsiders –
          You know the story of restaurants, if the price comes down on the menu the quality of food goes with it… don’t think this restaurants want to make it. Let’s give it the benefit of the doubt and wait for the dust to settle later this summer…
          I’v been gifted with that ninth sense.

      • Sue says:

        WOW! Those prices! Agree about trusting locals over yelpers.

        We recently went to Kefi – twice- and both times were great. REALLY great. Not cheap – but compared to 8th Hill….it’s a bargain

    2. Ish Kabibble says:

      Wow, those prices are steep. Pass.

    3. J says:

      Southeast corner.

    4. Rick Nash says:

      Looking at the menu..the prices are absurdly high. They’ll need to either lower the prices or run a Groupon in order to stay in business. This isn’t a part of town where they can charge that much.

    5. Steven Rubenstein says:

      South east corner

    6. Leda says:

      SE corner, no?

    7. JS says:

      Another restaurant in the neighborhood whose prices are prohibitive for many of us.

    8. Ann Lurie Berlin says:

      LAMB CHOPS
      SAUTEED VEGETABLES / MASHED POTATOES
      $48
      Yike

      • Carnival Canticle says:

        That’s plus tax.Plus tip. Plus an appetizer. Plus possibly a drink before dinner, and dessert and coffee. Now we’re talking about $120 for dinner from a timid menu in a setting that looks, from the photo, equally generic. (Lamb chops and mashed potatoes? Memories of Thursday dinner at Mom’s.) I wish Mr Feyzioglu luck,but I hope he knows something about the neighborhood demographics that I don’t.

    9. Penny says:

      The menu prices actually seem very much on par with other Mediterranean places in the neighborhood (certainly with Milling Room and Storico which will be its primary competitors). Frankly, the fact that the burger is under $20 is kind of a miracle.

      • Ish Kabibble says:

        Enjoy.

      • dannyboy says:

        We eat at Milling Room once in a while.

      • Kayson212 says:

        Nope: Storico’s dinner entrees are $28-$32 for meat & fish, $23-$25 for pasta. Maybe the place gets a rent break from the Historical Society. Regardless, 8th Hill is coming in on the high end for local eateries. There’s a “Tomahawk” entree for $80 that I hope is a typo.

    10. Billy Amato says:

      As a true Upper Westsider that I am…
      “We’ll see, lets’s wait for the dust to settle”…

    11. Citycatsman says:

      At these prices, I’ll continue dining at one of the other, excellent Mediterranean restaurants on the West Side, such as Lokal, or Turquaz, where the bill won’t have the sticker shock this one promises.

    12. Carol says:

      Prices aside, the menu looks like heavy winter fare. Hope they have lighter choices for summer at the outside tables.

    13. Jenn says:

      Wow! Was looking forward to the opening but not at those prices. Too many other Mediterranean options in the neighborhood with reasonable prices.

    14. Richard says:

      Sounds good. Prices are high, but sometimes high prices are worth it. Looking forward.

    15. UWSmaven says:

      These prices are crazy and disappointing… especially compared to other good middle eastern restaurants like Lokal, Gazalas, and Bustan. We just ate last weekend at the gorgeous “Robert” in the MAD building at Columbus Circle for a special occasion… beautiful setting and views, live music, great service and the prices were identical to this. You can get away with that at a touristy place in Midtown with a view… but Isabella’s survived for so long because it was fairly priced. No thanks!

      • dannyboy says:

        Isabella’s was The Scene on Mother’s Day.

        (Kinda’ like PJ Clarke’s, over on 2nd, is for Saint Paddy’s.)

    16. Diane says:

      $18 for dessert. Nope.

    17. Miranda Smith says:

      How disappointing .Many Mediterranean restaurants in this area. What about great Chinese or a Food Market?

    18. Nan A Canter says:

      Ate there the first hour it opened! Beyond superb! Truly Ottoman-like cuisine. Ambiance, service equal to food. Thank you Semi Bey.

      • dannyboy says:

        Thank you for writing a review AFTER you ate there.

        I will, and do pay a premium for authentic foods. There are a couple of authentic Japanese nearby and an authentic Turkish is worth more than americanized food. Been to Japan a couple of times, and Turkey half-dozen. Love those cuisines!

    19. Christine E says:

      Wow to the prices. And I was so excited to dine there too!

      For delicious and reasonably priced Mediterranean/Middle Eastern/North African food, I will stick with Lokal (83rd and Columbus) and Bodrum (88/89/Amsterdam).

    20. 10023native says:

      Re: price point. Someone’s gotta pay for that reno.

    21. dingleberry says:

      What’s an $80 Tomahawk?

      Those prices are INSANE!!

      Gee, I can’t wait for the $50 omelette in July.

      Per the interior photo, it looks like they went with diner-like decor — complete with push-together 2-tops so there’s a nice big crack down the middle in a table for 4. Sweet.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Tomahawk is the shape of a large steak. Truly disgusting screen name “Dingle…”. But funny.

    22. West88 says:

      When the apps are in the $22+ range for hummus and falafel, you’ve gone too far. Ella, another Mediterranean restaurant with amazing cocktails on Columbus and 85th next to Han is about $10 per item cheaper. And Kefi, and Bodrum, and Vai, and the soon to be opened Big Daddy Mediterranean conversion, and frankly the half dozen others on the UWS. Unless your brunch is amazing and affordable, best of luck.

      • AM says:

        I agree with comment about Ella- their food is delicious!! And the atmosphere is great as well.

    23. Albert says:

      These prices are absurd. When will we ever get restaurants that connect with the UWS?

    24. Jeff says:

      The prices are sky high but honestly it doesn’t matter much — if the food is reasonably tasty they’ll do great, given the prime location and the fact that many UWS residents are incredibly rich. (I myself will probably never go because $22 for hummus lol.)

    25. Ted says:

      Cold Mezzes leave a lot to be desired. Strange list for high end Turkish. Also didn’t see Lamajun. I call it the 12th hill. Not much like Istanbul.

    26. RF says:

      Usually when a new spot opens in the neighborhood and people here complain about the prices, there tends to be a lot of overreaction, but in this case it’s not unwarranted. $18 for a slice of chocolate cake? $22 for a hummus appetizer? $24 for the only vegetarian option on the menu (which appears to be nothing more than a plate of veggies?) Wow.

    27. Jones says:

      Stopped by and looked at the drinks list….the wines they are pouring can be found at any mom & pop wine shop in the city….very dissappointing….very inexpensive wine and low quality….I’ll be passing on this place!

    28. justcurious says:

      I am in my mid 40’s, live in the neighborhood, and dine out frequently but I am not surprised nor deterred by these prices. Yes they are expensive. Nobody can deny that. I am curious to know the age bracket of those complaining of the prices. The reason I ask is to determine if these complaints are generation based, or in other words coming from individuals who are comparing today’s real prices to those of “yesteryear” or “the good old days” which would explain a lot to me.

      Also if you are looking to start a fight over my question being ageist then please don’t comment at all. It’s just a simple demographic based question to satisfy my own curiosity.

      • Scott says:

        If you are paying $2000 a square foot to live in the neighborhood then this place is actually on the low end

      • Sean says:

        I’m 70 and you are correct many of the comments come from from an older democratic and if you even mention this you will be accused of ageism. There is a battle raging on the UWS between newer arrivals and seniors just like 40 years ago. They have different needs. The UWS is known to have a large and vocal senior population.

        • Stuart says:

          I think you meant to write “older demographic”…

          Everyone, please re-read what you’ve written before you hit the “post comment” button.

          Thanks in advance.

        • dannyboy says:

          “There is a battle raging on the UWS between newer arrivals and seniors just like 40 years ago.”

          The neighborhood welcomed new arrivals 50 years ago. I wonder what changed?

          • Sean says:

            The difference today is financial. 40 years ago both camps lived side by side in the same housings renters. In the 80s the yuppies moved in and the UWS began a shift towards apartment ownership. Most seniors are in subsidized apartments. The newer residents are paying a fortune for their apartments. The two groups have different needs. The issue is not really about hospitality. We also now have suburban empty nesters buying in the area because of Lincoln Center. Wealthy seniors!

            • dannyboy says:

              Sean, with your 70 years and long-time residence in the neighborhood, I can appreciate your perspective. Much of your explanation deals with money.

              I am a little older with a longer time on the UWS. From my perspective it is something more, it is that so many people have replaced living a quality life with measuring their life by money.

              Subtle difference, but I think time will tell.

      • sam says:

        I am in my 40s, as well. Yes, the prices are very high. If they can match the experience at other very high end restaurants, then no complaints from me. As a parent with kids (and the expenses that go along with it) we cannot afford it, except for maybe once a year for a special occasion. Most of our friends are in the same boat. But there are plenty of folks on the UWS who can easily afford a $200 dinner once a week. When a family earns 7 figures — and many on the UWS do — $10K annually for a weekly date night is no big deal. But that is not the demographic of most readers of this blog.

        • Sean says:

          This isn’t a family restaurant.

          • sam says:

            Who mentioned family restaurant? I mentioned “date night” and “special occasion.” I wouldn’t dream of bringing kids to a restaurant like this. What I did say is that my family couldn’t afford the expense of our (my spouse and I) dining here more than once a year… Having dined at countless high, mid and lower-end tier restaurants, I have found that many very expensive restaurants don’t back up their high prices with the food. You will tend to get better service and atmosphere — and you pay for that — but the food isn’t necessary any better (and often not as good) as less expensive places.

        • dannyboy says:

          “When a family earns 7 figures — and many on the UWS do”

          Sam, does that include the digits after the decimal point?

          Asking for a friend.

          • sam says:

            Lol. Sadly, no. There really are many 7-figure, i.e., million dollar (or high six figures) families on the UWS. A partner in a law firm, an ad exec married to a physician, finance guy, Google engineer married to a management consultant etc. etc. Who do you think are buying all the multi-million dollar apartments…

      • RF says:

        I don’t know if it’s an age thing. I’m in my 30s and I think $18 for a slice of chocolate cake is insane…

        • UWSmom says:

          In my 50s. I would not pay $18 for hummus but might for cake. But it better be amazing cake.

    29. Amy says:

      Two weeks? It was delayed just about two months.

    30. Lisa says:

      To everyone complaining about menu prices: what did you think would happen with rents where they are and minimum wage jumping up? Restaurants are a very low margin business as it is. The extra expense needs to be covered somehow.

    31. Mark Moore says:

      For $48 those lamb chops better multiply right there on the plate.

    32. Meredith McConnell says:

      Why can we open up more places on the UWS that are like Playa Betty’s or Jacob’s Pickles? Something reasonably prices with a cooler younger atmosphere? As more and more young folks are getting priced out for rent in trendy neighborhoods, such as LES and EV, they are moving up town. It is way smarter to open up things that are going to attract a younger clientele.

    33. Robert Chitel says:

      Excited

      Sunday brunch was my favorite.

      Champagne and Mimosas incl

      • Carnival Canticle says:

        If I read the owner’s statement correctly, his “soft opening” is for dinner only, and he is not planning to begin weekend brunch service for another six weeks or so. Are you sure your brunch, complete with champagne and mimosas, was at 8th Hill? Nice of you to praise it anyhow.

    34. dannyboy says:

      This discussion is on par with the political discussions here.

      One person ate there and 42 have opposing opinions.

    35. Be nice says:

      All due respect to the photographer (sincerely) but that photo isn’t doing the restaurant justice. It’s actually quite bright and airy. I mean, we all know the old Isabella space so you can imagine what it’s like when the doors are all open

    36. Uwseater says:

      Isabella’s was the perfect blend of neighborhood feel, but nice enough to bring visitors. We need that kind of restaurant! Not the twelth Mediterranean. Like frozen yogurt shops…

    37. Jean Luke says:

      The rent on that corner has to be 50k + for a restaurant that size in that location. If Isabellas wasn’t willing to pay it you know the rent is super high. With all the other enormous expenses of operating a restaurant in NYC they need to charge the prices they are to offer a high quality product.

      The problem is with those prices this will be more of a destination restaurant than a local place like Isabellas was where people could stop in once a week. I wish them luck though – looks like a nice menu.

    38. Josiah says:

      I concur with everyone else posting here—
      Those prices are ludicrous.

    39. Karen H. says:

      I thought the food was very well constructed, the service very good. The homemade hummus, pepper cheese and yogurt sauces were outstanding. Yes, it’s pricey, and not an everyday place unless you’re used to spending $100 for your dinner. Save money on the desserts. I didn’t try them all; the two I tried were OK, but not worth $18 a slice.

      • dannyboy says:

        Thank you for providing another review based on eating at 8th Hill. I will rely more on you and Nan A Canter’s experience.

        It is difficult to get any factual info around here, even about a restaurant, so thanks again.

    40. Mr M says:

      I am excited to try this new restaurant. There are plenty of inexpensive restaurants in the neighborhood to satisfy
      those who always complain when a restaurant opens that is more expensive than the majority. If the food is delicious, I will treat myself to a great meal and eat there when I can. Give the place a chance!

    41. Dorothy Bernstein says:

      I ate there last night and was not thrilled with the service or the food the restaurant was quite empty they were only two other tables people were eating and on a Sunday night. I would say it very amateur and a bit high priced for a want to be. The younger set will not go here 1.5 stars out of 4.

    42. UWSMike says:

      As one of the ‘younger set’ that has been frequently mentioned in the comments, I want to confirm a few things about this restaurant having ate there this past weekend for this review:

      – This place is truly horrible both in price and in service. Even for a restaurant opening where problems are typically the norm, this was borderline comical.

      – The food both in presentation and in quality is alarmingly poor, particularly given the prices they are charging. They are supposed to compete with restaurants like say The Ribbon but this place is much more in line with a take out spot.

      – Restaurant is clearly aimed at tourists leaving the museum. It will probably make most of its revenue during brunch with folks leaving the museum on the weekends.

      – Very over priced but more importantly really poorly executed even for an opening.

      – They should close and reboot the entire menu/service. It is not ready.