Showing posts with label Panna II. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Panna II. Show all posts

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Thursday's parting shot

The lights were shining brightly tonight up at Panna II (and the PII extension next door at the former Milon) on First Avenue near Sixth Street. 

An EVG reader told us the restaurants were dark last night, with a large family (about six people) standing outside saying they had a reservation. Everyone was confused.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Lights on! Panna II expands into the former Milon space on 1st Avenue

As we first reported, Panna II was expected to take over the former Milon space at 93 First Ave. at Sixth Street.

That transition happened fairly quickly for the longtime Indian restaurant ... as Panna II reopened in both upstairs spaces this past Friday with the return of indoor dining at 25 percent. (Top photo from last night.)

Here's a look early Saturday evening inside Panna II via EVG contributor Stacie Joy ...   
... and next door — the Christmas and chile-pepper lights still burn brightly inside the former Milon...
For now, the Milon signage remains outside, which has caused some confusion... though you'll know by the lack of dueling hosts out front trying to one-up each other about which place is a better dining spot.

Milon, the Indian-Bangladeshi restaurant that first opened here in 1982 never reopened after the PAUSE of March 2020.

Previously on EV Grieve:

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The remains of Milon

If you're looking for a souvenir from the now-closed Milon, then you're in luck! 

Someone emptied contents from the Indian-Bangladeshi restaurant a little south of the space on First Avenue between Sixth Street and Fifth Street...
Goggla, who alerted us to this stash, nabbed a Milon menu...
As first reported, Milon, which opened here in 1982, quietly went out of business during the pandemic. Upstairs neighbor Panna II is expected to take over the space at 93 First Ave. in the months ahead.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Panna II will return, and expand into the former Milon space next door


The Christmas and chile-pepper lights will live on at 93 First Ave.!

As we noted at the end of 2020Milon, the Indian-Bangladeshi restaurant that first opened here on First Avenue at Sixth Street in 1982, had quietly gone out of business.

However, reliable sources tell us that longtime and like-minded neighbor Panna II has rented the Milon space, and will expand into the adjacent restaurant in the months ahead. 

Per our tipster: "It sounds like the kitchen will be eliminated from Milon, and that side will be one large seating area." (So much for the urban legend that all the Indian restaurants along Sixth Street use the same kitchen!)

Panna II eventually reopened for takeout and delivery last year and later indoor dining at 25 percent. They temporarily closed again when Cuomo's second indoor dining ban went into effect early December.

While Milon and Panna II had been catering to the Instagram crowd in recent years, locals still find the restaurants a comfort on evenings away from the weekends. Some have feared that the indoor-dining ban could mark the end of the so-called Curry Row. But it appears Panna II will live on.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Despite its mediocre food, Panna II is a line-waiting smash thanks to Instagram and those twinkling lights


[EVG file photo]

Rachel Pelz files a long read at Thrillist on the growing appeal of Panna II Garden, the parlor-floor Indian restaurant at 93 First Ave. near Sixth Street, in a piece titled "One of NYC’s Worst-Reviewed Restaurants Is Also the Hottest Table in Town."

The place has been around for 30-plus years, and is mostly known for BYOB and a room full of twinkling lights that New York magazine once likened to eating inside a Christmas tree ... not to mention its competitive stair greeters battling neighbors Milon, Spice Wala and Royal Bangladesh.

However reasonably priced the menu items, the food is wholly mediocre at Panna II, as New York notes.

There are so many better places to eat. Still, of late, the lines seems to be getting longer outside.

To the article...

So why are tourists and New Yorkers beating down the door to get into a spot with middling food and coarse service? Because its luminous, rainbow-hued interior looks incredible on Instagram. The decor doesn’t just make up for the food; it justifies its existence.

Apparently singer-actress Vanessa Hudgens helped start the Instagram craze with a four-photo post to her 30.4 million followers last December.

View this post on Instagram

Just a normal Thursday night 💁🏻

A post shared by Vanessa Hudgens (@vanessahudgens) on


Soon, Instagram exploded with #pannaii pictures of influencers and wannabe-influencers lit red and gold and green. The hashtag, which now has more than 2,000 posts, is an endless scroll of colorful lights with hardly a samosa in sight.

The owner's take...

"A lot of people are coming in and taking pictures. In '17, it got popular on Instagram, and it still is today. It’s still famous. You get all these international people who come because of Instagram," says Boshir Khan, Panna II Garden’s 44-year-old current owner.

And a discerning patron...

Alexandra Lacorne, who’s been waiting an hour to celebrate her 27th birthday with a group of girlfriends ... can’t wait to get inside. “It’s my first time at Panna,” she says. “I don’t care about the food. I’m in it for the lights and the drinks and that’s it.”

Oh, and how's that food?

Panna II’s late in life, juggernaut success makes it vulnerable to the internet’s seemingly unending supply of armchair reviewers. A search of its 902 Yelp reviews offers 66 results for “terrible,” 37 results for “horrible,” 110 results for “bad,” 76 for “worst,” and, blessedly, only one result for “diarrhea.”