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Jun 2, 1998 04:34 PM

Union Square Cafe

  • j

For our anniversary gift my wife and I got a $150
gift-certificate to USC. Now, I'm not really used to
eating expensive food, and I hope someone could give me
some recommendations for what to eat there. (I'm only
going there one time, I wanna make it count!)

Also -- is $150 enough to cover a dinner for 2 with
wine at USC? Or should we be prepared to cover some
extra costs?


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  1. Despite its cachet, USC's menu is basically well
    prepared comfort food, so ordering shouldn't be a
    problem. You may go a little over $150, so I'd bring
    some extra cash.

    4 Replies
    1. re: tom traub

      We have eaten at Union Square lots of times and have
      never spent $150 for 2. You can eat nicely for less.
      My absolute favorite is the seared tuna. I have never
      had better anywhere in the world.

      Have a wonderful time--it's the best in NY (in my 56
      year old opinion!) Service is terrific, too and not the
      slightest bit snooty.

      1. re: phyllis

        Try their Baked Alaska for dessert. It'll knock your
        socks off.

        1. re: Pete

          Thanks for the recommendations, Tom, Phyllis and Pete!
          Our reservation is for tonight. Looking forward to that
          seared tuna...

          1. re: Jeremy Osner

            Well, no seared tuna as it turned out. Our meal was as
            follows: before dinner we had a marguerita at the bar.
            We were seated and given a complimentary plate of
            garlic potato chips (because we had had to wait for our
            table). Appetizers were for Ellen, a "Bibb and Red Oak
            Leaf Salad with Gruyere and Garlic Dressing" and for
            me, "Bobolito with Crispy Sweetbreads, Asparagus and
            Cremini Mushrooms". (The menu consisted not of names
            of dishes but rather ingredient lists, which I found
            disconcerting.) Main course was for Ellen, a steak with
            mashed potatoes and for me, roast suckling pig with
            roast potatoes; we also had a side dish of fagioli. For
            dessert she had chocolate mousse and I had the banana
            tart. -- What a lot of food!

            And how was it all? Well, everything tasted very good
            -- some flavors, like the dressing on Ellen's salad or
            my roast, just took my breath away. On the other hand,
            the meal was not perfect, which it ought to be for the
            prices they charge. For instance... the margueritas
            were much too sweet and had very little tequila. The
            beans were excessively salted. The banana tart was
            blandly sweet.

            But my main complaint was with the menu. It was really
            tiring to read those long descriptions of each dish and
            try to make sense of them, and then hold them in your
            head for long enough to decide between them. This was
            my first real experience with an expensive, highly
            rated restaurant; I believe I am going to stick to
            simpler fare for a while, in the outer boroughs.