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UES Foodie needs suggestions for some good eats

  • w

After several years of living downtown, being spoiled by all the village has to offer, I find myself AT A LOSS for good food in my neighborhood on the Upper East Side. I love my neighborhood but am tired of the ordinary food my local restaurants are plagued by. I was lucky enough to find a few good ethnic places and a few local spots like Spigolo & Etats Unis, but would like to add a few more to the repertoire. WHO'S HOLDING OUT ON ME???

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  1. While the decor is nothing to rave about, Tsuki (75th and 1st) has delicious sushi at very decent prices - though based on the restaurants you've listed, I'm guessing that price might not be an issue(?)

    2 Replies
    1. re: MM

      I like Tsuki as well, and also Ichi Ro, on Second Ave. btwn 87th & 88th. I think it is a bit cheaper than Tsuki. And for great sushi, there is Sushi of Gari on E. 78th. Also try the Brazilian on E. 92nd Street - Zebu Grill, or something like that. Tried Sala Thai (Third Ave?) the other night and it was quite good.

      1. re: MMRuth

        Recently tried Iron Sushi on 78th St. and First Avenue. Especially liked the combination sushi/sashimi platter and found as a newcomer, they are trying harder than the other Japanese neighborhood restaurants. They give away fresh fruit for dessert and, if memory serves well, some edamame as an appetizer.

    2. I have also liked Brasserie Julien in the past - though a recent report was negative.

      1. Have you tried Sushi Hana or Beyoglu??? Zocalo's?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ara33

          Thanks for all the great suggestions everyone! I'm definitely going to check out Pio Pio, which I had heard before was excellent, and Zuccerho e Pomodori. Do not like Sushi Hana at all, but thanks for the suggestions!

        2. Dined at AMBER over the weekend. Mixed Asian menu. Corner of 80th and Third. Beautiful decor, great service, loved the sushi. Boyfriend had the curry boullabaise (sp.??). Will definitely return.

          1 Reply
          1. re: slimkim

            I thought Amber was okay but overpriced - only tried sushi/sashimi dishes. Coolish ambiance, fun drinks. I found the service over attentive, if there is such a thing - felt there was a lot of hovering. Maybe this is b/c we ate very early and there were not a lot of other customers.

          2. Can’t leave out the Peruvian chicken at Pio Pio and the burger at Rathbones :)

            I definitely agree with Beyoglu and Zebu Grill.

            Zucchero e Pomodori is probably the most underrated Italian on the UES...along with Paola’s.

            Saigon Grill has great Vietnamese.

            Chef Ho’s for Chinese.


            2 Replies
            1. re: Hank

              Definite yes on Pio Pio, Paola's (especially the grilled calimari appetizer and pork tenderloin, when they have them) and Saigon Grill. However, for Mediterranean I think Sultan is way better than Beyoglu. Also, Tamarind (94th & 3rd) has pretty good Indian.

              1. re: Hank

                good call on the saigon grill and beyoglu-- but definitely would have to disagree w/ Zucchero e Pomodori. The times i've been there the pastas have been way overcooked and doused in sauces/oil. it's not horrible, but very...mediocre, and i'm particular about my italian food.

              2. Shanghai Pavilion on Third Ave. (78-79). Outstanding Shanghai cuisine. Lamb with crispy spinach, sole in rice wine, soup dumplings, seafood hot and sour soup. Beautiful decor and attentive service. More expensive than Chinatown but very good food. Petaluma for good salads and pizzas. Tried Tatany 72 on Third Ave. just north of 72nd. Good sushi rolls and excellent apps. Trata on Third Ave. (70-71) for very good seafood. Their mezze platter at lunch is outstanding in taste and presentation.. Love their country Greek salad. Grace's Trattoria on 71st St. just east of Third Ave. Never mentioned on this board. Very good seafood. Huge portions of delicious food. Beautiful restaurant. Restaurants on the UES tend to be higher priced than many downtown and do not have the "vibe" sought by many. I live in Florida for most of the year and envy New Yorkers their great culinary choices even on the UES. Hope this helps.

                1 Reply
                1. re: george

                  they are few and far between, but my standby's are:
                  -vespa (84/2nd) or mangiarini (83/2nd) for pretty good italian (leagues above most of the other mediocre UES italian and better than some downtown too)
                  -beyoglu (81/3rd) for turkish mezze (skip the entrees)
                  -good health (75/1st) or gobo (82rd/3rd( for healthy veg-friendly dishes
                  -sushi sen-nin (81st/3d) or hannaka (the name may have changed - but it's at 73d/1st) or sushi of garri for freshest yummy sushi; yuka (80th/2d) for solid, fresh all u can eat sushi;
                  -persepolis (75/2d) for great persian kabobs
                  -ethiopian restaurant (83d/york) for the only ethiopian in the area
                  -pio pio for peruvian chicken
                  -and benoit's (82d/lex) for excellent fresh homemade ice cream and bakery

                2. Cafe D'Alsace is the newcomer to this nabe.

                  1. Wu Liang Ye on 86th is very, very good!! Paola in the 80s is good for Italian; try her beet salad as a first course.

                    1. I'm no fan of UES food despite living there for years. Chinese/Vietnamese/Thai are especially weaker there. but there are some ok spots.

                      I agree with emilia's recs especially beyoglu, sushi of gari, ethiopian restaurant and pio pio. I find Saigon Grill and Sala Thai fairly mediocre although ok for delivery/in a pinch. Wu Liang Ye does have some authentic/unique Szechuan dishes but they can be greasy/uneven with preparation sometimes. Poke Sushi is another decent moderately priced joint on 85th near 1st and Gaiyumaru on 86th and 1st, and Sachi on 95th and Madison. El Paso Taqueria is delicious cheap authentic Mexican at 97th between madison and park, one of my faves in the area, and another good authentic place is Sabor A Mexico on 92nd and 1st. Don Pablo's is ok modern Latino cuisine at 96th and 2nd although a little heavy and pricey. I really like the Burmese restaurant (I'm forgetting the name, Mingala Burmese?) around the mid 70s and 2nd ave, I think the food is unique and somewhat underrated and is a good ethnic find in the area.

                      Ian is supposed to be good on 86th and 2nd although pricey nouveau cuisine, but I've never been. There was a rave review in New York magazine this week about a new Italian joint called Sfoglia? at 92nd and Lex. Luca has had good reviews in the past too but I found it average.