Cheap to Moderate UWS
In Novermber, I am visiting my daughter who lives near Columbia Un and want to take her to restaurants in her limited price range and one step up (for the times she wants to splurge.)Suggestion would be appreciated. POY
Flor de Mayo, B'way and 101. Supposedly they have great traditional Peruvian dishes, but I've never seen reason to order anything but the greast chicken, beans, rice and plaintains.
Noche Mexicano, Amerstand & 102. Recommended with some reservations, as the last time I was there the service was horrendously slow (for no apparent reason) and the food only so so. But, other times, I've had delicious Mexican food there, and the prices are very good.
Rack and Soul, B'way and 109. Newish adition to the neighborhood. The fried chicken and ribs were excellent when I was there several weeks ago. The portions are huge on the regular menu, but, oddly, somewhat skimpy on the children's menu (not that you'd be ordering from there.)
Pampa, Amsterdam and 97-98: Delicious steak place (my favorite: the entrana, or skirt steak.) Excellent empanadas for starters, and get the house salad. Best in good weather, when you can eat in backyard 'garden." They only take cash and, alas, their prices have definitely crept up over the years, but a reliable place.
One step up (or more):
Metisse, 105th Street, right off B'way. Small, reliable upscale in food department but not in tone department, neighborhood restaurant. Just as good, if not better, food than nearby newcomer Cafe de Soleil, and much nicer, more intimate atmosphere.
Indus Valley, B'way and 100: the best Indian in this neighborhood.
Symposium on 113th between broadway and amsterdam is great family style greek cuisine. The dips for the pita are amazing.
Kitchenette at 123rd st and amsterdam does a pretty good brunch.
Celeste (for a more moderate price range) between 84th and 85th on amsterdam is very good and reasonable italian.
I also second Indus Valley for Indian.
Indus Valley is a flat-out excellent Indian restaurant, and not just for the neighborhood.
I haven't been to Metisse in years but was never very impressed with it. Perhaps it's gotten better, but I always felt it served food that was just OK and overpriced.
I also haven't been to Pampa in - wow, it's been three years, I think! I always liked the place, though.
I decided several years ago that El Malecon, Amsterdam between 97th and 98th, does better at pollo a la brasa (rotisserie chicken) than Flor de Mayo. The style is Dominican rather than Peruvian, and the prices are a bit cheaper. In addition to the chicken, they have daily specials, and many of them are worth ordering, including the mondongo, oxtail, and chivo. And yes, I've been there within the past few months (same with Indus Valley).
POY, one important consideration if you decide to go to Pampa is that, unless things have changed radically somewhere along the line, their portions are humongous. Do not order the entrana (skirt steak) for two; get the portion that's allegedly for one and share that. Their morcilla (blood sausage) is a bit salty but very good, for those who like it. Their garlic fries are excellent, with plenty of raw garlic. And make sure to leave room for dessert. Get the Panqueques con Dulce de Leche!
More info here:
Note the $30 minimum per person and the cash-only policy.
I recall they had some pleasant Argentinian wines on their list.