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Just moved to the UES - Need some restaurant suggestions...

MargaritaGirl Sep 2, 2006 09:25 PM

I just moved to the area around 77th Street and Lexington, and I have never lived in that area of Manhattan. I do not cook, so eating out / ordering in is an everyday event. I need suggestions on where to get the following:
- burger
- pizza
- sushi
- mexican
- red sauce italian
- good cup of coffee
- pub fare
- nicer cocktails or wine bar
Thanks hounds!!!!

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  1. j
    jeanki RE: MargaritaGirl Sep 2, 2006 10:14 PM

    I used to live in the 90s so most of these might be a little farther away:

    Pizza: I think Nick's is the best on the UES (they have
    several locations but there's one on 96th and 2nd), but John's and Totonno's are decent as well.

    Sushi: for everyday sushi Poke at 85th/1st is good and reasonably priced. Ichiro, Gaiyumaru, Tatany, and even Sushi Hana are all ok too. For high end Sushi of Gari's omakase is unparallelled, and I heard Sushi Seki and Sushi Sennin are decent too.

    Mexican: El Paso Taqueria on 97th and park is great and cheap. sabor el mexico around 90th and 1st is good too.

    Italian: some folks like Luca although I found it middling. Sfoglia is getting a lot of hype of late. Bardolino makes tasty bargain pasta dishes.

    Burger: Better Burger serves organic meat although it's kind of tough. J.G. Melon makes small but tasty burgers.

    Pub Fare: Kinsale Tavern makes very good Irish pub grub.

    Cocktails: for old world pricey Bemelman's Bar is it. for more hip/modern, there was some wine bar in the 70s (L-something?)but i'm forgetting the name sorry. Stir is a cool bar/lounge in the 70s.

    UES is notoriously blah for food compared to the rest of town. My only real faves there are maybe Nick's, el paso, the sushi joints, Mingala Burmese, Ethiopian Restaurant, Beyoglu.

    It's too bad you don't cook though because you live right near a Citarella!

    5 Replies
    1. re: jeanki
      MMRuth RE: jeanki Sep 5, 2006 06:16 PM

      Of the sushi places suggested - our favorite for "cheap" sushi is Ichiro - I was very disappointed by Poke. Amber can be quite good, but for the money (or a little more money), I'd rather go to Gari.

      1. re: MMRuth
        Kanger RE: MMRuth Sep 5, 2006 08:32 PM

        I was also disappointed by Poke. I'd heard so many great reviews, but (at least when I went) the fish was not fresh at all.

        1. re: Kanger
          MMRuth RE: Kanger Sep 5, 2006 09:23 PM

          That was my sense - it has been over a year since I went, but my overall impression was that I had no interest in waiting in line for that quality of fish.

        2. re: MMRuth
          The Baron RE: MMRuth Sep 12, 2006 04:44 PM

          I concur. Ichiro is very good and not that expensive. Make sure to get to know "Sam" the sushi chef. One of the best in the city.

          1. re: The Baron
            MMRuth RE: The Baron Sep 12, 2006 07:41 PM

            Thanks for the tip - we always sit at a table, so maybe will try the sushi bar next time.

      2. designerboy01 RE: MargaritaGirl Sep 3, 2006 04:52 AM

        For a good Irish Pub try:
        Finnegan's Wake
        1361 First Avenue
        New York, NY

        They got pretty good pub food at reasonable prices.

        1. g
          G3B RE: MargaritaGirl Sep 3, 2006 12:39 PM

          JG Melon's for burgers

          Atlantic Grill for dinner

          Tiramisu for pizza and italian food but i like their pizza more than the other stuff

          EJ's and Barking Dog for very casual inexpensive meals (diner like)

          Delizia pizza joint which I like better than the rest, definitely don't like Ray's right by you on 76th & 3rd. (My preference is thin crusts pizzas.)

          BBQ take-out when I have run out of other things, very inexpensive and OK for once in a while fix on ribs or chicken.

          Jeanki is right cooking is a lot easier, with Citarella, Eli's and Graces nearby. Also another one on 79 St and 1st Ave. I can never remember the name bec. I never go there. But it is close to you too. Also numerous korean fruit and vegetable stores in the hood.

          Hope this helps.

          1. j
            john p RE: MargaritaGirl Sep 3, 2006 12:50 PM

            Our favorite place in the neighborhood for comfort food and friendly surroundings is a tiny Turkish restaurant, Uskudar, on Second between 73rd and 74th. Our feet just go there automatically.

            1. m
              midvale4561 RE: MargaritaGirl Sep 3, 2006 11:52 PM

              Sushi -- Inase very good new place. Authentic and not the usual sushi.
              Burger -- Luke's. Best burger around.
              Italian -- Rughetta is very good and Erminia is an expensinve, special place

              1. a
                adamak RE: MargaritaGirl Sep 4, 2006 08:50 PM

                Inase is really good (nice surprise for me too). 82nd /1st. They're currently BYOB (no license yet). It's very authentic. Poke is good, but the line is a little crazy these days, I would rather come to Inase. Poke is great at roll and appertizers, Inase is much better at sashimi and whatever they flown in that day. Gaiyumaru on 86th / 1st is also very good, but slightly more expensive than Inase.

                Get there before the line begins.

                1. h
                  haleyjen RE: MargaritaGirl Sep 5, 2006 03:02 PM

                  I agree with JG Melon for burgers, but it can get crowded.
                  For sushi, I like Sushi Sennin the best, but Sushi Hana is good also.
                  I like El Paso for authentic Mexican and I like Canyon Road for Margaritas/Quesadillas Mexican.
                  Hmmm, Carino is good for this, so is Arturos. These are both real red sauce places.
                  DT/UT for coffee.
                  Luke's for pub fare.
                  I like Lenox Room for cocktails, but I will give the warning that a lot of people think it's really cliquey, skewed towards NYC private school survivors.

                  1. teresa RE: MargaritaGirl Sep 5, 2006 05:20 PM

                    Actually, there is a closer Sabor A Mexico II to your location.

                    233 e 77th st (btwn 2nd & 3rd ave)

                    It's my favorite Mexican place in the UES!! :)

                    I second EJ's and JG Melon.

                    Also, there is always Cork & Fin at 73rd & York. They have REALLY good fish & chips for like 7 bucks!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: teresa
                      carlywood RE: teresa Sep 15, 2006 12:36 AM

                      Yes! Sabor A Mexicao II was excellent. I've been missing my Mexican food since moving here from Chicago, but they serve up a good taco.

                    2. k
                      Kanger RE: MargaritaGirl Sep 5, 2006 06:14 PM

                      I also second J.G. Melon and Kinsale Tavern, and would add:

                      Sarabeth's -- great brunch and my favorite Eggs Benedict in the city.

                      Pio Pio -- very affordable, delicious Peruvian roast chicken. Good sides and strong, sweet sangria.

                      Saigon Grill -- once (and if) it reopens, affordable, delicious Vietnamese food.

                      Cafe d'Alsace -- I haven't been back since the Bruni review supposedly led to an arrogant nosedive in service, but I love the food.

                      I've only been to Gari on the West Side but if Sushi of Gari is anywhere near as good (and most people say it's better!), you can't go wrong with it (but your wallet will be much, much lighter).

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Kanger
                        Prav RE: Kanger Sep 8, 2006 09:56 PM

                        Saigon Grill is closed?!?!?

                        1. re: Prav
                          TipsyMcStagger RE: Prav Sep 8, 2006 10:27 PM

                          They're either doing a MAJOR renovation or they're closed.

                          The place is absolutely gutted. But then again, with the new location in Union Square, maybe they got a cash infusion and they're trying to"upscale" the place a bit with a total renovation.

                          We'll see!


                          1. re: Prav
                            Kanger RE: Prav Sep 8, 2006 11:39 PM

                            Check out this older thread I started on the fate of the UES Saigon Grill: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                            I think there's hope yet!

                            I'm actually headed down to the University Place location right now ... it's just as good; give it a shot!

                        2. j
                          jessiers RE: MargaritaGirl Sep 5, 2006 06:39 PM

                          - burger - JG Melon's, Better Burger
                          - pizza - Mimi's (Lex and 84th)
                          - sushi - Poke, Sushi Hana (though not always consistent)
                          - mexican - Zocalo!!!!
                          - red sauce italian - Due (cash only)
                          - good cup of coffee - Rohrs (great coffee!!!)
                          - nicer cocktails or wine bar - Vespa (not great food but GREAT wine list)
                          - miscellaneous - Cafe, D'Alsace, Spigolo, Lusardi's, Sfoglia, Antonuchi, Turquoise, Penang (good Thai take out),

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: jessiers
                            Kanger RE: jessiers Sep 5, 2006 08:33 PM

                            Penang is actually a Malaysian restaurant. I wouldn't correct you, but my family is from Penang (the island, that is) so I feel obligated to ...

                            1. re: Kanger
                              jessiers RE: Kanger Sep 9, 2006 03:10 PM

                              My apologies for speaking incorrectly. I stand corrected.

                            2. re: jessiers
                              shortstop RE: jessiers Sep 7, 2006 03:12 PM

                              Due is great for pastas and salads though it is not exactly red sauce italian. 3rd Avenue b/79th & 80th. Sidewalk seating when the weather is nice. It is next door to Luke's which was recommended above, which hits the spot for American fare: burgers, salads, roast chicken, meatloaf etc. Also their sister restaurant, Willy's on 80th & 2nd. Great roasted artichoke appetizer.

                              I second the Sushi Hana rec for everyday sushi. 78th & 2nd. Also check out Sake Hana around the corner for drinks and other items from the Sushi Hana menu. 78th b/2nd & 3rd.

                            3. r
                              rathbone RE: MargaritaGirl Sep 5, 2006 08:55 PM

                              Great Sushi at a cheap price is at Iwasaki 60st/1st, Some of the best sushi I have found matches Mizu in Flatiron District for like half the price... The only problem is the atmosphere, its bad plain and simple... not a date spot by any means but if you like to get great food at a great price check it out. I just moved from 63/1 to 79/York and I miss it if i don't make it once a week!

                              1. r
                                ratgirl RE: MargaritaGirl Sep 5, 2006 09:23 PM

                                Matsu Sushi btwn 1st and York.

                                1. h
                                  haleyjen RE: MargaritaGirl Sep 5, 2006 09:39 PM

                                  There's also a great traditional Japanese place on 1st Avenue between 86th and 87th that I can't remember the name of. Great food.

                                  For lighter Italian, I like Mangiarini and Mezzaluna. Petaluma is great too. (Fried olives are amazing). Elio's is great too, but very pricey.

                                  Other places for drinks I thought of was Mark's Bar at the Mark hotel, Vero, and Library at the Regency.

                                  Also, if you like a good dive bar, I love Ryan's Daughter on 85th.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: haleyjen
                                    jeanki RE: haleyjen Sep 5, 2006 10:27 PM

                                    I think you're referring to Gaiyumaru.

                                  2. f
                                    fschil RE: MargaritaGirl Sep 6, 2006 01:26 AM

                                    Italian - $ Rhugetta, $$$ Centilore (on Madison)

                                    Mexican - $ Sabor on First 90th (little ambiance but try the Chilques) $$$ Zocalo (great margaritas)

                                    Pub / Burger - Fetch, Fionas, Kinsale or JG MElon
                                    DTUT for Coffee

                                    Nice Cocktail and snacks: Jacques on e 85th , the wine bar @ Etas Unis in good weather the kiosk by the Boathouse near central park,

                                    1. m
                                      mudge RE: MargaritaGirl Sep 7, 2006 02:44 PM

                                      Try David Copperfields for burgers and beer (York Ave and 79th methinks). For Italian (sorry, they don't really do red sauce) try Spigolo. Heather and Scott both have USHG pedigrees before opening up their great little shoebox of a joint on 2nd and 81.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: mudge
                                        The Baron RE: mudge Sep 12, 2006 04:46 PM

                                        I agree. David Copperfield's makes a mean burger and has an amazing list of draft beers to bolster the experience. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that David Copperfield's is on 74th or 75th Street.

                                      2. m
                                        MargaritaGirl RE: MargaritaGirl Sep 8, 2006 09:41 PM

                                        The 'hounds REALLY came through for me. Thank you for all of the suggestions! I will report back as soon as I have sampled.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: MargaritaGirl
                                          The Baron RE: MargaritaGirl Sep 12, 2006 05:37 PM

                                          You are welcome. Also, if you like expensive Mexican, you can't beat Maya on 1st Avenue at 64th Street.

                                          1. re: The Baron
                                            G3B RE: The Baron Sep 12, 2006 09:01 PM

                                            I second Maya, tableside guacamole is great, expensive but great. Only complaint is that it can be on the loud side.

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