upper west side recommendation-simple, not asian cuisine
anything easy but good like italian, or simple american???
Try Celeste - great Italian. It's a bit small, but worth it. Great pastas and a fantastic cheese selection. Beware it's cash only. - On Amsterdam between 84th/85th.
Nice Matin - 79th and Amsterdam. Outdoors seating on this warm evening. French bistro
Spiga - 200 W. 84th St.
if you want bargain but still tasty Italian, try Gennaro (90s and amsterdam) or Regional (around 100 and bdway)
Celeste is very nice, but VERY crowded. We had a language problem (rare in an Italian place) --- our waiter had been in USA 2 weeks.
Nice matin is very good, but overpriced at dinner. Lunch is a much better deal. I really like their Pan Bagnat.
Nice Matin usually gets my vote. Aloutte (97 and B'way) is excellent too. Aix is a bit expensive but nice. I used to like Fiorella's (about 68th and B'way) but haven't been there for a while. Oh, and of course, Nick and Toni's is always reliable!
I think Celeste and Bettola (on Amsterdam bet. 79 & 80) are the best bets for high quality but not too expensive Italian on the UWS. I think the pizzas are better at Bettola, but the pastas and appetizers are better at Celeste (although I'm a sucker for the spelt salad at Bettola).
I go to Bettola much more often, because it is less crowded, more friendly, and I'm addicted to the smoked mozarella with sausage pizza.
I have always liked Pizzabolla on 92nd and Amsterdam. I have written many posts on their wonderful and warm service, their red checked table cloths, affordable prices and delicious homey Italian food (including a terrific bread basket with pizza bread and others). I highly recommend it...
I also second Celeste, but my problem is with the crowds and no reservations...
You should try Bistro Citron, it is on 83rd and Columbus, and it is new to the area. There have been three restaurants in that location in the past year but this is the first that is consistently crowded. The Frisee Salad is excellent and the mussels are fantastic and you get a huge bowl of them with fries for quite cheap....highly recommended
I agree with Celeste also but the tables are so close together you can't even talk to the person you are eating with...food is great though
Agree with Dave about the quality of Celeste and Bettola. These are often my go-to places. Also agree about the pizzas, though I am partial to Bettola's white pizza with truffle oil. However, I find the service much more friendly and attentive at Celeste. In fact my only complaint with Bettola is that you constantly have to chase down the waiters.
Agree with the comments on Bettola (better atmosphere) and Celeste (pizzas aren't as good; defiantly and definitely crowded).
Some specific food suggestions to go with restaurant recs:
-crab salad at Nice Matin (for lunch) is always good, though a little heavy on the dressing
-try the tagliatelle with shrimp and cabbage at Celeste. It's great (though the last 2 times I went, there were consistency problems)
-I like the fettucine with sausage, fennel, and peas at Bettola
Arte Cafe's also decent. They have an early-bird special on weekdays if you eat before 6 pm (early, I know).
Try Pair of 8s on Amsterdam b/w 87th & 88th. Good American food, fresh ingredients and an interesting wine list.