Good restaurant by Teacher's College
I have a conference to go to at Teacher's College next Friday. I was wondering if anyone has some good ideas for an early Friday night dinner in the Columbia area for four people? We love Greek, Turkish, Italian, etc.
the TC area is a pretty weak area for food...if you venture further south you could go to Turkuaz (Broadway and 104-ish?)...or Indus Vallery (same area) for Indian...neither one is a destination restaurant, but imho they are better than any of your options in the immediate TC Morningside Hghts area...
there are a few threads from a month or two ago w/ 40+ comments debating the best options in the area (with generally grumpy, unsatisfied results)...do a search and you'll find a slew of options, though all of them will be followed by cautionary notes and complaints and recommendations to dine in a different part of town...
I work at TC, and while the area is no East Village in terms of its variety or quality, there are choices available that are perfectly acceptable for lunch.
Were I choosing, I'd go to Sezz Medi...Mediterranean on Amsterdam between 122 and 123rd. Good choices for lunch, moderately priced. On that block is also a passable, and very cheap, pan-Asian restaurant; Kitchenette, serving old-school favorites like Chicken pot pie...not stunning but good for a cold day. I'd avoid Max Soha, at the end of the block....very spotty service, occasionally rude, always non-attentive.
On Broadway, there's Le Monde, serving quasi-bistro style fare; and Mill Korean, serving passable Korean lunch.
Simon is right that the area is no hotbed of haute cuisine, but it's gotten much better in recent years, and a decent lunch can be had.
I would go to Pisticci on La Salle. It's a cute Italian spot with nice pastas and nice atmosphere. La Salla St is what would be 124th st if it wasn't named la salle, between Broadway and Claremont Avenue (West of B'way). Teacher's college is between 120 and 121st.
Sezz Medi, Pisticci and Max SoHa are all reasonably-priced Italian restaurants. I tend to eat at the first two more than the third, because Max SoHa is dark, noisy and cramped; but it would be less crowded for an early dinner. Symposium, on 113th between Amsterdam and Broadway, is a quirky Greek restaurant that I enjoy, but there are many other better Greek restaurants in town. If you're willing to venture a little south by subway, I'd recommend Gennaro, a fine Italian restaurant at Amsterdam & 92nd (cash only), or Celeste, another excellent Italian place at Amsterdam between 84th & 85th (also cash only). I'm also touting Kefi, Michael Psilakis' casual Greek restaurant which replaced Onera at 222 W. 79th between Broadway & Amsterdam.