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May 10, 2007 12:50 PM

Underrated Restaurants

The Overrated category seems to have touched a few nerves. Something tells me that this one won't elicit quite as much passion. We'll see.

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  1. Il Cortile: Great pasta, but the place gets lumped in with "touristy Little Italy."
    Westville: The burger is one of the best but barely gets mentioned, even in the endless and frequent "best burger" threds.
    Our Place II: It's a perfect combo of upscale Chinese but mid-scale prices, but Wu Liang Lee and the others get all the attention.

    5 Replies
    1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

      Going to have to respectfully disagree on Our Place--the one time I went it was gloppy, oily, bland Chinese.

      1. re: CobblerNYC

        I'm with Cobbler. If anything, Our Place is decidedly overrated. its just regular americanized chinese with more pretentious service to cater to UES types.

        1. re: jeanki

          Our Place II is in midtown, on 55th Street. Maybe the original on the UES is medicore, but I find the midtown version terrific.

      2. re: NAtiveNewYorker

        I agree on Il Cortile . Also think that Umberto's is underated .

      3. fresh...on duane street for seafood is aces and never really gets any notice.

        michael jordan's steakhouse is also totally excellent everytime i go.

        7 Replies
        1. re: sam1

          I actually think Michael Jordan's has one of the best burgers in the city. Its got great flavor and that nice steakhouse char. Love sitting at the bar and getting it during lunch.

          1. re: ESNY

            YES. One of the best burgers in the city.

            1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

              tigerland east village see my brief review!
              chinos (same owners as chow bar)
              posto pizza

              1. re: jsmitty

                Thanks for that review - it was on my to-go list in that area, I'll bump it up a notch or 2.

              2. re: NAtiveNewYorker

                People BLANCH when I tell them I love Michael Jordan's, and I can't quite blame them, but I think it's as good as any steakhouse in the city. I would go there just for the buttery warm garlic breadsticks stacked on a pool of gorgonzola fondue.

                But you know what? My boyfriend and I recently went to Morton's The Steakhouse and we were completely blown away! EVERYTHING was state-of-the-art.

                So much for chain restaurants being lousy.

            2. re: sam1

              Fresh is one of my favorites. My mom's office often takes over the back and does private parties there. They are very very easy to work with!

            3. Annisa gets a bad rap on this board, but I love it.

              8 Replies
              1. re: kiworan79

                annisa was a top 5 meal for me in nyc

                1. re: kiworan79

                  I went to Annisa with my Mom and brother's fiance about a year ago and we had an incredible meal! The soup dumplings with seared foia gras was spectacular, as well as the rest of the meal. It was a classy place to dine without being stuffy at all. I couldn't possibly imagine someone not enjoying their evening there. Our server was friendly and helpful and the chef came out to greet us after we mentioned we were there on a recommendation by her former sous chef---a nice touch.

                  1. re: Elyssa

                    I didn't really care for Annisa. Probably belongs on the overrated list.

                  2. re: kiworan79

                    I had a great meal at Annisa last year also. The soup dumplings, as kiworan79 mentioned, were great. I also like the little Chinese dim sum styled sesame-covered fried dough ball dessert dish (clearly I can't describe it well).

                    1. re: eatfood

                      I loved my tasting meal there - and can say that it was one of the better restaurant experiences I've had in NYC. The plates were perfectly seasoned - showed restraint and finesse, and the service was tops.

                      1. re: kayonyc

                        i don't get the annisa bashing. i only express surprise when i have been to a restaurant and have sampled many dishes. i liked about 8 of 9 there!

                        1. re: jsmitty

                          wouldn't bash annisa, but i've never had a memorable meal there either. something in the service always goes amiss. pleasant enough, though in the long run. i thinking dennis foy is the underrated resto of the moment ... so i'll do a separate post on that.

                          1. re: psp

                            foy is on my short list... i await your comments

                  3. Paprika on St. Mark's, especially for brunch.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Andrew P.

                      Hmm... I've only been for dinner. While the manager was incredibly nice to us and even gave us free courses for our less than 30 minute wait past our reservation, food was not memorable.

                      1. re: Lucia

                        Try the brunch. It's a totally different menu, and is all very tasty and affordable. Also, the coffee is outstanding.

                        1. re: Lucia

                          What did you order? Paprika is one of my neighborhood standbys -- good Italian for the price point.

                          I really like the fettuccine with asparagus, grapes and shrimp, and either of the raviolis (Lobster or Artichoke).

                          1. re: kathryn

                            Had: goat cheese in truffle oil, polenta w/cheese, beet salad w/pecorino and pistachio, pappardelle w/veal and broccoli rabe, caprese salad, black linguini w/shrimp. To be fair, the black linguini was very good, but everything else was mediocre.

                        2. re: Andrew P.

                          Discovered Paprika by accident. Also enjoyed their brunch.

                        3. Pietro's. Excellent steak and ceasar salad with professional service.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bigredd

                            glad to see that pietros is still as good as i remember from 15 years ago ...