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Upper West Side fun

I'm entertaining an out of town friend on monday night (june 3) who will be staying at central park west in the 80s.

I'm looking for a unique place for a nice meal, under $30 (plus tax, tip) - within walking distance of that location. She lives in a semi-rural area, so I'd like to take her to something NY'ish; something she wont' encounter in her home area.

Also, any fun dessert places around there that anyone would like to recommend? Maybe someplace that does chocolate desserts well? That's not essential, but she is a chocolate lover.

That would be great too.



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  1. Cafe Lalo would be good for dessert.

    1 Reply
    1. re: haleyjen

      Great suggestion! I always take some out of town friends there for desserts, they always think it's kinda neat that it was in You've Got Mail and the desserts are reallyl good too!

    2. Although you may go over 30/person if you have both apps/entrees/dessert, Calle Ocho is a good place in the neighborhood to bring an out of town friend. Also -- a little more affordable -- Rain might fit your needs.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kiworan79

        I was going to suggest Calle Ocho too, but I thought it might be too expensive. Particularly if you have drinks.

      2. Kefi, on 79th between broadway and amsterdam. Fresh, well-executed greek at amazingly affordable prices. Go early because it gets crowded and it's cash only.

        1 Reply
        1. I would take her to Prohibition for after dinner drinks.

          1. Telepan is a wonderful, very NYC place, where you can have a good meal just ordering the appetizers, and get away for something within your price range. The service is as warm and efficient whether you order the full shebang or a light dinner, and the atmosphere is polished without being stuffy. They also have an amazing brunch: make sure you try the home-made smoked trout, which is on all the menus...

            2 Replies
            1. re: baozhen

              Telepan is a wonderful restaurant and def one of my faves in the area, but it doesnt' fit in the OP's request of under $30. A meal at Telepan will most likely cost around $100/person.

              1. re: JoLi

                Lunch at Telepan is $28/person.

            2. I agree with every place on the list. I would add

              Cafe Mozart - great desserts esp chocolate one
              Patsy's - NY Pie
              Bella Luna - Italian
              Cafe Con Leche - Cuban
              Rain - Thai food

              2 Replies
              1. re: kelea

                I totally second Bella Luna, that place is New Yorkish as it gets

                1. what about Celeste? good italian, good prices, kind of a good nyc experience?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Tal

                    I second Celeste. You might want to try Bistro Citron on Columbus (in the 80's) for some french country food and an inviting atmosphere.

                    1. re: berna

                      I will give a resounding third to Celeste. I travel from Brooklyn for the wine list, pizzas and exquisite cheese selection. Ask the owner Carmine for wine suggestions.

                  2. Bello Sguardo on Amsterdam btwn 79 & 80.

                    1. i love calle ocho too! would definitely skip rain though, you can get good asian food at tons of other places much cheaper.

                      1. I'm overwhelmed with all the wonderful suggestions!

                        Thanks a bunch. I'm going to narrow it down to 2 or 3 and see what appeals to my guest.