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ISO UES Charming Hole-in-the-wall

uptwngrl14 Aug 17, 2007 03:50 PM

Anyone know of a great neighborhood find? Looking for a rustic, bistro, tapas place, inoteca, etc.,place to make my new go-to-place... where a quick dinner or lingering over great wine, cheese and food while catching up w/ good friends could be had.

Italian, French, Belgian, Spanish....

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  1. u
    UES Mayor RE: uptwngrl14 Aug 18, 2007 06:59 AM

    Zebu-92nd just off 2nd ave. Brazilian-very nice people and food. Rustic as wel

    1 Reply
    1. re: UES Mayor
      MMRuth RE: UES Mayor Aug 19, 2007 06:45 AM

      Agreed, though definitely not a hole in the wall. Try the empanadas.

    2. Jel212 RE: uptwngrl14 Aug 18, 2007 09:16 AM

      I like Brasserie Julien, though it's not exactly a hole in the wall. On 3rd ave in...high 80s? 70's?

      1. d
        dani108 RE: uptwngrl14 Aug 18, 2007 09:38 AM

        OhMammaMia 2nd ave bet 76+77, Vero- 2nd Ave bet 77+78 Caffe Buon Gusto- 77 bet 2+3

        3 Replies
        1. re: dani108
          Jel212 RE: dani108 Aug 20, 2007 10:50 AM

          I had a terrible experience at Caffe Buon Gusto. Which just reminded me of the little italian places I love - Gino's and Traingolo on 83rd and 1st.

          1. re: Jel212
            jackieparis RE: Jel212 Aug 20, 2007 12:52 PM

            Really? I love Caffee Buon Gusto. What was your experience?

            1. re: jackieparis
              Jel212 RE: jackieparis Aug 20, 2007 02:13 PM

              Its so cute - I wish it was better. Here's my experience:

              "So Disppointed"
              I had walked by this place numerous times, and was looking forward to trying it out as a casual and cozy place for "the parents to meet" for the first time. I'm pretty easy - I like good, basic food with no frills, as well as am wowed by the slightly fancier stuff. Walked in with two other people, no one noticed us for about 5 minutes. We were shown to a table, then told we could sit in the garden if we wanted. We followed the host to the garden - through many tight areas where garbage and dirty plates were clearly visible. When we got back there, it was incredibly crowded, and there was only 1 too-small front table for us. So we went back to the front. The banquets that had looked so cozy were TOO HIGH FOR THE TABLES! When I sat down (and I am short) I was hovering high above the table, with my thighs touching the bottom (and I am small in stature). My boyfriend and sister had to sit on the regular chairs to be at all comfortable. The hostess, who I guess also doubled as a waitress, left us sitting there for a very long time, thirsty and hungry. When she finally came over, we had to request bread and water. The bread was doughy and bland and dry. I had to ask twice about something on the menu, and she didn't know what came with the dish. I also had to ask twice for more olive oil, while we waited for someone to take our order. I was hopeful that it would be worth it, since the food looked good. The food was less-than mediocre, with marinara sauce that was more just chopped-up tomatoes that were too sour, and pasta that was gummy and stuck together. We didn't order anything else. Overall, an unpleasant experience, and not worth the food.

        2. r
          RGR RE: uptwngrl14 Aug 18, 2007 11:02 AM

          Sel et Poivre is on Lex, b/t 64th & 65th St. I wouldn't describe it as a hole-in-the-wall, but it is small and quite charming, and the French bistro cuisine is very tasty.


          1. c
            chow3 RE: uptwngrl14 Aug 19, 2007 10:47 AM

            I love the bar at Etats-Unis. It's the little wine bar across the street from the restaurant. It has its own menu (or they will let you order off the restaurant menu.) I was my favorite place on the UES when I lived there. The ambience and food are great.

            2 Replies
            1. re: chow3
              bosox RE: chow3 Aug 20, 2007 12:48 PM

              zocalo - 82nd st between 3rd and lex. great little mexican dishes and great drinks.

              1. re: bosox
                Jel212 RE: bosox Aug 20, 2007 02:13 PM

                Second Zocalo!

            2. LeahBaila RE: uptwngrl14 Aug 20, 2007 12:50 PM

              Uva is fab! 77th and 2nd.

              1. a
                acenyc RE: uptwngrl14 Aug 26, 2007 08:35 AM

                Definitely echo the Uva and Zocalo recs- check out Bandol- 78th just across 3rd- great neighborhood French bistro with excellent service and fabulouse food- love the salads and risotto! Visit for the first time and the fabuolous staff will make you feel like a regular.

                1. i
                  idia RE: uptwngrl14 Aug 27, 2007 05:52 AM

                  You will be impressed with this little known gem that specializes in healthy fresh food.


                  1. SweetPea914 RE: uptwngrl14 Aug 27, 2007 06:05 AM

                    On Madison between 92nd and 93rd there are 2 small, cute places. Not quite "hole in the wall" but tiny and intimate with relaxed service. They are on the pricey side unless you go before 7 for the Prix Fixe.
                    Bistro du Nord - nothing on menupages but NY mag has a review...


                    8 Replies
                    1. re: SweetPea914
                      MMRuth RE: SweetPea914 Aug 27, 2007 06:07 AM

                      To me - definitely not hole in the wall. I find Bistro du Nord hit or miss - sometimes pretty good, sometimes terrible. I do like Pascalou - I tend not to "trust" places that seem to incorporate various cuisines into their menu, but dishes there are v. well executed. Wonderful tuna main course with little dumplings.

                      1. re: MMRuth
                        SweetPea914 RE: MMRuth Aug 27, 2007 06:12 AM

                        Agreed on Bistro Du Nord. I lived right around the corner until last summer so these were our go-to places when we didn't feel like cooking or travelling far. I prefer Bistro Du Nord for Brunch and Pascalou was more our dinner place.

                        1. re: SweetPea914
                          MMRuth RE: SweetPea914 Aug 27, 2007 06:13 AM

                          Makes sense. We must have been neighbors!

                          1. re: MMRuth
                            SweetPea914 RE: MMRuth Aug 27, 2007 06:26 AM

                            I know, I just saw your posting on sushi restaurants in the high 80's/low 90's and was thinking we must have been neighbors!

                      2. re: SweetPea914
                        RGR RE: SweetPea914 Aug 27, 2007 07:25 AM

                        The teensy "boite," Table d'Hote, on 92nd, b/t Madison & Park, fits the category of "hole-in-the-wall." We haven't been there is ages, but our daughter and the b.f. went there recently and said the French bistro cuisine is still excellent.


                        1. re: RGR
                          MMRuth RE: RGR Aug 27, 2007 07:29 AM

                          Oh good - we like it too. But I guess I equate "hole-in-the-wall" with "dive" - I guess that's a topic for another board!

                          1. re: MMRuth
                            RGR RE: MMRuth Aug 27, 2007 10:25 AM

                            It did occur to me that the terms are usually equated that way. So, if being divey is a major aspect of a hole-in-the-wall, then, of course, Table d'Hote isn't.

                            1. re: RGR
                              MMRuth RE: RGR Aug 27, 2007 10:44 AM

                              Nor, do I think, are most the of the rest of our recommendations on this thread! But, as far as I know, not a lot of "holes in the wall" in the neighborhood. Another place that I love is Kurios - great drinks, interesting and well executed menu, including lots of wonderful fried appetizers - tempura green beans and a number of others - across from Zebu Grill on E. 92nd St.

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