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Oct 17, 2007 08:02 PM

E 80's or upper 70's not precious place!

I was thinking wu liang ye, but I keep reading it's gone way down. Is there anywhere in the Upper eastside that is more mom & pop, gives a fair shake, NOT nouveau or affected, just simple good food? It could be Thai, Japanese or even a bar with decent entrees and no attitude. It all gets so corporate up there, I may be seeking the impossible...

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  1. Re: Wu Liang Ye - I *think* that the downhill posts were about the other location. But it's been a couple of months since I've been. What price range are you looking for - and what do you mean by "corporate"? I believe Spigolo is owned by a couple - lovely Italian food - I don't think of it as precious.

    Our recent favorite for Japanese (sushi) is Inase, on 1st Ave. and 82nd - though we have noticed service issues recently, even though the place usually only has a couple tables filled. Sushi and Sashimi are wonderful though, as are the dishes we've gotten from the kitchen. Not pretentious in any way.

    Some of our other favorites - also family run - are a bit further afield - on E. 92nd - Zebu Grill for Brazilian, and Kurio.

    1. We've had many good experiences at Grace's Trattoria on 71st & Third...quality is always excellent, room is rustic/comfy, ambiance is casual & neighborhood-y....

      We also love's pricey but the food is delicious, the ambiance lively & casual, the accent is French

      Via Quadronno is another non-precious, high quality UES spot...on 73rd just west of Madison...excellent food, charming & competent waiters, best espresso/cappuchino/etc, too...a very easy drop-in kind of neighborhood place...

      2 Replies
      1. re: fauchon

        I like both Payard and VQ, as you know, but I fear the OP may find the affected - maybe he or she can chime in with the names of some places in other neighborhoods that he or she likes, to help guide us.

        1. re: MMRuth

          Good idea...however, since the OP said nothing about price, I thought of places that -- at least to me -- seem casual & neighborhood-y & where the welcome is warm & friendly. Of course the neighborhood IS the UES but I assume the OP will take that into consideration. Neither Payard or VQ are the least bit precious, nor are they nouveau....but, of course & as always, de gustibus....

      2. For me, Yuka on 2nd ave. is a great japanese place with all you can eat rolls on a week night. Fresh, friendly but might be noisy cause of the crowd. It depends on the night.


        1. B. Cafe on 75th betw. 2nd and 3rd serves solid, simple Belgian food without any pretense.

          1. The bar across the street at Etats-Unis has a very downtown feel to it. 81st St between 2nd and 3rd.
            Also, try Canyon Road for Midwestern. 1st Ave @ 77th st. It can get packed and then the service is very slow. Great value and very relaxed atmosphere.

            I've been to Inase twice. The first time the fish were great (as in one of the best sushi places in the city great), the second mediocre. Service was good both times though their English is limited. I agree about everything else MMRuth said about this place.