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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 Payard...it'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.

            1. Two of my fave's in the UES are: Uva for Italian wines, cheeses and pretty decent pastas and Beyoglu for really awesome Turkish...probably the best hummus I've had in town.

              5 Replies
              1. re: LeahBaila

                There's also Perseopolis (sp?) for Persian food - white table cloths, etc., but not pretentious, and some pretty good food.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  What do you order at Persepolis? We keep wanting to go & I'd love your recs...

                  1. re: fauchon


                    I think we had pretty much the same dishes when we went back!

                    1. re: fauchon

                      I just went to Persepolis with a friend and we order a bunch of the appetizers. They were all delicious and we were absolutely stuffed when we left. That being said, I've had several entrees there which were very good...try the lamb and don't forget the sour cherry rice!

                  2. re: LeahBaila

                    I second UVA - on 77th and 2nd. They have a really great atmosphere with brick walls and votive candles, and a quaint garden setting out back. The food is excellent and decently priced.

                    If you go, try the "chocolate salami" for dessert - melt in your mouth rounds of soft dark chocolate!

                  3. Shanghai Pavilion on 3rd between 78 and 79 is good food, pleasant atmosphere. If you just want good food... more "American'...not far Eastern... the York Grill on York Ave and 89th is very comfortable.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Gelaine

                      That reminds me - I've not eaten in - but had a great delivered dinner from Pig Heaven.

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        I second Pig Heaven (chinese) - it is owned by a wonderful woman (Nancy Lee), chef has been there forever. Food is delish, and you feel as though you are a part of the family.

                        Nancy's Pig Heaven
                        1540 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

                      2. re: Gelaine

                        york grill has been a long time fave of mine for years, though it has dropped out of the rotation recently (but not because of the restaurant)... in any otehr city it would be a must go to place... nice to live ina city where such a place can be a neighborhood joint

                        1. re: thew

                          I forgot about York Grill. Thanks for the reminder! It is a good neighbor place.

                          I've also had many good meals at Cafe D'Alsace. They've rearranged the seating so it's a bit less cramped.

                      3. My wife and ate at Beyoglu, a Turkish place on 81st and 3rd, last night and it was awesome; nice atmosphere, but definitely not precious or corporate. We had four mezes, felt full, and were out the door for $32 with tip. Check to see if they have the manti special...lamb dumplings with some sort of yogurt/cream sauce. It's absolutely delicious.

                        4 Replies
                          1. re: LeahBaila

                            Went to Our Place chinese restaurant on 3rd Ave and the 80s last night. I never knew I liked Chinese. This place is amazing!

                            1. re: jackieparis

                              What did you order? details, pls!!!!

                              1. re: fauchon

                                The tangerine beef was great. Spare ribs great. Vegetable dumplings awesome. Shredded Shanghai chicken with Chinese chives. I can't wait to go back.

                        1. Beyoglu is also our favorite place for Turkish food as well.