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Nov 4, 2007 02:57 AM

Yura's Square Meal

We had dinner at Square Meal now that it has officially opened. It's a very pretty, comfortable restaurant with Yura sitting at the entrance entertaining friends. The table decoration is seasonal and lovely. Little pumpkins scattered across the table. No liquor license yet.
Yura is a wonderful chef and her food is finer now than at her old restaurant on Third Avenue.
The menu changes daily with an emphasis on seasonality. The menu is divided into smallish starters, small mains or large starters, an entree and of course, desert.
If attending an event at "The Y", this is the perfect place to have a light small main and desert.
We had starters of squash cannelloni, with a b├ęchamel sauce that was deeply flavored. It was truly excellent. Yura's soups are outstanding and my partner had a corn and butternut squash soup that was very deep.
My entree was cod on a bed of mashed potatoes with baby vegetables. Perfectly cooked fish, with a garlicky crust. The baby veggies actually tasted of the species and were not overcooked. The other entree was scallops with chanterelle mushrooms in a vinegar reduction. The scallops were sweet and very fresh and played well with the tartness of the vinegar.
Deserts are Yura's stand out and there were so many, on and off the menu. I hate pumpkin pie and I wanted to see if Yura could make me like it. She did. A not too sweet filling that had edginess from the spicing and the lightest, buttery flaky crust. We also had a divine, deep caramel maple pudding.
Bread service was cheddar scones. A bonus was sighting Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward who live in the neighborhood. He must have eaten very well as he bowed to Yura on his way out.
SQUARE MEAL, 30 East 92nd Street, (212) 860-9872
Open Tues-Sat

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  1. So glad you enjoyed it - we went once before Labor Day - when they were only open a couple nights of the week. We also had a great meal - I loved the barolo meatballs, though I didn't see them on the menu the last time I walked by. She's also taken the hamburger off the menu. My husband had a roast chicken dish that he enjoyed. And the peach pie was divine - I woke up the next morning craving a piece for breakfast. I have noticed that the prices have gone up since she first open - do you mind my asking about how much the bill was? We live on that block and were originally thinking that it would be a great place for weeknight dinners when I don't feel like cooking, but after seeing the higher prices (not that they are out of line for the neighborhood) we've not tried it again.

    How was the service? When we were there it was fine, friendly, but still working out some kinks/awkwardness.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      The prices vere very gentle. $85.00 for two with the trimmings. The service is also much improved from the early opening. The burgers are back and beautiful as was a boston lettuce salad that floated by.

      1. re: pups224

        Glad to hear about the burger - it wasn't on the menu when I walked by on Friday.

    2. We went again for dinner last night - it was cold, we were hungry, kitchen piled up with (clean) dishes, pots and pans from Thanksgiving dinner - so going across the street for very well prepared comfort food was the perfect option. Those cheddar scones/biscuits are wonderful - Cabot sharp white cheddar, a hint of fresh rosemary, buttermilk - incredibly tender and slightly crispy on the outside. They quickly offered to bring us more when we finished off the first batch, but we decided to restrain ourselves.

      I had the apple/endive salad ($12) - very generous portion, tart apples, endive and a little red cabbage with a light dressing, and the hamburger - 5oz - juicy, served with caramelized onions on a sesame seed bun - wish it had been toasted though - served with oven baked fries - thick, well seasoned tasty wedges, with home made catsup on the side. My husband had the butternut squash rosemary cannelloni - quite good, though neither of us likes squash (he somehow overlooked the squash bit when ordering), and the bouillabaise (sp?) - huge amounts of shrimp, clams, mussels and fish, with some potatoes in a beautiful broth. It was served with a piece of grilled bread with aioli, but because it was placed on top of the dish, it was soggy, so he skipped that. For dessert, we ordered the three layer spice cake with salted caramel buttercream that we'd seen on our way in (along with a rum apple pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, a blueberry crisp, and a bittersweet chocolate pudding parfait) - easily one of the best slices of cake I've had in a long time - the cake itself was very light, the buttercream very rich.

      The service was excellent - they seem to have smoothed out some of the initial awkwardness - and the place was bustling with a combination of families, older couples, and what seemed to be college kids home on vacation. The check was about $85 with tax and tip, and we toddled across the street and into bed quite happily! As my husband said, it's clear that Yura really cares about food. It's still BYOB, by the way.

      1. Do you know if they are open for lunch or brunch and if yes has anyone gone. I am looking for a lunch / brunch place near the Cooper Hewitt Museum on 91st & Fifth Ave and thought this might be a good option if they are open. We went to Sarabeth's last time we did the museum and I wanted to try something different. Any other suggestions would be welcome too. TIA

        5 Replies
        1. re: G3B

          Unfortunately, they are not (yet) open for lunch/brunch. Table d'Hote is quite nice, on the next block east. I find Bistro du Nord to be a bit hit or miss - sometimes quite good, sometimes very ordinary. Sfoglia is open for lunch at 92nd and Lex - don't know what the reservation situation is with lunch though. Have you been to Cafe Sabarsky?

          1. re: MMRuth

            Thanks for all the suggestions. I will look into your recs. I have not been to Cafe Sabarsky, but doesn't that one get very crowded during the weekends?

            1. re: G3B

              It does - wasn't sure when you were going - though I guess brunch suggests the weekend! Sometimes the line does move pretty quickly, and the food is wonderful. Great room too. Sfoglia isn't open for lunch on Sundays, I believe.

          2. re: G3B

            I was there tonight and will post a separate review, but inquired about lunch and it sounds like they may open for lunch on Saturdays sometime in February.

            1. re: MMRuth

              Thanks for the heads up. I will definitely inquire the next time we do another museum outing and if that is the case, I will definitely have a case for going Sat. instead of Sun.

          3. Adding link to places. Also now open for lunch on Sundays.

            Square Meal
            30 E 92nd St, New York, NY 10128

            1. The atmosphere is like eating in someone's home, only with the yummiest food imaginable! All the salads are always seasonal and delicious. If the pear and goat cheese napoleon is on the menu - order it. The fish is as fresh as can be - never frozen (I know because I talked to Yura about it).
              In any case, it's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is always my favorite option in the Upper East Side or Carnegie Hill. BTW - I think the prices simply reflect the sourcing, since I think they get almost everything from the greenmarket (hence the changing menu).

              7 Replies
              1. re: Elisita

                I'm considering Square Meal for my sister's graduation lunch on Wednesday. However, my grandparents are coming and cannot eat meat or shellfish. I'm concerned because I can't find a typical menu on their website or on menupages. Will I find enough vegetarian or fish options? Any other UES options?

                1. re: lucyj

                  I've posted some typical menus here:

                  They usually have crabcakes, and the Thai Calamari is excellent. Taking a quick look at the menus I posted, which are from last fall, it looks like there are a number of options that would work for them. You might also want to call though just to check about the vegetarian options, if there is someone who doesn't eat seafood. I'll take a look at the menu next time I'm out today and post back.

                  Square Meal
                  30 E 92nd St, New York, NY 10128

                    1. re: lucyj

                      I keep forgetting to check the menu for you, and just thought of you as I passed by, but they didn't have the menu yet. Whatever you end up doing, I hope your family has a wonderful celebratory lunch.

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        Thanks it was. I've been reading your posts about Square Meal for some time now, but rarely end up eating on the UES. We went and I have to agree with all of your positive posts, everything was delicious.

                        1. re: lucyj

                          Oh good - I'm glad it worked out. I think it is such a lovely place, but I don't think it's quite a destination place, so to speak. Glad you had the opportunity to try it.

                2. re: Elisita

                  That pear and goat cheese napoleon was actually the dish I've liked least at Square Meal - I had it in January so I don't remember the details, but I found it disappointing.