OUEST or TELEPAN for this Friday Night - Please Help Me Choose
I am taking 2 close friends out for dinner this Friday Night before the Opera. They both love & appreciate wonderful food. I have tentatively booked reservations for both OUEST and TELEPAN on the Upper West Side. I have never been to either one of these restaurants and I am relying on the recommendations of my fellow Chowhounds. Please advise which restaurant we should go to --- OUEST or TELEPAN? Do you recommend that we order A La Carte or from the Prix Fixe Menu?
Thank you for helping me decide!
Telepan for me. Note that the prix fix allows you to choose an item from each category-it isn't a fixed menu...it's a great value. The wine pairings are very nice as well (thought maybe not such a good idea pre-opera.) For an 8:00 curtain, you'll be happpier with a 5:30 reservation-and let them know where you are going.
On the current menu, I loved the cauliflower with black pepper noodles. And smoked trout is terrific.
I'm going to be a contrarian and say Ouest. Ouest has the far warmer atmosphere, amazing, fresh-out-the-oven bread, and bright, perfectly melded flavors. It's strongest on red meats, but very good on fish and vegetable dishes, as well. To me, Telepan is bland, cold, and sterile--both in surroundings and food--in comparison.
It's in part a seasonal call. Telepan's menu is better, IMO, for warmer weather, whereas Ouest is far better for cool weather.
Final point: The wine list at Ouest is very good. Telepan's is far less so.
Have been to both, Ouest just once and loved my meal there, but I suggest Telepan where I go quite often. Love the four course prix fixe and think it is a great deal for what you get. Also the service is definitely more professional at Telepan. I echo spiritchaser's recs, definitely get the smoked trout app and port custard dessert. Also egg in the hole app. is a must have. Enjoy the meal.