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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!

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  1. I enjoy both, but Telepan is the "better," more creative choice. Go to Ouest for simpler more comfort food. Go to Telepan for a wonderfu,l experience, and definately do the Tasting Menu,

    5 Replies
    1. re: Stuffed Monkey

      I agree, though haven't had the tasting menu at Telepan.

      1. re: MMRuth

        3rd for Telepan, we love that place. IMO it's a good deal price wise also. Make sure you try the smoked trout app and the port custard dessert.

        1. re: Spiritchaser

          It's a toss up for me.
          I would suggest you google both menus and make your own choice that way.

          1. re: idia

            ive only been to telepan but it was a great meal in a nice space for a decent price considering the quality.

      2. re: Stuffed Monkey

        I've never eaten at Ouest, but I've been to Telepan twice and loved it.

      3. 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.

        1. I certainly won't argue with the obvious trend of the opinions here. However, the strong suit of Ouest when compared to Telepan, if we must, is that they serve a very hearty meal, a good place for meat. Plus, they serve these really big martinis.

          1 Reply
          1. re: fgf

            True - esp. about the really big martinis!

          2. 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.

            1. 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.