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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.

              1. For what it's worth, I think both are fantastic. Telepan a more low-key atmosphere with more creative food IMO, though I think definitely a better summer place. Ouest better for cold weather, heavier meals and I think it has a more lively atmosphere inside (and a much better bar). I would take a date to Telepan and a group to Ouest.

                1. Never been to Ouest, but I've had great meals at Telepan.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Little Cupcake

                    one more vote for telepan. they're used to feeding the juilliard crowd so your dinner will be properly paced. enjoy the meal.

                  2. I say go Ouest- they have the best appitizers in New York City. The "truffled omelet soufflé with mousseline sauce" is like nothing you've ever tasted before. It is boldly flavored, but not too salty. The texture is cloud-like with just the right density to please the palette! Enjoy!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sweetlaurieh

                      Please note that this was a post from Nov 07, so hopefully the OP had already had the dinner. At either restaurant she probably got a great meal!

                    2. I've been to both, and would opt for Telepan. But there are pros and cons to both places, with at least some of the arguments having already been addressed in prior responses on this thread. If it's a toss-up I would go for Telepan simply based on proximity. You'll have more time to relax and enjoy your meal without having to worry about finding a taxi, and/or leaving extra time, to get to Lincoln Center