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W50s-W70s, moderate but yummy dinner?

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I need to choose a place for dinner for 3 tomorrow night on the UWS (ideally between the 50s and 70s) that is nice, but not too grand (~$20 entrees). We're considering Nice Matin (a bit far north) and La Boite en Bois and are open to anything but sushi. Mostly I'm trying to figure out what the most delicious sort-of-value option is in a spot where I don't eat too often.

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  1. Stick with Nice Matin. We live in the Village but make the journey to eat there. It is excellent value for great food.

    1. Earthen Oven is great for Indian on 72nd/Columbus.
      Fairway Cafe is always satisfying, though it may be a little lacking in ambience since it does actually look like a restaurant above a supermarket.

      1. Pasha -- Turkish (great appetizers, in particular)
        Kefi -- Greek (no reservations, be prepared to wait about 1/2 an hr)
        La Vela -- Italian (good fresh pastas, especially the walnut mushroom ravioli in cream sauce)

        2 Replies
        1. re: cimui

          I do Pomodro on Columbus over La Vela, add Epices on 68th and second Pasha.

          1. re: Stuffed Monkey

            I think the food at Pomodoro focuses on a different region of Italy, no? I associate Pomodoro more with red sauce (not in a bad way). To me, it's not better, just different. (La Vela also has the benefit of being less expensive!)

            Epices to my mind is just alright. I like that it serves up Tunisian and Morrocan dishes, which can be hard to find in NYC, but they're not particularly well executed. Meats can be a little dry and flavors are simple, almost bland -- nothing like the complexity you get in real Moroccan home cooking.

        2. All this talk of Italian restaurants jogged my memory. It's a little further north than your parameters, but you may also want to look into Spiga. Food is a little less traditional... Actually, the chef can be outright wacky. But I think the menu is interesting and usually very good. I'd avoid the fish entrees in favor of the red meats.

          -----
          Spiga
          200 W 84th St, New York, NY 10024

          1 Reply
          1. re: cimui

            Whym (owned by the same people as Eatery) is moderate .. and delicious. It's on 9th avenue b/c 57th & 58th