Upper West Side Recs
Looking for great food for dinner on Upper West Side (60's up to Columbia). We're open to all cuisines and styles (e.g., tapas), with an atmosphere for conversation.
Ouest at 84th & Broadway
For a Turkish delight at 85th & Columbus, try Zeytin.
Compass for all-around good dining at 69th & Amsterdam
The usual suspects around Lincoln Center are:
Shun Lee West at 65th off Broadway
O'Neals for wholesome family style dining across from Shun Lee.
Josephinas, Fiorello's, Bar Boulud, all next to each other at 66th & Broadway
I like wontonfm's Kefi suggestion a lot on the food front, but the place can honestly get a little loud. They also don't accept reservations, which can be a pain in the bum. However, this is the closest you'll come to (good) tapas on the UWS, I think. Sol y Sombra and Luzia's also do Spanish and Portuguese tapas, respectively, but they aren't particularly well done.
Ouest is excellent for French. Make sure you don't hold back on the red meats.
I really like a smallish neighborhood place called Spiga for Italian. The menu is a bit experimental, so you have to like that sort of thing.
Thai Market does EXCELLENT, reasonably priced Thai.
For Turkish, I like Pasha better than Zeytin, though Pasha can be hit or miss. (Sometimes the hunkar bejendi makes me melt, other times, it's made with too much flour and the lamb is overcooked and tough.) Service as Zeytin is a little spacey, they have a smaller menu, and they don't do well with the more delicately flavored / complex Turkish dishes.
Ouest, Spiga, Thai Market and Pasha are not quiet places, but you'll be able to speak with your dining companions at a normal volume.
If I may offer breakfast suggestions, too, Neptune Room is good for brunch (just ok for dinner, these days, in my book).
If you're here on a weekend, an unlikely little place called China Fun does quite a passable dim sum with egg tarts, pan fried white radish cakes, steamed little soup dumplings, curry puffs, and the works, as well as warm soy milk and congee with you tiao (fried, savory crullers). The space is not beautiful, but they have very speedy delivery.
I personally run away screaming from Mama Mexico, Shun Lee, and Docks.
The Chowhound links -- which I always forget to insert in the original post, sorry!:
960 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025
2315 Broadway, New York, NY 10024
505 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024
200 W 84th St, New York, NY 10024
70 West 71st Street, New York, NY 10023
246 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10023