Recs for the Upper, Upper West Side
We'll be staying at a friend's place at 101st and CPW. Alot of the UWS recs are somewhat to a lot south of there. Does anyone have any favorites for further up? It doesn't sound like we're going to find much great Chinese. Favorite Italian? Spanish? Central American? Moderate price? We don't mind taking the subway or walking longer distances but it's also nice to be able to walk 15 minutes or so. You guys helped us with a number of things when we were there a few months ago. Looking forward to more of your jewels. Thanks in advance.
Welcome to the culinary desert. :)
Honestly, for the most part, it would behoove you to cab or subway down to some of the UWS's finer dining options.
The only real standout restaurant in the near vicinity that I would actually travel up here for, if I didn't already live nearby, is Thai Market on 107th and Amsterdam. It can get crowded, so make a reservation, esp. if you have a larger party. The digs are attractive, if a little modernistically odd, the prices moderate. Especially try the small plates (daikon radish cake appetizer), grilled skewers, and grilled skirt steak.
If you don't happen to be from the south, you might like Miss Mamie's Spoonbread on 110th. If you are from the south, you might find it just so-so, but it's not a bad showing for NYC. The digs are sort of cafeteria style.
Cafe du Soleil is good for, specifically, rotisserie chicken (they have tomato and white wine/garlic renditions, both moist and flavorful), fries and mashed potatoes, creme brullee and chocolate mousse. Everything else is relatively forgettable, but if you happen to be in the area, having a glass of wine with the chicken and looking out the windows at the passersby can be a very pleasant experience. Prices are moderate (tho on the higher end of moderate), digs are French bistro and attractive enough.
There's a somewhat well regarded place called PicNic nearish you on B'way that I haven't yet tried.
For good, dirt cheap, street food style Mexican, try Taqueria y Fonda and Noche Mexicana. Actually, I reconsider my earlier statement: I'd come up to this nabe for TyF and NM on occasion, too. Total dives, but in a fun way. Go only if you're not in immediate risk for a heart attack, because either place would probably send you over the edge.
I don't know of any good Chinese in the area, but China Fun (whose small plates / dim sum / weekend brunch menu are as good as Chinese food gets on the UWS) might deliver up to you.
Oh, bakeries: Silver Moon Bakery has some nice baked goods and some seating if you should care for a continental sort of breakfast.
A 15 minute walk will take you down to Barney Greengrass - we usually do take out - but they have wonderful smoked salmon, sable, etc.
There are only 2 places I would recommend within walking distance, Mama Mexico and Alouette. When we lived in the neighborhood these were pretty much the only restaurants we liked. Both are good enough that we occasionally make the trip from the Village to eat there. I would also suggest venturing farther south to Nice Matin on 79th and Amsterdam, just a couple of subway stops away.
i'd second noche mexicana, taqueria y fonda and thai market. i'm not a big fan of taqueria but, as i always say, it's due to my own individual preferences rather than a reflection on this well-liked place. i also agree with chow fun and silver moon. i'd add the following to your list:
flor de mayo
i'd strongly recommend against mama mexico.
Within walking or short bus/subway ride:
Pio Pio (used to be Sipan) 702 Amsterdam 94 Street 212-665-9929-Peruvian-very good food, nice atmosphere, quite during the week, a little noisier on weekends.
Gennaro 665 Amsterdam 92/93 Streets - very good food-Italian-very hectic does not take reservations or credit cards-get there early for seating.
Docks 2427 Broadway 89/90 Streets 212-986-8080 OK fish, excellent oysters, lively but not hectic.
Gabriela's 688 Columbus 93/94 Street 212-961-9600 good traditional Mexican, good value
Saigon Grill 620 Amsterdam 90 Street good Vietnamese a bit hectic and noisy
Alouette 2588 Broadway 97/98 Streets 212-222-6808 decent neighborhood French. Small. Make reservations.
Yuki Sushi 656 Amsterdam 92 Street 212-787-8200 Excellent quality of fish in sushi and sashimi. Moderate price for quality Japanese. Sushi lunch with salad or soup is less than $11.
Miyako 642 Amsterdam 91 Street 212-724-3448 About as good as Yuki Sushi and everything is $1-$1.50 less
Acqua 718 Amsterdam 94/95 Streets 212-222-2752 reasonably priced good Italian (Sicilian and Sardinian) in nice setting.
Pizzabolla 654 Amsterdam 92 Street 212-579-4500 Old style “checkered tablecloth” Italian with very reasonably priced good food. Good antipasti, entrees, brick-oven pizza and good selection of reasonable priced wine by the bottle and glass.
Asia Kan 710 Amsterdam Avenue 94/95 Streets 212-280-8878 Nice mix of Japanese (fresh sushi) and other interesting Asian including Thai and Vietnamese.