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Oct 29, 2008 12:18 PM

Square Meal on E 92nd

Is this place worth a try? In town for a few days have major plans PerSe Aureole Picholine Scalini Fedeli Sushi Yasuda.Need a budget friendly break! Staying on the UWS. Patty

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    1. It's one of my favorite neighborhood places, but not a destination place, I'd say. If you are visiting museums in the area, it's a great place to have lunch. Note that they currently do not serve alcohol and are no longer BYOB. I just had lunch there again last week, and it's as good as ever.

      If you click on the place I've linked to, it should bring up a couple of reports in addition to the one linked to by scoopG.

      Square Meal
      30 E 92nd St, New York, NY 10128

      12 Replies
      1. re: MMRuth

        Is there an online menu of this place anywhere? Square Meal's website just says it "changes daily." I checked NYMag, Menupages, Menupix & Menutopia - nada. Do I have to, ugh, WALK BY?

        1. re: MMRuth

          Thanks for the reply! I realize it's not a destination dine spot, just wondering if it is good, really good, or do you have any suggestions UWS or UES- easy all the way- dining?

          1. re: patty Trombley

            It is really good. The Thai Calamari salad is amazing, and, really, everything I've had there has been excellent.

            In terms of the menu - unfortunately, they don't have it on line anywhere. A lot of items I've posted about in the past are usually on the menu, including that calamari salad, the hamburger, lately a lamb burger, the excellent roast chicken - I could probably recite most of the menu at this point! Maybe I'll get one next time I'm there and just post it, and note the things that are staples on the menu.

            1. re: MMRuth

              That would be awesome. I'm especially interested in the lunch offerings, and the prices. I have a general idea from your previous posts, but I'm one of those control freak types who likes to muse about these things before sitting down at a table.

              1. re: small h

                I just put up the dinner menu from last night in the places record - they were just printing out the lunch one when I went by. The hamburger is on the lunch menu, as is the Thai Calamari Salad, though it's larger and is $19. When I can get a lunch menu, I'll add it (I live across the street).

                  1. re: small h

                    Just picked up the lunch menu while walking the dog and added it to the "Place". It was kind of sad - only a couple of tables of two - used to be packed by now, but the no BYOB thing has really hit them I'm afraid. They've now opened for Sunday 'supper' as well.

          2. re: MMRuth

            "Note that they currently do not serve alcohol and are no longer BYOB."

            Anything that's worthy of drinking with a meal at the place?

            1. re: RCC

              I just had water on my first visit after the no BYOB thing - during the summer I think they have lemonade and ice tea, but no idea this time of year. When I asked at lunch, they told me they expect to get their liquor license in January some time.

              1. re: RCC

                By the way - just noticed signs up outside that their liquor license hearing is next week, so hopefully that means they are making progress on this front. I believe they told me at one point that even after they get the license, they plan to continue to allow BYOB without a corkage fee - but that was a while ago. Can't wait!

                1. re: MMRuth

                  Do you know if they are still continuing BYOB without corkage fee?

                  1. re: smarty

                    Sorry I didn't see this before. For now, they don't have a liquor license and are not selling alcohol or doing BYOB at all. I believe they still intend to allow non-corkage fee BYOB after they get there license, which sounds like it might be in February.

            2. Agreed that it's very good. If they have the meatloaf with carmelized onions, it's killer! You mentioned lunch, but if you do go for dinner, try to sit before 9:00. Last time I went, we sat at 9:00 and the place was completely empty by 9:45, which is early by NYC standards, even on the Upper East Side!

              8 Replies
              1. re: acpi

                Actually, it can be nearly empty even during the prime dinner hour (at least on Sunday). And while I would agree with the previous posters that the food is good, I'd quickly add the prices at dinner are...out of line. Just too expensive for what it is. Square Meal is NOT a Square Deal.

                1. re: burton

                  FWIW - the Sunday dinner is a new thing, and their business has dropped off quite a bit since they are no longer BYOB. I've found it to be good value, so far, particularly in comparison to the other options nearby on Madison.

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    I'll grant that judgments on menu pricing require some context. But calling Square Deal a good value compared to nearby options is a bit like calling Moe the most intellectual of the three stooges. It just felt way too pricey. Perhaps I should stay closer to home next time and avoid venturing to this particular neighborhood.

                    1. re: burton

                      I agree that it 'looks' pricey - but we usually spend about $80 for two appetizers, two main courses and a dessert, which seems ok to me for a what I think of as a good meal. It's about what we've spent on food at Island, Pascalou, Bistro du Nord, Joanna's, etc., and I think the food is much better. And Vico, of course, is even more expensive. But yes, it's not a great area for reasonably priced good food, and I certainly wouldn't consider Square Meal a destination restaurant. All that said, I'm really happy to have the across the street from us. We've pretty much stopped eating at the aforementioned places since it opened.

                      By the way - what did you eat there?

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        Do they offer a prix fixe dinner or brunch? It does seem pretty pricey if you just want to get a bite out in the neighborhood, though I believe you that the food is really good. I am a fan of the prix fixe brunch and early dinner options at Pascalou. We really need some more economical choices in Carnegie Hill!

                        1. re: City Kid

                          I don't think they have a prix fixe - though I thought I saw something once for a Sunday night prix fixe - not sure.

                          I know what you mean about economical choices - a hamburger at Ottomanelli's is one of ours - and El Paso Taqueria, though with the margaritas, it gets a bit expensive! Those Pascalou options are good - we're just not very good about doing set menus! And, they took my favorite dish off the menu - it was a stew of sorts with tuna, and had some shrimp dumplings and noodles in it.

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            I had a really wonderful dinner at Square Meal last night after not having been there in quite a while. We both had the goat cheese-apple-almond napoleon, I had a wonderful, so fresh cod in 'escargot butter', with brussels sprouts and mashed potoatoes and the SO had a tender, moist, pork loin with apple compote, onion jam and smothered spinach. Desert was a gingerbread cake in a caramel sauce with really boozy rum raisin ice ream. I am so hard to please and it was so delicious. Dinner came to $97 before tip. They comped me on extra veggies.

                            Still no booze. They are looking at early January, and will do BYO and have a small wine and beer list. I really do love this place.

                            1. re: pups224

                              Those sound like wonderful dishes, and ones that I've not tried. Hope to make it back at least once before the holidays set in.