UWS best options for fine and casual dining
I'm taking my daughter in for her 10th bday and we will be having both lunch and dinner. It's not as if we can't get on the subway and hit up our usual favorite haunts, but this neighborhood is mostly unknown to me (sans Daniel and Telepan).
So any and all thoughts and cuisines are welcome, especially those that serve a good bowl of soup as part of our meal.
I presume when you mention Daniel on the UWS, you are referring to Bar Boulud? It is particularly known for the excellent charcuterie. We didn't have soup when we had dinner there, but looking at the menu on the website, I see there are several to choose from at both lunch and dinner. I have no doubt they would all be delicious.
For upscale dining, it's hard to do better, in my view, than Picholine's superb French/Mediterranean cuisine. And, of course, there's that unmatchable cheese cart. The last time we were there, we had the 8-course tasting menu, which was sensational. Now, in addition to the regular and tasting menus, they have a couple of "recession" specials. They always have soups on the menus. You can check the website for the current offerings.
I wish that special young lady a very Happy Birthday!
There's always Shake Shack for lunch - especially if there's a Museum of Natural History stop on the agenda.
Other options for you to explore (a varied mix..) - Kefi, Barbao, West Branch, Fatty Crab (opens this week), Ouest, Mermaid Inn, Celeste, Hummus Place, Barney Greengrass, Sushi of Gari....
Land Thai makes a great lemongrass/shrimp Tom Yoong Goom
I would also recommend Eighty One for fine dinning at a reasonable price. They have a new Economy Menu which is around 31$ for an appetizer and main. The pricing is good and the room is very pretty. Order the scallop ravioli. One other benefit is the wine list which is near cost for preselected 4 bottles including Veuve at 45$. This is a good deal. .
The best comfort food (mac and cheese, meatloaf, etc.) is Good Enough to Eat, on Amsterdam and 83rd. They also may have the best chocolate cake (and coconut cake) in the world. It's a very casual place, but first-rate.