Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Jun 21, 2009 11:43 AM

Narrowing It Down on Upper West Side

Thanks to everyone who responded to an earlier post about dining on the UWS/Manhattan in general. I've got it pretty well nailed down (Barney Greengrass for a breakfast, Nice Matin, Keen's for dinner and Katz's, Shake Shack, for lunch) but I'm trying to decide on Thursday's dinner. On my short list are: Bar Bouloud, Cafe Bouloud, Ouest, Nougatine. Is Terrace at Jean-Geroges the same place as Nougatine -- the web site is hard to navigate. Any arguments for or against any of these places for dinner?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Cafe Boulud is on the Upper East Side, actually. Would you still consider it?

    I've never been to Nougatine, but of the remaining two, Bar Boulud is better for charcuterie and small plates (great pates). I find Ouest to be better for the overall meal. Ouest is also a warmer, cozier space, especially if you score a banquette.

    4 Replies
    1. re: cimui

      Thank you, cimui -- I have found your posts to be most helpful and many of my decisions are based on your recommendations. On July 2 we have tickets to see a taping of The Daily Show, so I'm not sure location is my utmost concern. I like the looks of Ouest's menu and the dining room looks lovely. I'll see if I can get a booking on OpenTable, unless you have a better idea elsewhere in the city...

      1. re: AmyMad

        I had a great lunch at 44X before the Daily Show a couple weeks ago. Something to consider - only a few blocks away...

        1. re: AmyMad

          Ouest is outstanding. Nice setting, professional and friendly service, and excellent food.

          1. re: AmyMad

            Thanks for the kind words, Amy. I'm so jealous you scored tickets to the Daily Show!

            I'll take a look at your prior threads, too, but if you don't mind, could you just quickly reiterate what your preferences are for cuisine and ambiance (and price range, if that's an important restriction)? Ouest is comfortable, low-key and relaxed French, where the food is more refined than bistro fare, but not entirely haute. They do fantastic preparations of red meats and in general, the dishes are hearty and rich. Although they serve a wonderful house-smoked sturgeon salad and a good smoked salmon over chickpea pancake appetizer, a place like Bernardin would be better if you intend to eat seafood and prefer lighter, haute cuisine. And of course there are wonderful options in the area for Greek, Scandinavian, American, Japanese...

            Give us some additional criteria (do you prefer small plates or heartier servings, is a good wine list important to you?) and we'd all be happy to help you brainstorm options!

        2. I have not eaten at Nougatine, but I have dined at Jean Georges, and one has to walk through Nougatine in order to access the formal dining room. Looking at the website, I see that the menus for Nougatine and Terrace at Jean Georges are exactly the same. The difference between the two venues is Nougatine is indoors while Terrace at Jean Georges is outdoors.

          I agree with cimui that the charcuterie at Bar Boulud is outstanding. However, I disagree that it's fine only for small plates. The main courses we've had have been very good. And the same goes for desserts. It's a large, bustling place and not exactly cozy unless you can score a booth, which is difficult because when it's busy, they are given only to parties of four.

          We've not been to Ouest.

          If you are willing to go to the UES, Cafe Boulud, which is one of our favorites, is an excellent choice. Superb cuisine, polished service, and lovely ambiance.

          2 Replies
          1. re: RGR

            Yeh, I disliked Cafe Boulud.. But hey, if you are going to drop all the loot then a few extra bucks for a taxi shouldnt hurt you..

            Dovetail is my favorite expensive meal on the UWS.. Though Ouest is really good, it's more hearty.. It's more simple straight forward, I could cook that if I wanted to spend the time to make veal stock, beef stock, and chicken stock and use it all in one dish. However, Dovetail is more refined and more imaginative.

            1. re: Daniel76

              I have made a reservation and requested a banquette at Ouest for Thursday's dinner -- cimui and Striver, your descriptions convinced me that this is the place for us. I'm not a big fish person, so Bernadin is out. And UWStoSONO: Thank you for the heads-up on 44&X -- we also have tix to the Colbert Report in about the same neighborhood, so lunch before that show will be perfect! RGR: Thank you for clarifying the Nougatine/Terrace thing -- my mouse was having trouble navigating the menus on the website and I went into menu overload. I'm going to reserve a lunch at Terrace so I get in a little haute before I head Upstate to see the relations and eat hot dogs and potato salad... Thanks everyone!