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Jul 21, 2009 06:12 AM

Columbia Area Recs

My 16 y/o daughter is attending a 3 week summer workshop at Columbia, staying on 118th near Broadway. I'll be visiting her for a week. For our splurge meal I'm thinking Keen's but I am open to suggestions as long as we can dress casually. The daughter likes French and has come to like fish lately. I would also appreciate any recs in the Columbia area especially for sushi and moderately priced dinner in general. Is there anything truely chow worthy that I should visit possible without the daughter?

Thanks for any assistance.

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  1. Campo is good Italian Bway btwn 112 & 113 and Le Monde is a cute place for brunch across the street from Campo. My fav. sushi place closed but Vine Saki & Sushi is ok Bway btwn 115 & 116th

    3 Replies
    1. re: nycbella

      We must have totally different taste in restaurants -- I hate Campo (terrible food & service) and think Le Monde is mediocre at best. I went to Columbia and have been living in the neighborhood close to a decade & I have to say there really isn't anything really chow-worthy around Columbia. Community Food & Juice was pretty good but is closed due to a kitchen fire. I honestly can't think of any sushi place within 20 blocks of Columbia that I'd recommend with confidence. As far as French goes, I'd travel a little South and try Picholine (they have an "economy menu") or Jean George for $28 prix fixe lunch.

      1. re: uwsister

        "Le Monde is mediocre at best" TOTALLY AGREE. at VERY best.

      2. re: nycbella

        Re Vine: I haven't been, but I got its menu, and it seems nearly identical to the restaurant that it replaced. Is it owned by the same people (does anyone know)?

      3. I don't think there's anything really super chow worthy in that area. But you can find some decent restaurants. You've got Max Soha for Italian and Mill for Korean. Silver Moon Bakery a bit south of Columbia is good as well if you liked baked goods.

        1. It's not elegant by any stretch of the imagination, but the sushi at Saga (Amsterdam at 123rd) is pretty decent for the basics, and it's both generous and cheap. I wouldn't touch Tomo, although it turns out that they have shockingly good gyoza. Other options are Pisticci ( for very good, generally house-made pasta and declicious homemade cheese and excellent bagels at Absolute (Bway and 108) and coffee at Orens (Bway and 112).

          2 Replies
          1. re: sholli

            Tomo's been closed & I can say I don't miss it at all!

            I also like Max Soha & Pisticci for Italian. Silver Moon Bakery and Absolute Bagel are good calls as well. Love their everything bagel. Noche Mexicana and Roti Roll are also good. What else? I still like Indian Cafe though people say Indus Valley is better (but also pricier.) Turkuaz is pretty good Turkish. Lots of people love Taqueria Y Fonda (Mexican) but I don't know since I'm not into Mexican food. Rack & Soul (BBQ, soul food) is not bad.

            Add Havana Central and Ollie's to "avoid" list.

            1. re: uwsister

              I used to hate Havana Central, but a friend of mine was in town and really wanted a mojito... so I caved in and joined her. Turned out to be a good experience. Met the manager and all the staff was really friendly. Huge turnaround from the way it used to be....

          2. Thai market is pretty good thai, Noche mexicano has decent mexican food (better than most of what you get in the city, weak compared to what i'd get in LA). Also, Bombay Frankies for indian takeout roti burritos. Very tasty.