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Need dinner recs for three women, Columbia area down to west 80's

s
susan robin Apr 5, 2010 12:10 PM

Three of us were elementary school friends, two of us live in Manhattan (not UWS) and the thirs, who lives in Boston, is teaching at Columbia this week? In search of a comfy place, moderate price, where the noise level is low enough that we can converse, but not looking for a dead spot, either. Any type of cuisine ok. Was thinking of mermaid inn but think it may be way too noisy. Last time we got together was 5 years ago, so we have a lot to talk about!

  1. c oliver Apr 5, 2010 12:25 PM

    Alouette on Broadway bet. 97th and 98th is a favorite of some friends of ours. We haven't been there but the menu and ambiance sure look nice.

    http://alouettenyc.com/Menus.html

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    Alouette
    2588 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

    1 Reply
    1. re: c oliver
      o
      ohny Apr 10, 2010 03:42 PM

      I'll second this recommendation.
      I've been several times and have always had a positive experience. The food is good and the staff wonderful, they're gracious and let you take your time.
      Their early prixe fixe is a great bargain.
      It's a gem.

    2. e
      encantada Apr 5, 2010 12:25 PM

      Kefi on Columbus and 83rd has delicious, moderately priced food, and it's not too loud on weeknights.

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      Kefi
      505 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

      1. s
        sholli Apr 5, 2010 12:28 PM

        I like Pisticci, up by Columbia. It's solid all around, but the homemade pasta and cheeses are exceptional at that price point. It's also mellow and not too loud, but not crazy (although you'll wait on a weekend). Community Food and Juice is another of the nicer/foodier places near campus, although it can get noisy. Further south, many people like Nice Matin. We had a reasonably good meal there, but it was deafening (having requested and gotten probably the quietest table in the house).

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        Pisticci
        125 La Salle St, New York, NY 10027

        Nice Matin
        201 West 79th Street, New York, NY 10024

        Community Food & Juice
        2893 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

        6 Replies
        1. re: sholli
          u
          uwsister Apr 5, 2010 08:58 PM

          Second Pisticci rec if you want to stay near Columbia and want Italian, also Max SoHa. Community Food & Juice is definitely the "foodiest" choice in the neighborhood and does have some good stuff. Deluxe if you're feeling lazy and want nothing more than slightly upscale diner food. But if you're adventurous, I highly recommend Zoma, the best Ethiopian restaurant in the city IMO, which is only a few blocks away from CU. Really delicious AND reasonably priced.

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          Zoma
          2084 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10026

          1. re: sholli
            LNG212 Apr 6, 2010 05:59 AM

            I third the Pisticci recommendation (great neighborhood Italian) and I second the Zoma rec too. Wonderful food and really nice staff.

            I will also recommend the new Cafe Frida (on Amsterdam and 97th). They have a rear garden that is nice.

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            Zoma
            2084 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10026

            Pisticci
            125 La Salle St, New York, NY 10027

            Cafe Frida
            768 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025

            1. re: LNG212
              u
              uwsister Apr 6, 2010 11:42 PM

              What's Cafe Frida like? I haven't seen it but then again I haven't walked around that part of the neighborhood in a while.

              1. re: uwsister
                LNG212 Apr 7, 2010 05:15 AM

                Did you ever peek into La Rural? It's the same space. It was Pampa before that.

                It's a bit narrow, long bar along the left with fairly comfortable bar seats (and hooks under the bar - love that). Then it opens up a bit and has the garden in the back. Cafe Frida decorated the space in a mostly spare way so it feels airy and isn't filled with a lot of kitsch.

                We went for happy hour and enjoyed the margaritas. We snacked a bit and it was all pretty good (I've had more extensive menus at the original Cafe Frida and liked it very much). The guacamole was excellent. We ended up ordering it twice in the same night because it was so good (and we were only 4 people!).

                1. re: LNG212
                  u
                  uwsister Apr 7, 2010 06:01 PM

                  Gotcha. Thanks for sharing! Too bad my husband doesn't care for Mexican :(

                  I also love hooks under the bar, BTW... wish they were more common!

            2. re: sholli
              m
              metfan630 Apr 6, 2010 07:32 AM

              Pisticci jumped to my mind as well, so fourth that. Great atmosphere for what you are looking for.

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              Pisticci
              125 La Salle St, New York, NY 10027

            3. u
              Upperwestsider Apr 5, 2010 06:45 PM

              Didn't mention lunch or dinner, but here goes: Sticking to the Morning Heights area, check out Terrace in the Sky, on top of Butler Hall (terraceinthesky.com). Not sure if it meets your constraints, but if you sit outside, it is a v memorable experience. Not far away, is Bistro ten18 (bistroten18.com). Certainly can be noisy, but features reasonable tabs and v friendly servers; you can sit on the street side tables. Btw, second Alouette; can b v noisy, but good.

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              Alouette
              2588 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

              Terrace in the Sky
              400 West 119th Street, New York, NY 10027

              1. e
                eeee Apr 5, 2010 09:13 PM

                for a small intimate meal, I like Recipe. Small cute and localvore, open for lunch and dinner. Not loud at all.

                1. l
                  Legman Apr 8, 2010 04:16 AM

                  I took a party to The 5 and Diamond restaurant on 112th and Fred. Douglas Blvd. The food was fantastic-local,season and mostly organic. A real treat in that neighborhood. Checkout menupages for their menu.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Legman
                    c oliver Apr 8, 2010 07:49 AM

                    Some of those dishes look amazing. Shrimp and grits hushpuppies is something I need to figure out for home. I'm forwarding this link to my my friends at CPW and 101st.

                  2. f
                    foodismylife Apr 8, 2010 08:16 AM

                    Dinosaur bbg, a truly great food experience.
                    great wings and ribs

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: foodismylife
                      c oliver Apr 8, 2010 08:22 AM

                      But low noise level? We were there early lunch time and it wasn't quiet. I'd think it's downright raucous at night - not a bad thing at all but perhaps not what OP is thinking of.

                      1. re: c oliver
                        a
                        a213b Apr 8, 2010 08:35 AM

                        Plus there's the fact that it is absolutely terrible. Don't forget that part.

                        1. re: a213b
                          c oliver Apr 8, 2010 08:43 AM

                          I'll confess that we just had a Bloody Mary or something after cruising the Fairway Market across the street. Now THAT'S where they should set up a restaurant. In the summer they could have it in the "cold room" :)

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                          Fairway Market
                          2127 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

                          1. re: c oliver
                            a
                            a213b Apr 8, 2010 09:23 AM

                            LOL, now that would be nice, wouldn't it!

                            I didn't mean for my response to read so snarky -- it's just, having grown up with family in the TX Hill Country (Lockhart, Luling), Dinosaur BBQ was just absolute garbage to me. I was fortunate to be spoiled on absolutely stunning 'cue.

                        2. re: c oliver
                          m
                          metfan630 Apr 8, 2010 08:42 AM

                          I thought of recommending Dino, but the noise level made me reconsider, since OP wanted low noise level.

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