HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Discussion

Mermaid Inn, Recipe, or Kefi?

  • 7

Need to pick restaurant in West 80s to meet friend and catch up. Thinking Mermaid Inn, Recipe, or Kefi? I haven't been to any of them, so looking for some feedback. Open to other suggestions in same area, same price range. Thanks!

-----
Mermaid Inn
568 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10024

Kefi
505 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

Recipe
452 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. These are somewhat dated (1.5 year old +) impressions, so please take them with a grain of salt. Hopefully others will have more recent notes to add.

    Kefi -- Interesting, competent Greek and Greek-influenced dishes, lots of great small plates to share. But the kitchen had a problem with oversalting the last few times we ate there and the restaurant is very loud, so convo may be difficult depending on where you sit.

    Mermaid Inn -- Bland, tasteless seafood, sometimes not fresh. Lobster roll was more mayonnaise than lobster, undersalted.

    Recipe -- I frankly don't remember that much about the food, only that I liked it and that some portions seemed small to me for the price. I think some critics think the food and presentation are a bit precious. (Lots of things were served in jars.)

    Other places you could consider:

    B Cafe West -- competent food, but not outstanding. The real reason to go here is for the long list of Belgian beers. It's right next to Mermaid Inn. Quiet enough to talk, but not a whole lot of privacy since tables are close. I don't know if they still have it -- it sure isn't seasonal -- but beer braised ribs used to be my favorite dish on the menu. Frites are well fried.

    Ouest -- a bit less casual than your other ideas and slightly more expensive, depending on how you order, but the upside is that food is good, service good to outstanding, and most seats in the restaurant are quiet enough for easy conversation. Except for some tables along the east and west walls, tables are set far enough apart for some privacy.

    Bodrum -- tables are set close together, but there's relatively pleasant sidewalk seating and if it's not crowded, servers make an effort to seat you apart from other diners for privacy. My husband loves the wood fire grilled pizzas. Other mostly Turkish offerings I've tried have been competent, not outstanding.

    -----
    Mermaid Inn
    568 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10024

    Ouest
    2315 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

    Kefi
    505 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

    Bodrum
    584 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10024

    B. Cafe
    566 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

    Recipe
    452 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

    1 Reply
    1. re: michelleats

      Thanks for such a detailed reply! We decided to try Recipe.

    2. Of the 3 options, I would pick Recipe. It is very quaint and the food is fresh and just plain tasty. It's not the most amazing food I've ever had but, in a pinch, it's one of the 4 places in the neighborhood where I go if I'm feeling too lazy to cook. It's not too loud, not too quiet. My friends describe it as a perfect date spot. It's a small resto, though -- few tables, some bar seating, one tiny bathroom.

      2 Replies
      1. re: travel.eats

        Thanks. I made a reservation at Recipe.

        1. re: ejpnyc

          Good decision - IMO it's one of best picks in UWS. I like it.

      2. i dislike both Mermaid Inn and Kefi, so i'd say try Recipe

        -----
        Kefi
        505 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

        1. just wanted to add that Cotta is offering some of the best italian food in the neighborhood. prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is conducive to hanging out a bit.

          i ad a burrata bruschetta with roasted red peppers followed by a fresh pappardelle with pork and kale in a pork jus. both were delicious.

          -----
          Cotta
          513 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024