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New(-ish) UWS restaurants

I read about a couple of new places that I thought opened the past few months (okay, maybe more than that). One had Italian food, and I thought was on Columbus Avenue in the 80s, maybe; it was written up in the NY Times and made it sound like more of a neighborhood-type place (casual, tavern-like …).

Now that I need a place to go this Friday night I'm drawing a blank. Any ideas? Good Italian food or similar (i.e., basic food, nothing too adventurous …), entrees in the mid-$20s or so and manageable noise-levels to allow for conversation.

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  1. Barley & Grain recently opened on Amsterdam and is casual, pub food. Social house opened and closed in a short few months, and also served pub food. There's a new meatball restaurant opening soon. Saw it last night. Looks nice. The actual Meatball Shop is opening soon, as is Parm. Tessa is in soft opening and also looks nice.

    Do you read Westside Rag? They have an Opening and Closing section that could help.

    7 Replies
    1. re: coasts

      Thanks, coasts! I did search Westside Rag before posting, but I couldn't find the place I was trying to think of.

      So many places to choose from, just wish the odds of picking a winner were better … :)

      1. re: coasts

        The second hand info I got on Barley and Grain is not good...

        Bustan is mid eastern tapas, it was good enough, but the bread that they rave about can't hold a candle to Taboon. The spreads were decent. The setting is excellent

        I also have some recollection of a new Italian on upper Columbus/Amsterdam. Maybe it is Numero 28 Cucina at Amsterdam and 92nd?

        1. re: dyrewolf

          hmmm, maybe Numero 28 was it. I thought the place I saw had a more extensive menu, but looking more closely I guess Numero 28 is more than simply pizza. The menu lists salads, pasta and a limited number of secondi.

          How is it, have you been to Numero 28?

          1. re: uwsgrazer

            Yes, I have been... but only for pizza.. which I like. I live low 70's so not sure how often I'll go back but I like it.

            I also like Osteria Cotta at Columbus 84th / 85th for pizza. Their meatball pie is a thing of beauty (IMHO)

            Bustan will be on the rotation for sure when I go to the movies at 84th and Bdway - (the new all reserved, all electric lazy boy recliner theater)

            1. re: dyrewolf

              Osteria Cotta looks great. How's the noise-level in the upstairs dining room? The website shows reservations only for parties of six. We'll only be three and on a Friday night I imagine there will be a wait. Ugh.

              We must be practically neighbors, dyrewolf, and West 80s sounds more appealing to me than Numero 28 at 92nd Street!

              I just read about the new recliner seating at the 84th Street multiplex. Wild.

              1. re: uwsgrazer

                Cotta is above average, but it can be loud, especially downstairs.

                you could be thinking about Corvo Bianco. haven't been since the chef changed. hopefully it got better. somehow it didn't work with Elizabeth Falkner in the kitchen.

                there's also Machiavelli on Columbus and 85th. it's been open for a while and often looks busy, but i haven't had the desire to check it out.

                1. re: uwsgrazer

                  the upstairs is okay. downstairs is nuts

        2. Are you maybe thinking of Ouest? But it isn't new.

          1 Reply
          1. re: arepo

            Nope, I know Ouest and was thinking that could work for this Friday's dinner. The main drawback is that we've already taken this relative to Ouest for a past dinner.

            I haven't been to Ouest in ages! I wonder if it's still good / decent.

            1. re: Ttrockwood

              No, I don't think it was Bustan. It was definitely an Italian place, and it's possible I read about over a year ago :-\

            2. Maybe you're thinking of Kefi on Columbus near 85th? It's Mediterranean, blending Italian and Greek. Not new but re-opened fairly recently after lengthy closure.

              2 Replies
              1. re: JeffOverley

                The only italian that hasn't been mentioned is Bocca de Bacco, which was set to take over the space on the SW corner of Columbus and 74th where the shoes store was. Looks like they've backed out though, as I see a For Rent sign now.

                1. re: coasts

                  Yes, they walked away from their lease. They felt like they were losing too much money trying to deal with the city agencies involved (Landmarks, DOB, DOH, liquor license).

              2. Cafe Pomona might be what you are thinking of; it's not Italian, it's Spanish; pretty good too. One might think it was Italian from the name, and it is on Columbus in the 80s

                1. you were thinking Corvo Bianco but that is now closed.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cmoya

                    Yeah, it could well have been Corvo Bianco -- and here's the NY Times blurb I thought I saw; there's even mention of the arancini that (I think) I remember!

                    Oh well, doesn't sound as if I missed much.

                    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/03/din...