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Best of the UWS, 2014 Edition

Trying to compile a nice list of places to eat in the UWS. There are various threads from various years stating best burger, best Italian, so I'm trying to gather a current (please try to list something you'd recommend from the past year or so) list.

Anywhere from 57th to the 100s
Any cuisine
Any price point - can be Michelin or hole in wall
Can include Seamless options
UWS outposts of restaurants - if possible to note, how does compare with original location?

* Epicerie Boulud, Boulud Sud
* Picholine
* Dovetail
* Is Kefi still good after the reopening?
* Haven't been but read lots: Jacob's Pickles
* Sugar & Plumm, Redfarm, Parm outposts?

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    1. re: c oliver

      Thanks for this. The thread you mentioned is from 2007, so I'll pluck the most recent mentions from it:

      * Jin Ramen
      * Yasaka

        1. re: DistendedBelly

          Yasaka's omakase is very (very!) good for the price. In fact, I think nearly all their sushi and sashimi are excellent values. Their sushi rice is unusually good.

          1. re: DistendedBelly

            I would go to Jin for ramen and Yasaka for both sushi/sashimi and tempura.

        2. Picholine
          Jean Georges
          Per Se

          1. Lincoln
            RedFarm (better than original)
            Salumeria Rosi
            Momofuku Milk Bar (same as original)
            Legend 72 (better than original IMO)
            Saravaanas (same as original)
            Luke's Lobster

            3 Replies
            1. re: H Manning

              +1 For Salumeria Rosi especially, but also Red Farm and Legend.

              1. re: H Manning

                I feel very strongly that the UWS Saravanaas does not hold a candle to the Curry Hill branch. They might have the best dosa on the UWS but there isn't much competition.

                1. re: H Manning

                  I have been to Legend 72 a few times.
                  I keep going back to Legend 7th Ave because it is much better than Legend 72.

                2. Had one meal at Kefi and enjoyed it very much, and excellent value...... Kinda noisy though. I'm gettin' old I guess :-(

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: gavspen

                    The noisiness has been pretty constant ever since they moved from their previous smaller location, I think.

                    1. re: mahler5

                      Yes, definitely +1 for Betony. Three New York Times stars, and very well deserved in my opinion. Not only is their food amazing, but the staff are sweet as pie (especially the sommelier). Technically on the UWS, but they're on 57th and close enough.

                    2. Add to list (and not on others replies)

                      Xi'an Famous Foods (102nd and Broadway, I haven't eaten at other branches)
                      Szechuan Gourmet uptown - I haven't been but the other branches are excellent
                      Casa Pomona

                      From your list
                      Kefi is decent but nothing exceptional
                      Jacob's Pickles - pretty good but limited menu
                      Sugar & Plumm - very overpriced for what it is.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: plf515

                        There are now 2 Szechuan Gourmet uptown locations.
                        SZ 98 and SZ 105.
                        SZ 105 attracts ethnic Chinese from Columbia U.
                        SZ 98 gets typical UWS residents.
                        Go for 105.

                        1. re: RichardMW

                          I'm happy to hear that 105 is better. I've been sorely disappointed by the 98th St. location.

                          1. re: RichardMW

                            SZ 98 has changed and gone downhill. I will try the one on 105

                            1. re: plf515

                              I agree it's changed. And it happened SO FAST. I was there the first week they were open, and it was really pretty terrific. By two weeks later, the food had markedly declined. What was your experience?

                          2. re: plf515

                            I don't think Szechuan Gourmet on on 98th Street is that great. I should try the branch on 105th Street.

                            1. re: plf515

                              You can skip Kefi, especially now. Can't miss Telepan, Picholine, Boulud, or The Leopard. All excellent. And if you want to get further uptown, Szechuan Gourmet is great, as is Sal and Carmine's!

                            2. Barney Greengrass?
                              I haven't been lately though

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: Ttrockwood

                                The same as always. That's a good thing.

                                1. re: Dave Feldman


                                  Let's add Koko wings to the list for a new Korean Fried Chicken place that delivers :)

                                  Sal and Carmines will always have a special spot in my heart and stomach

                                  As already mentioned, Xi'an is great and (at least from my experience) just as good as the other branches.

                                  1. re: r32nissan

                                    Could you tell us a little more about Koko, which I've never heard of before. Are the mandu and rice bowls any good?

                                    Totally agree about Sal & Carmines and X'ian, a great standby and a great addition to the neighborhood.

                                    1. re: Dave Feldman

                                      Hi Dave - no comment on anything besides the following:

                                      Fries (yes I know...why fries for Korean...sorry) - which wre surprisingly good
                                      Chicken wings (we got half and half - half spicy and half soy garlic) which were excellent. Not greasy at all and very nicely prepared.
                                      Kimchi coleslaw - a great side. Perfect mix of sour/sweet.

                                      In fact, I just read about it again today so it's gaining some momentum - which is nice. http://ny.eater.com/archives/2014/05/...

                                      Our meals delivered well also. Happy eating

                                    2. re: r32nissan

                                      Oooh, Korean fried chicken up here?

                                      Is Koko more or less like Bon Chon Chicken?

                                      1. re: plf515

                                        Sort of. I find the wings and drums to be smaller than Bon Chon, but the concept is similar.

                                2. Kefi is still excellent, probably the best value on the entire UWS. Also ...

                                  Burke & Wills (little-noticed Australian/New American spot)
                                  Grandaisy (for the veggie pizza slices)
                                  Sushi Yasaka (consistently great value)
                                  B. Cafe (mussels + good beer)
                                  George Keeley (solid pub food + world-class beer)
                                  Bar Boulud (for the charcuterie)
                                  Tolani (ecletic small plates, very nice wines + barrel-aged cocktails)
                                  Cafe Tallulah (strictly for cocktails + setting)
                                  Jacob's Pickles (damn unhealthy but tasty)
                                  Caffe Storico (superb Italian spot w/grand setting inside NY Historical Society)
                                  A Voce (Columbus Circle, spendy but impressive Italian)
                                  Atlantic Grill (brunch is killer, includes free cocktail)
                                  Cocina Economica (nice modern Mexican)

                                  Finally ...

                                  Tessa (new, haven't been, but hearing good things so far)
                                  Bustan (ditto)

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: JeffOverley

                                    George Keeley surely has great beer and knowledgeable bartenders (always nice in a place like this). I haven't much experience with the food there.

                                    I like Cocina Economica, but IIRC it's gotten some negative comments here on Chowhound.

                                    Jacob's Pickles - I got bored after a few visits.

                                    B. Cafe - yes, exactly. And the non-mussel dishes are pretty good too. I like the sausage sandwich.

                                    1. re: JeffOverley

                                      Had lunch at Kefi the other day and we were all very happy! The $15 lunch tray of an app, entree, and dessert changes daily with one option and is a great deal. They brought a second serving of pita for our dips without us asking (its amazing pita!) and great service.

                                    2. I'm fond of Nice Matin. Good food and a very, very nice wine list.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Mike C. Miller

                                        I think the food at Nice Matin is fine -- though not more than that -- but I am blown away by how bad the service is. I mean, gangs of waiters hanging around at the back, clearly telling jokes, while people are waiting to order, wanting more water, needing a check, whatever. Essentially it was so terrible that my friend and I were laughing about it with the people at the next table. Good thing we were in a good mood.

                                        1. re: bookseller

                                          That hasn't been my experience there; I haven't been for about a year, but was there several times before that. Was your experience repeated? Was it recent?

                                          1. re: plf515

                                            I've been there twice in the past six weeks or so, both times at other people's request. The first time the service was not great, but not particularly bad. The second time -- at night, whereas the first visit was during the day -- was just kind of mind-blowingly bad.

                                          2. re: bookseller

                                            I was there on a trip back in March. Service was friendly, not particularly polished, but competent. Neither special, nor lacking, really.

                                        2. Who has the best coffee on the uws? Closer to lincoln center area...?
                                          Maison kayser was fine not great and epicurie boulud was disappointing for the price... There has to be a better option!

                                          16 Replies
                                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                                            The UWS is in serious need of good coffee :/ Just waiting for Blue Bottle to open! Haven't ventured too far from our hood yet. There is a Birch nearby - is it any good?

                                            1. re: DistendedBelly

                                              Haven't been to birch, its a good 20 blocks north of where i usually have to go on uws.
                                              I would settle for a random just brewing sumptown beans..... But as far as i can tell the uws needs a blue bottle or intelligentsia desperately! What about the poor decaffinated theater goers??
                                              And add gourmet garage's coffee from their counter to the crappy list...

                                              1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                There's a Joes on columbus near Good enough to eat. Joes is excellent. No direct experience on Good enough to eat, but the line seems to always be long. Not very close to lincoln center area however.

                                                1. re: r32nissan

                                                  I've tried other Joe locations, and wasn't bowled over by them. Perhaps the UWS location is better. I'll give them a shot soon!

                                                  1. re: DistendedBelly

                                                    My thoughts exactly.... Joes>starbucks but not destination worthy.
                                                    Irving farm on w79th is very good.
                                                    Aroma on 72nd is on par with what i've had at epicurie boulud (but aroma is cheaper), and eric kayser / FPB- i end up at those two most often just because that's where i park my citibike ;) i'll save my rant about why they don't have stations further north yet.....

                                                2. re: Ttrockwood

                                                  The lack of good coffee in the UWS has me chemexing my own at home (Sightglass, BB, etc) instead. I love love looove BB's New Orleans iced, so am really waiting for the day they decide to open a branch in the UWS (soon, we hope??)

                                                  1. re: DistendedBelly

                                                    98% of the time, I drink iced coffee black, and just don't get BB at all, including the New Orleans roast, which to me tastes like spiced milk.

                                                    I much prefer Epicerie Boulud's iced coffee. I think they use the same blend as for their hot coffee, but I have a feeling they concentrate it more

                                                    Different strokes...

                                                    1. re: Dave Feldman

                                                      Whatever you do avoid the iced coffee at maison kayser! I was hot and in a hurry and ordered a large iced coffee- the counter guy corrected me saying they served cold brew (and got my hopes up) and after paying $4something gave me a very weak watery not flavorful iced coffee.... Starbucks is better!
                                                      Their hot coffee is fine, not fabulous, but skip the iced version.....

                                                    2. re: DistendedBelly

                                                      I found Sumptown's cold brew in individual sized bottles at the gourmet garage off of 67th st!
                                                      I also saw that momofuku's Milkbar in the 80s serves sumptown, but i had literally just gotten a coffee at joe's- i didn't realize they did pour overs, and i really liked the dark roast he suggested and i forgot the name of....

                                                      1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                        Nice! I have seen Stumptown's cold brew at the WF on Columbus too! Good to know that there are several places to grab it from the 60s - 90s :)

                                                        I was just at the UWS Milk Bar last weekend - I was too busy scarfing down a pastrami thing to notice the pour over! Thanks for the heads up - will definitely give it a shot.

                                                        Walking back up Columbus last night, I noticed that Macaron Parlour displayed Blue Bottle beans. I don't know how the macarons are there, and don't know if they do a decent drip, but something to keep in mind if in the area..

                                                        Cheers for all your coffee intel ;) Super helpful!

                                                        1. re: DistendedBelly

                                                          Macaron parlour downtown is amazing, so i would think the uws one is also good, they have some really unique flavors. I didn't know they served blue bottle! That's great news :)

                                                          And note that the pourover was at Joe. Milkbar had a sign saying they brew sumptown, but i think its just drip coffee and basic espresso drinks.

                                                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                            I found awesome coffee! The catch is it's on Fredrick douglas b/w 118 and 119th- which i think is technically harlem?(near the A and B train at 116th) called Double Dutch Espresso.
                                                            They serve Counter Culture beans, and I've been there 3xs so far. The straight espresso was very smooth, no acidic bite at the end and a nice crema on top. I also had a well made cortado. Super cute place to sit a bit with a back garden too. (And just a block from Levain....)
                                                            Yelp has their info since they apparently don't have a website (??!)

                                                            1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                              Yay!! Come on up here, everyone! It's great! They've only been open about six months maybe...? They look like they're doing well, though.

                                                              (P.S. It's the B/C, not A train at W 116th)

                                                              1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                Niiiiiice! Thanks for trying it 3x to be sure :) Will definitely try DDE on a weekend jaunt - so glad to hear of your report! Oooh it's close to Levain too - dangerous combination.

                                                                Funny you mention Counter Culture beans. Recently tried Kuro Kuma (on La Salle & Broadway). They serve CC beans as well, but I wouldn't say this is a destination worthy stop either. If you are in the area, it fits the bill. It was a pleasant spot.

                                                                1. re: DistendedBelly

                                                                  I was actually there again today and had their iced coffee, she said it isn't cold brew but they use the japanese style of ice coffee...(whatever that is!) i got some and it was very similar to a cold brew, strong and smooth and not diluted like most iced coffee. I haven't eaten there yet (see previous re: near levain!!) but saw a great looking summery grain salad the guy in front of me ordered...

                                                                  1. re: DistendedBelly

                                                                    New great coffee!!
                                                                    "Amaretto" on fredrick douglas b/w 114th and 115th st. They opened last week, small space with 3-4 tables. I had a really great double espresso- very smooth and rich with a perfect crema on top and no bitter aftertaste, $3.25. The guy working there is from venezuela and they have an assortment of empanadas, alfajores, and a few pastries from uruguay that are all made in house. I'm not sure about the wifi situation but the space is small enough this is a stop and go shop, not a set up camp with a laptop situation.

                                                                    I'll be back for sure!

                                                    1. Why no love for Gazala's - The hardest working woman in showbiz. Best Hummus this side of Ussafia.

                                                      Rosi's Charcuterie may be my favorite in town

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Ziggy41

                                                        Even though Gazala is usually at the UWS branch, I usually prefer the food at the Hell's Kitchen location. The UWS branch is on Groupon a lot.

                                                      2. For Indian, try Sapphire. Good food, attractive decor, and the buffet lunch is a bargain.

                                                        1. If you're going to go up into the 100s, then I'll say Zoma at 113th and Frederick Douglass Blvd. There's also a fascinating looking little cocktail bar next door to it called 67 Orange St that I wish I knew more about (I can't drink so I'm no use there).

                                                          1. I have eaten at Celeste twice, and thought the food was excellent, both pasta and pizza. It is a little crowded, but can be wonderful.
                                                            Bustan has delicious appetizers and hummus. The main courses were uneven, but at their best, very good.

                                                            1. If Broadway and 97th counts as UWS, then Awadh.

                                                              9 Replies
                                                                1. re: Pan

                                                                  Brand new, made the New Openings rounds this past week. Also avail on OpenTable..

                                                                  1. re: DistendedBelly

                                                                    I was just discussing it with a friend the other day. Anyone been?

                                                                    1. re: Ziggy41

                                                                      My colleague was there last week, tells me that the food was very good, bested only by the tea service (she's not a wine drinker but the place is supposed to have a very approachable and interesting wine list).

                                                                      She was recounting a lamb dish marinated with khade masala that sounded perfect for a winter's eve.

                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                        Thanks for the update from your colleague!

                                                                        Strolled by Awadh last night around 8:30pm, and the place was super busy. Good for them! I'll give them a try once they've settled in..

                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                          An Indian friend and I had the chance to have a quick dinner at Awadh, and we both agreed it is very promising. We shared two apps and two entrees:

                                                                          Murgh Parda Kebab -- grilled chicken in a "wet" marinade with yogurt and spices. Superb.

                                                                          Karari Bhindi -- the fried okra was well-executed but the star was the spicy dipping sauce, which was a little creamy, I'm guessing from peanuts added to chilies.

                                                                          Aloo Chutney Pulao -- the only vegetarian biriani offered, I think we ordered wrong. Although there was hotness from chilies, the profusion of potatoes blanded out the dish, even though the rice was excellent. Next time, I'll try the lamb or chicken biriani.

                                                                          Dahiwala -- baby goat in onion-tomato sauce was our least favorite dish. The sauce got a little tiresome.

                                                                          Service was friendly and the owners are active and enthusiastic. I'm optimistic -- Awadh is probably now better than any other Indian on the UWS -- but many more visits will tell the tale.

                                                                          With Szechuan Gourmet only a couple of doors up Broadway, this neighborhood is definitely looking up.

                                                                          1. re: Dave Feldman

                                                                            Well, let's face it, it would be difficult for it to look down. The restaurant scene up here has been DIRE.

                                                                      2. re: DistendedBelly

                                                                        What business used to be in the space it occupies?

                                                                  2. In the area yesterday afternoon I went to Grandaisy for the first time in quite a while- happy to say my slice of their classic potato pizza was as good as its ever been! Thin slightly chewy crust and a smattering of onions with perfectly cooked thin slices of potato and light olive oil flavor. I'll be back sooner than later!

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                      I live doors away but never had their pizza. Anything else noteworthy?

                                                                      1. re: coasts

                                                                        Really??? I always get the potato but their cauliflower version is great too. Olive buns (also a loaf but i prefer the more crusty buns), and they make an almond poundcake i haven't had in a while but remember as a not too sweet good with coffee kind of thing. I *think* they still have a sticky bun in the mornings, its also been a while but those were damned good and a not too big size, a lot like balthazar's version.

                                                                      2. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                        This is good to hear! I love Sullivan, and they (Sullivan and Grandaisy) offer near identical items, so will give them a try for their pizza soon.

                                                                        I was less impressed with Grandaiy's bread - the last loaf I picked up from them a few weeks ago tasted really stale.. like it was several days old. Granted it was past 3pm when I bought it, but nonetheless, this one tasted like it was 2 days old :( After that, I just continued schlepping a little farther down to Sullivan St Bakery for the always delicious Pugliese loaf.. Perhaps it was an off day at Grandaisy, I'll still give their loaves another try when I pop in for a slice!

                                                                      3. Meatball Shop
                                                                        W81st & Amsterdam

                                                                        1. Mille-Feuille Bakery has a location on Broadway between W. 76th and W. 77th St. I love their croissants.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Rachel9061

                                                                            i had their St. Honore the other night and thought it beat out both Maison Kayser and Laduree.

                                                                            1. re: Rachel9061

                                                                              This is very good to know. Especially with company coming. I had never tried anything there. Thanks.

                                                                              1. My short list:
                                                                                Pasta Pesce
                                                                                Lukes Lobster
                                                                                Land Thai
                                                                                Season Thai
                                                                                Alas, Popover Café is gone!!

                                                                                1. How has nobody mentioned Dhaba Deli on Columbus and 107th? No atmosphere at all (icky bathroom, loud Indian TV, a couple of shared tables), but the best veggie Indian food I've ever had. And it is cheap.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: SimonF

                                                                                    I assume you are referring to Doaba? Not trying to be the spelling police, just correcting so that folks who are searching for Doaba can find it. I've only been there once, several years ago, and wasn't knocked out, but it could have been an off-day.

                                                                                  2. Are we counting Harlem? Because I love The Cecil like a lovey thing. The collard-green salad is, like, my new favorite thing ever, and they have the best deviled eggs (at brunch only, I think) I've ever had.

                                                                                    1. Just moved to the W. 90s this thread is very helpful for me, thanks!

                                                                                      Haven't been inside but ordered from Indus Valley and can recommend.

                                                                                      Anyone been to A Cafe?

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: rachelnyc1

                                                                                        Yep, A Cafe is very respectable bistro fare. Low-key, inconspicuous and in the UWS' upper reaches, so often overlooked and left out of the conversation.

                                                                                        1. re: Shrub

                                                                                          Thanks Shrub. Looking forward to trying that and some of the others mentioned here.

                                                                                      2. Szeuchuan Gourmet 98 seems to be circling the drain. It started out terrific -- I was there the first week, and the food was very good -- but within a couple of weeks, the food had taken a marked turn down, obvious enough to signal some kind of major change in the kitchen. Then they seem to have changed the name to Szechuan Taste (though they're still using the Szechuan Gourmet menus). And diners just seem to be staying away in droves. I just walked past -- 7pm on a chilly Sunday night, PRIME Chinese-food hour on the Upper West Side -- and the place was 3/4 empty. I live very close by, and have never seen it -- not since those first couple of weeks -- more occupied than that. It's a very big space, on a corner...the rent must be pretty serious. I can't imagine they can survive long on a dozen tables a night.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: bookseller

                                                                                          The one on 105th St is very good.

                                                                                        2. We were at Kefi this weekend. The place is very good, I wouldn't say the "best" food..although the food was good. Kefi's Bloody Marys, however, were the absolute best I've ever hand. Hands down the best. Not too spicey but not bland. Trust me, I get heartburn from Bloodies but didn't get it after Kefi's.
                                                                                          Also--I think Kefi could be a "best" as far as value. 5 of us. Brunch. Drinks. Coffee. Tab = $118.00 Could not argue with that price at all.

                                                                                          MaPeche, David Chang's Momofuku restaurant downstairs from the Milk Bar on W. 56th is great as well. I love that place. The Milk Bar is great for cookies--although I make mine from the recipes in Tosi's cookbook.

                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: jarona

                                                                                            It pains me to say this, but the truth is that I make the best bloody marys in the known universe.

                                                                                            1. re: bookseller

                                                                                              Well then, your Bloody recipe please!!!!

                                                                                              1. re: jarona

                                                                                                Tomato juice, vodka, freshly ground black pepper, Tabasco, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, fresh lemon juice. Keep tasting till it tastes right. Pour over ice, and make the sign of the devil at anyone who wants to get anywhere near you with a celery stick.

                                                                                                1. re: bookseller

                                                                                                  Thank you. I will be making your version of the Bloody Mary this weekend. I will most likely get heartburn but I don't even care!!! You had me at horseradish!

                                                                                                  1. re: bookseller

                                                                                                    Sounds good to me.... And although i don't want a celery stick near mine i am a fan of a celery salt rim and a few of rick's spicey green bean pickles for garnish.

                                                                                              2. re: jarona

                                                                                                I like the bloody mary at Tangled Vine a lot. They use some special smoked stuff. Or they did, a while back. The food wasn't memorable.

                                                                                                1. re: plf515

                                                                                                  The best bloody mary I've had is at Prune. The fresh juice is so important...

                                                                                              3. Sadly, it looks like I was right: Szechuan Taste/Szechuan Gourmet 98 appears to have packed it in, not five months after opening. What would I love for that space? Almost anything other than mediocre Indian or mediocre Chinese. I'd like EN Japanese Brasserie to decide that it needs a location on the UWS. I'd like The Lobster Place to decide that the increasingly mediocre Citarella should not have a monopoly on the UWS fish market. I'd like Morandi to get an itch for a little northern exposure. Yeah, basically, I'd like my favorite parts of the West Village to relocate to my new nabe, and leave the screaming, drunk 23-year-olds downtown.

                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: bookseller

                                                                                                  Wow it's closed? Quite the rise and fall. At least they didn't drag things out I guess.

                                                                                                  Anyway, while we're doing wish lists, put me down for BBQ - first person who starts selling some good brisket and ribs up here will make a fortune.

                                                                                                  1. re: Shrub

                                                                                                    Dinosaur BBQ is not that far away. 125th St. all the way west.

                                                                                                  2. re: bookseller

                                                                                                    I can't say I am surprised. It started great and then ....

                                                                                                    Wish list? Larb Ubol opens a branch uptown!

                                                                                                    1. re: plf515

                                                                                                      Oh noes, don't get me started on a UWS Wish List!

                                                                                                      I guess things are looking up for the UWS, with a Maille opening soon, as well as Box Kite (oh Blue Bottle why don't you open a branch up north?! The Rockefeller location is pitiful, and I'm reluctant to schlep all the wall to Chelsea to snag a seat at the brew bar) and Maison Kaiser in the works.

                                                                                                      1. re: DistendedBelly

                                                                                                        I don't mean to be snarky -- well, only a little -- but how is a damn MUSTARD store an indication that the (dire) food situation in this nabe is looking up? I mean, I love mustard. I have an embarrassing number of jars of mustard, including several kinds of Maille mustard. But it's not as though, on a Thursday night, I sit at home and think, I'd love to go out someplace nearby for a pleasant meal...I know, MUSTARD! That's what I need!

                                                                                                        1. re: bookseller

                                                                                                          Snarky or not... that wins for funniest post of the thread.

                                                                                                    2. re: bookseller

                                                                                                      Huh. Gotta cut their losses if its not working i guess. Maybe the better version on 105th took them down.....

                                                                                                      I visit often yet don't live in the area (yet...) and there is a desperate need for decent caffinee! maybe we can convince the owners of double dutch to open another location.....

                                                                                                      1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                        To be honest, I don't think it was competition from 105th. The 98th Street location took a very sharp turn down in quality within weeks -- certainly no more than four weeks -- after it opened. And it went from being jammed, as it was in its opening week, to virtually empty. In other words, I think this was more than bad luck and competition: I think somebody made a decision that turned out to be a bad decision.

                                                                                                    3. Is there a Parm in the UWS? I read this a while ago but haven't heard anything since then.

                                                                                                      Grub Street: "Parm’s Upper West Side Location Is Moving Along"

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: MrGrumpy

                                                                                                        The link above no longer works but here's another one re Parm UWS.

                                                                                                        1. re: MrGrumpy

                                                                                                          I peak in every few days to check on the progress and just recently you can see it starting to take shape. as of this week, the wall was plastered with white tiles, presumably where the bar may be. it's definitely some time before it opens, but it is moving forward.

                                                                                                      2. Well, SOMETHING's going on at the Szechuan Gourmet 98 space; there were three guys busily sanding the floor and chiseling tiles off the wall, when I walked by this afternoon.

                                                                                                        1. A little more Szechuan Gourmet 98 gossip: So I'm friendly with the jeweler who has the shop a few doors down (lovely fellow, BTW, and has done some very nice work for me, for reasonable prices: Jewel Boutique). He told me a couple of things. First, apparently the rent on that restaurant space is $27,000 per month, which is a whopping amount no matter how you slice it, but perhaps makes a little more sense when you know that it encompasses not only the (very large) street level but also, says Harmeet, both the basement and a mezzanine level that is set up for (non-existent) private parties. Also, Harmeet says he spoke to the manager, who told him they believe the problem with the restaurant was "the menu" -- that people didn't want spicy Szechuanese food. I can see that they might not have gotten a lot of takers for the frogs' legs and the 100-year-old eggs (which in fact were delicious) and the pork intestines and stuff, but I don't think that it's a two-option system, that the only two choices are A) crappy egg-drop soup, or B) blow-the-roof-of-your-mouth-off pork intestines with fermented tofu. There are, you know, middle grounds. But I'm not real sanguine: Harmeet says that there was a sheriff's notice on the door, closing the place for non-payment of rent. In any case I think the problem was with the execution: If the food had stayed as good as it was initially, people would have come, and they might even have become willing to venture beyond the spareribs.

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: bookseller

                                                                                                            I can believe the rent thing and them having too much space, but the menu can't be the problem. The place on 105 and Broadway has a menu full of exotica and is full every time I go - full of mostly Asians.

                                                                                                            And the SG on 56th and 8th is also busy. Sometimes there is a wait for a table.

                                                                                                            And the Xi'an foods on 101st, while not Szechuan, does serve spicy food and exotica (lamb offal soup, lamb face salad) and seems to do well too.

                                                                                                            Personally, I ordered the thousand year old eggs when I was there.

                                                                                                            People want spicy Szechuan food. They just want GOOD spicy Szechuan food.

                                                                                                            1. re: plf515

                                                                                                              UWS Xian will alter the spice level on many of its dishes. People do order not spicy or low spicy.

                                                                                                              1. re: tenth

                                                                                                                Sure. And so will most Sichuan places. But my point is that Xi'an is not a "American Chinese" place or one that really goes out of its way to cater to people who want something "not too ethnic".