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Westrite's Profile

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Dovetail, BLT Market, or Toloache?

Our anniversary snuck up on us this year and so we ate at Dovetail this week. This was our second visit and we went basically because I wanted the gnocchi and we could get a last-minute resy. We were seated at the table for two right by the kitchen door. Which was fine (but is prolly the last-minute table). The food was good with polite service. It isn't one of those places that I think of as special occasion, but it isn't entirely casual either. It also isn't elegant, fun or romantic. It's a lovely, quiet and understated restaurant. (Btw, we had the monkfish and pork. Short ribs gnocchi (delicious!!!) crab ravioli (skip) and carrot cake with a few glasses of wine.) Bill was $200.

Was my meal so delicious that I'd select Dovetail over a pile of pretty tasty Toloache tacos and some margaritas...that is a "what have you got a taste for tonight" question.

Oct 10, 2008
Westrite in Manhattan

Differerent lunch request for Upper West Side/Central Park West Area

Grandaisy Bakery has nice sandwiches or you could get a good slice. That's at 72 and Bdwy. Levain Bakery also has some sandwiches -- that's at 74 and Amsterdam.

Jul 18, 2008
Westrite in Manhattan

Eloping. Where's the perfect place for dinner to follow?

I'm going to echo Eleven Madison Park (duck for 2) and The Modern. But I think I would almost go for a posh hotel with a view, a great bottle of Champagne from Sherry-Lehmann (vintage year you met?) and room service. And a huge cake. The champagne and cake you can repeat in future years to carry on a tradition. Have a great day!

Jul 16, 2008
Westrite in Manhattan

Where does a southerner get grits near Lincoln Center?

In the neighborhood of Popover and Good Enough to Eat (84/85 on Amsterdam) you might think about Neptune Room for brunch. Only one dish really really worth ordering and it's the country breakfast. I've had it many times, always good and it is an absolute mess of food, really enough for 2 people, and about a gazillion calories. It's eggs, cheesy grits, bacon, sausage, gravy and a biscuit. Now, it isn't super-Southern the way I know the dish should be and I think why it works for me is that it isn't trying to absolutely mimic the original but be it's own respectable take on the dish (maybe "upscale" take, too -- I think we're talking like $15). I think this differs from Good Enough to Eat which is trying to authentically recreate the grits/egg/sausage biscuit combo. For me, I prefer the interpretation (Neptune) rather than the recreation (Good Enough) because sometimes I just feel like it's better to have something that I know going into it is going to taste different rather than go into thinking it is hopefully going to taste exactly the same. This is really just a matter of adjusting my expecations -- I can appreciate something for what it is, rather than what it should really be.

Jul 01, 2008
Westrite in Manhattan

Engagement Dinner this Thursday

It's a little fancier (and priced about like Henry's) than those two, but maybe Neptune Room (85 & Ams.) for seafood? The service is pleasant and the food is good. Plenty of room for conversation and it looks nice. You won't be rushed. I've successfully eaten there with my in-laws and they aren't adventurous at all.

My other go-to for these kinds of things (menu everyone can agree on, safe for the out of towners cause it's in a mall, and not too much $$) is Landmarc. With 7 you can get a resy and maybe explain what kind of table you want.

Jun 24, 2008
Westrite in Manhattan

Hi-Life Bar/Grill (UWS)

Hi-Life is ok. I mean, it isn't anything to get excited over and the drinks are your standards and the food is ok. They do have outdoor seating and the service is pretty friendly. A toss between Fred's and Hi-Life I always choose Fred's. UnWined and Cleopatra's -- I can't comment on. But, French Roast -- eh, that's one you can skip. (And between Hi-Life and French Roast, no question Hi-Life.)

May 07, 2008
Westrite in Manhattan

Service at Zabar's?

I haven't noticed a turnover in staff and I'm in there an embarassing 4x a week. I think maybe it was a freak experience because I've always had good exchanges with the managers. My guess is the frutta di mostarda , if they do have it and I can't say I've seen it, is to the right of the bread counter with some other condiment stuff and grab-bag imported stuff. If not there, then literally, with the mustard near the coffee area. You know who might have a good one, though? It's worth a call to the Formaggio Kitchen guys in Essex Market.

May 02, 2008
Westrite in Manhattan

Lime Pie?

And, Zabar's sometimes has the pies, too. Not as good as going there, and getting the frozen pie dipped in chocolate, but still..
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Apr 18, 2008
Westrite in Manhattan

Baked Bread - Where is NYC's best baguette?

Silver Moon -- oh yeah, about 10 am on Saturday when they are hot and fresh. It's good. Otherwise, I'll do Le Pain in a pinch.

Apr 18, 2008
Westrite in Manhattan

place to taste olive oil before buying?

Surprised no one has mentioned Stonehouse Olive Oil on Front Street -- http://www.stonehouseoliveoil.com Always been really happy with their products.

Mar 11, 2008
Westrite in Manhattan

Kee's Chocolate--favorite flavors?

Thai chili, Thai chili, Thai chili.

Feb 15, 2008
Westrite in Manhattan

Bar Boulud - should it even be open yet?

I went the Saturday it opened. Waited maybe 10 minutes and then my table was ready. And, you know, for opening weekend I thought the service was surprisingly good. Was there some confusion and a bit of creakiness, yea. But I was patient and they were polite and I think that always helps. I had a great bottle of reasonably-priced wine and a good meal and that was all. I left very happy. It wasn't a meal that changed my life, but it was a meal I'd certainly eat again and again and again.

As for the look of the place. I'll agree that the front area is a bit chilly. But I strongly disagree on the overall look. I guess one person's subway tunnel is another's wine cellar. I'd encourage you to go downstairs and get a good look at the whole place.

Feb 01, 2008
Westrite in Manhattan

Help me recreate a first date - Suenos, Toloache, Zarela or ?

I grew up eating Mexican and TexMex but I rarely go out for Mexican here in the city. (Mexican food lovers know why – "authenticity" and freshness, quality, price, etc, etc.!) I'll admit that maybe I'm a bit down on Mexican food in NYC, but I have an open mind and firmly believe that it is hard to have a bad meal when you eat with someone you love. So, I'm hopeful that you can guide me to a pleasant place with cheerful service and fresh and tasty food that will at least set the scene (not the horrible awkwardness) of our first date. I’m thinking about places like Suenos, Zarela or even Toloache? Your opinions on these places or anything I've overlooked? I’m not looking for little joints. No places like Rosa Mexicano, Mama Mexico and Dos Caminos. Location in Manhattan is not a big deal and I think the bill shouldn’t be more than $150, or so. Thanks in advance.

Jan 30, 2008
Westrite in Manhattan

Little Owl, Hearth, Other Suggestions

One more to the mix -- Mas.

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Mas (Farmhouse)
39 Downing St, New York, NY 10014

Jan 10, 2008
Westrite in Manhattan

kashkaval, casellula, hotel qt or tonic

Really, right after work? Maybe I've been catching it at lucky times because I haven't experienced that sort of crowd yet and the staff has been good. But that makes me sad. Food is great.

Jan 08, 2008
Westrite in Manhattan

Need Help Taking "Extravagant" Down a Notch

Been there. Here's a $75 solution: Daisy May's ribs and a bottle of rose Champagne (you can find a few options between $30-$40 at Astor). $100 if you throw in a good birthday cake from a nice bakery.

Jan 08, 2008
Westrite in Manhattan

Best burger on the UWS?

3rd for Fred's.

Jan 08, 2008
Westrite in Manhattan

kashkaval, casellula, hotel qt or tonic

Casellula. Thoughtful wine list and they do serve beer -- I don't think they serve cocktails. Get some cheese or a small snack. Reasonable prices and noise level. Not trendy, tragic or over the hill. Blue Ribbon is also a good suggestion. The Hudson Hotel -- ehh, check out the pictures online first. It might be a little "trendy" for an out of towner (even tho it is a little over the hill trend-wise).

Jan 08, 2008
Westrite in Manhattan

waffle truck in front of Fairway's (74th)

It needs to be said again -- the Brussels wafel (the first one on the menu) will be made to order. Done it a few times. Just stand and wait for it. The Liege, yes, that oen is prepackaged and reheated and you can skip it. Are the wafels worth $4? It's the UWS! We pay $5 for 4 bites of Grom so the market price has been set for edible novelties...

Dec 20, 2007
Westrite in Manhattan

Romantic, Late (11pm), Small Dishes, Good Drinks?

3rd Ssam. But, if you want to stay in the theater neighborhood, what about .casellula.com? I had a great meal there recently and I'd say it's on par vibe-wise with Ssam and Tia Pol. Thoughtful wine list, too.

Dec 20, 2007
Westrite in Manhattan

Without Kurowycky...Where do I get my ham?

A little early to be asking this but I'm going to have to do some planning this year. So, where do you get your Christmas ham? I used to get my delicious ham from Kurowycky but it is no longer (so sad!). NYC suggestions, please.

Nov 26, 2007
Westrite in Manhattan

Is the atmosphere at Landmarc at TWC "fancy" enough for a special dinner?

You really should try to get a table in what looks like the reserved room -- behind the mesh curtain. The place gets very noisy. And on all my visits (rush hours and very late at night) the service has been kind of slow -- maybe it's better with a big group in the more reserved space. FYI, I'm not particularly certain that any view at Landmarc really overlooks the park. It sort of looks out on to the park, but not really. And as far as the concern of it not being special -- imho I think what people are getting at is that the space is sort of dungeon-like at night with the fake brick, rebar and rusted out design elements. That back room looks a little more sophisticated, though.

Nov 26, 2007
Westrite in Manhattan

I'm taking my nephew to see the inflation of the Macy's balloons on the UWS on Wednesday evening and

I'd eat before. And go early. It's a total crapstorm of people -- unless it rains, then it's great!. If you need to eat in the nabe try staying away from Columbus and Amsterdam and walk one more over to Bdwy and catch the 1/9 out of there. Maybe try Artie's? Or even Fairway cafe. Both safe for the kid. If my memory is correct you should get off the train at 86th and walk south to the entrance...and the entrance is on the northeastern most edge of the museum. The exit is on the southeastern most edge.

Nov 20, 2007
Westrite in Manhattan

Afternoon Tea ~ does anyone serve fresh from the oven scones and use real clotted cream?

What about the afternoon tea they serve at The London Bar? I haven't been yet but it's been on my "to do" list. More here: http://www.gordonramsay.com/thelondon...

Nov 20, 2007
Westrite in Manhattan

Esca or Neptune Room

Neptune Room and Esca aren't really comparable. Neptune is a sorta expensive nabe place and Esca is a nice dinner place. I've had nice meals at both and never had a bad experience -- but if I really wanted to have a great dish and a great wine list, it's Esca no doubt. If I was dining with a less adventurous crowd or really wanted to be close to home, then Neptune is a respectable place that I could be happy with, too. That said, brunch at the Neptune Room is one of the best deals on the UWS.

Nov 02, 2007
Westrite in Manhattan

Good bar for watching hockey/basketball - UWS between 66th and 84th streets?

On Ams/West 83 there is a newly renovated bar called something like Soldier McGee? Maybe? Soldier something. Anyway, it used to be a place called Racoon Lodge, and then it was called something like Crossroads. And in those past incarnations it always looked like a gross place I'd never go. Now, it has HUGE TVs and actually looks a whole lot nicer. Might be worth a shot because it's new and when I passed by last weekend was surprisingly quiet.

Also, I like Firehouse on Columbus and 85th. Always seems emptier than it should be.

Oct 30, 2007
Westrite in Manhattan

New Sushi on Amsterdam Avenue in the 80's?

Momoya. Haven't been yet, but it was looking pretty full last Friday.

Oct 25, 2007
Westrite in Manhattan

Mermaid Inn or August

Another vote for August.

Oct 04, 2007
Westrite in Manhattan

New York Treat for Wedding Welcome Basket

I think Zabars also has individual single-serve bags of pre-ground coffee.

Sep 13, 2007
Westrite in Manhattan

A very specific request (in lower Manhattan)...

If you wait until 6:30 there is always Doughnut Plant as you come off the bridge. That would be a memorable treat.

Sep 13, 2007
Westrite in Manhattan