food 10.22.07

UWS Food

The Upper West Side food scene is like a slow-moving soap opera. Tune in every few years, and not much has changed. In 2004, the last time we looked at the scene, there were signs of progress. And guess what? Signs of progress again. Really! Maybe!

The biggest news for foodies is the opening of two shops, at the southern end of the Zabar's, Citarella, Fairway axis.

Grandaisy, 176 W. 72nd [Bway] 212.721.9000, an outpost of the Sullivan Street favorite, has sensational breads and sweets. If you say you've ever eaten a better olive loaf than this one, we're not sure we'd believe you.

Jacques Torres, 285 Amst [73rd/74th], is close to opening—the best possible news for sweet tooths in those parts.

Meanwhile, the restaurant scene is showing new signs of life. Along with stalwarts such as Cafe Luxembourg and Rain (where chef Taweewat Hurapan is back in the kitchen), a new top chef joins Jean Georges: Daniel Boulud's Bar Boulud, 1900 Bway [64th] will be opening in December. Look for wines of Burgundy and the Rhône as well as charcuterie.

Then there are the serious chefs who are further north in the thicket of the UWS:

Tom Valenti's Ouest, 2315 Bway [83rd/84th] 212.580.8700
Terrance Brennan's Picholine, 35 W. 64th [Bway/CPW] 212.724.8585
Bill Telepan's Telepan, 72 W. 69th [Col/CPW] 212.580.4300
Gari Sugio's Gari, 370 Col [77th/78th] 212.362.4816.

Joining them will be Ed Brown, who's scheduled to open 81, 45 W. 81st [Col/CPW] in December and Jonathan Waxman's Madaleine Mae, 461 Col [82nd] 212.496.3000, which promises "grille, breakfast, and rhum cures." We have no idea what a rhum cure is, but we want one, possibly a double.

Most heartening of all, though, is the burgeoning array of excellent, modestly-priced eateries. Danny Abrams is planning to open a branch of his Mermaid Inn and a Zak Pelaccio eatery is on the way. Meanwhile, consider these:

Fabulous Greek food at Kefi, 222 W. 79th [Bway/Amst] 212.873.0200.

The best Indian food ever on the UWS is at Earthen Oven, 53 W. 72nd [Col] 212.579.8888.

You'll find exceptional Italian food at Celeste, 502 Amst [84th/85th] 212.874.4559 and Gennaro, 665 Amst [92nd/93rd] 212.665.5348.

And finally, reliably fine Thai food is served at Land, 450 Amst [81st/82nd] 212.501.8121.

the devil's whisper and the meaning of night…channeling chanel.


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