Upper West Side

5 Napkin Burger

5 Napkin Burger NYC

Photo by 5 Napkin Burger

Address: 2315 Broadway (at 84th St.)

*Also located in Midtown West and Union Square

Link: http://5napkinburger.com

Review: If you are in the mood for some hearty burgers with a slightly upscale setting this is a safe bet.  Though tiled decor lends to a louder than desired setting, it is a cut above your dine and dash burger joints.  With other options besides just charred beef, like sushi rolls and lobster roll sliders, 5 Napkin provides variety for everyone in your group.  This spot is better suited for something very casual or a group dinner with friends/family.

Coppola’s

Coppola's West NYC

Photo by Coppola’s

Address: 206 W. 79th St. (Amsterdam and Broadway)

*Also located in Murray Hill

Link: http://www.coppolas-nyc.com/

Review: This Italian eatery does its best to give patrons a taste of the good life.  Despite its rather nice decor and somewhat romantic surroundings, the food fell flat.  The chicken parm was drowned in red sauce and had more than enough cheese for a medium size breast.  In lieu of the setting, which is an escape from the norm in Murray HIll, for the money there are other places to go for better food.

 

Blondies

 

Blondies Sports NYC

Photo by Blondies

Address: 212 W. 79th St. (Broadway & Amsterdam)

Link: http://blondiessports.com/

Review: Blondies is worth the trip to the UWS for the wings alone. With varying degrees of heat, you can choose just how far you want to go on the Scoville scale.  This is one of the best sports bars in NYC with TVs EVERYWHERE. There are plenty of other food options available, but not many for those counting calories.  With a good beer selection and prices that don’t break the bank, this spot is a favorite for catching the game.  If you and your date are both sports fanatics Blondies can be a ton of fun to check out, and of course it’s always good to get a group of buddies and head here for Sunday Funday.  FYI – Get there early on Sundays and for big sporting events as it tends to fill up quick!

Rosa Mexicano

Photo by Rosa Mexicano

Address: 61 Columbus Ave. (62nd & 63rd St.)

*Locations also in Midtown East and Union Square

Link: http://www.rosamexicano.com/newyorkcity/

Review: Rosa Mexicano is a large format chain Mexican restaurant with 3 locations in NYC – Union Square, Upper West Side and Midtown East.  But even though it is a chain they have great, more upscale Mexican dishes with deliciously fresh ingredients.  They have a large menu with tons of different options and lots of great tequila cocktails as well.  You of course need to order the guac which is freshly made at your table, their ceviches are solid and the fundido (Mexican fondue type dish) is super cheesy and terrible for you but oh so good and a must order for the table to share.  If you’re looking to have a fun dinner out with friends and/or family, this is a great choice.  Though beware, at busier times the servers can get over whelmed, service can get pretty slow and one for got an app we ordered.

Telepan

Photo by Telepan

Address: 72 W. 69th St. (Columbus Ave. & Central Park W)

Link:   http://www.telepan-ny.com/

Review: We ventured out to Telepan on the Upper West Side for our first stop for Restaurant Week and were not disappointed.  We were greeted by a very cordial host who sat us at a nice corner table.  We decided to go with the three-course menu with the wine pairings to get the full experience.  Our waiter and the sommelier were both super friendly and helpful.  We had a tough time deciding which dishes to order since most of them looked fantastic and our waiter definitely made the right recommendations for us.  Each dish was executed extremely well and the wine pairings were spot on.  The sommelier was brief and to the point with his descriptions of the wines in a way that even a non-wino could understand, not rambling on and on like some sommeliers tend to do.  The portions were generous for a $35 pre fix; the pork and chicken dishes having a couple of different types of preparations on one plate.  We finished our meal off with a delicious and refreshing seasonal dessert of strawberry parfait, cream and prosecco.  The tab was pricey, but with the good food and sharp, friendly service, it was a price definitely worth paying for the experience. Snatch up a reservation for Restaurant Week while you still can!

Haru

Photo by Haru

Address: 433 Amsterdam Ave. (80th & 81st St.)

*Locations also in Financial District, Midtown East, Midtown West, Flatiron/Gramercy, Upper East Side

Link:  http://www.harusushi.com/

Review: Haru is your chain sushi place that churns out solidly good sushi with decent creativity with their rolls, but this is not a place for the sushi purists.  They have good apps like the crispy duck and shrimp and mushroom shumai, a bunch of good specialty cocktails ($13 a pop) and solid rolls.  Haru is a better spot for a group dinner rather than a date, but nonetheless, an above average last minute place when you’re in the mood for sushi.  The menu isn’t the cheapest out there but the wait is never too long so reservations aren’t really necessary.

Momoya

Photo by Momoya

Address: 427 Amsterdam Ave. (80th & 81st St.)

*Location also in Chelsea

Link:  http://momoyanyc.com/

Review: The no reservation policy makes for a long wait, but the dishes we had were worth the wait.  We sat up at the sushi bar, got a bottle of Asahi, a tokkuri of saki, edamame and gyoza to start, all of which hit the spot.  We love our special rolls, and Momoya’s signature rolls were some of the best we’ve ever tasted to date.  Service was a little bit slow but the place was packed so that was to be expected.  Momoya is definitely a great date spot if you don’t mind waiting or go on an off night.

Land Thai Kitchen

Photo by Moon C.

Address: 450 Amsterdam Ave. (81st & 82nd St.)

*Location also in the Upper East Side

Link:  http://www.landthaikitchen.com/westside/

Review: Land Thai is a UWS restaurant with a great romantic date night atmosphere and decent thai food.  The drunken noodles with chicken were very very spicy so don’t order this dish unless you like that! The pad thai with shrimp and the spring rolls were solid choices, albeit pretty standard choices you can get at most decent thai places.  The pluses were the friendly and attentive waitstaff and the Thai beer the boyfriend had been looking for since he got back from his trip to Thailand.  We wouldn’t send someone on a trip up to the UES for this place but if you live in the area it’s definitely a decent spot for a date.

Luke’s Lobster

Photo by Luke’s Lobster

Address: 426 Amsterdam Ave. (80th & 81st St.)

*Locations also in Financial District, Upper East Side and East Village

Link:  http://www.lukeslobster.com/

Review: We’re pretty obsessed with Luke’s Lobster – super fresh seafood from Maine right in the middle of the East Village (and FiDi, UES and UWS).  We always seem to end up here whenever we are in the area! They have delicious lobster, shrimp and crab rolls, lobster and shrimp being our favorites.  Really good sodas and chips as well.  But since it’s locations are all pretty small take out places, it’s not ideal for a date but more of a place to stop in if you’re looking for a quick bite before heading elsewhere.  Also not the cheapest meal for a take out sandwich but they do drive the seafood down from Maine daily and it’s definitely worth the price.  Luke’s Lobster is a great spot to grab a bite to eat and has the best lobster rolls you’ll find south of Cape Cod. Great healthier alternative to a slice of pizza when you’re out in the East Village or near one of their other locations.

Brother Jimmy’s

Photo by Brother Jimmy’s

Address: 428 Amsterdam Ave. (80th & 81st St.)

*Locations also in Union Square, Upper East Side, Murray Hill and Midtown West

Link: http://www.brotherjimmys.com/

Review: Ahh Brother Jimmy’s.  The boyfriend and I met here and it’s definitely not a date spot – we like to say we fell in love in a hopeless place.  This is the type of bar you come to to chug cheap PBRs or down fishbowls with your buddies.  It’s a sloppy mess of newly minted NY bros and chicks.  Bro J’s is always a scene in the summer so get there early or the line will be around the block.  Obviously it’s not a spot to bring a date but if you, your significant other and all your friends are looking to celebrate, Bro J’s is a good choice.  So grab all your buddies, get sloshed and enjoy some awesome southern BBQ to soak up some of that alcohol.

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