I am a Miami Chowhound and am staying in New York for an extended period and have tried several of the highly recommended restaurants. I would like to give my highly personal opinion and would welcome your responses. We went to Esca on Saturday night and discovered a very good fish restaurant. However I did not appreciate an all Italian wine list with overpriced unrecognizable whites. Why not say wines by the glass instead of the 250cc container which holds two glasses of wine? Pleasant ambiance and attentive service. Sensational sardines with figs appetizer. Very good striped bass and halibut. Would definitely return. Last night we went to Blue Hill with great expectations. We were seated in the rear garden which was quiet and romantic. Wine list was OK, nothing that really enticed us. Waited 25 minutes for our pea soup starters and asked a manager if there was a problem. She then brougt the soups out. Small portion and tiny mushroom ravioli. Not very tasty. Bread was average. Main courses of cod and striped bass were over a vegetable broth. Not tasty enough to order again. Peach over sweet grits dessert was superb but was the smallest portion I have been served. The table next to us had waited about 20 minutes and had to ask for bread. The butter placed on the table was melted. The menu has few choices. We would not return to this overhyped place. Attention to detail is not their forte. A comment about Cafe Lalo on W. 83rd St. We loved the atmosphere and buzz. Their cakes that we tried tasted as if they were 2 days old. Iced coffee drinks were mostly ice. Nice Matin was very enjoyoable. The nicoise pizza appetizer is one of the best tastes I have ever had and would return for that dish alone.
My wife and I are parents of a generation Xer so I am likely much older than most posters to Chowhounds. We enjoy excellent restaurants and have found many in New York. Some of the small places on the UES and UWS are unique and underappreciated by younger people. I certainly disagree that these neighborhoods are culinary deserts. Just the opposite. We are leery of trying Baoronda on Second Avenue and 75th Street because of the "scene". Any comments about their food?
We are going to Gramercy Tavern and Jean Georges soon. I really miss La Cote Basque which was one of our favorites. We are enjoying our "moveable feast" and I will post more of my opinionated thoughts.