It’s been ages since we’ve been to to Telepan on 79th Street just off Columbus.We always figured it was too too pricey, especially if we combined it with tickets to a Lincoln Center event.
Chef Bill Telepan
But, boy, was our recent meal worth every penny! (No entree is priced higher than $34.50 and you can keep the price down by ordering an appetizer and “mid course,” which is ample for most diners.)
At Telepan it’s all about the food. Chef Telepan is pure chef and doesn’t make a big deal about his big talent. For example, ingredients are impeccable, but the lanky chef doesn’t feel the need to trumpet their origin obsess about this breed or that, this farm or that one. What a relief!
The standout dish was green beet and ricotta pierogi with roasted beets, ricotta salata and brown butter. The waiter explained that the beet greens formed part of the stuffing, which was luscious, and the mingling of Eastern European flavors in this unique way was incredibly inventive. A smoked trout appetizer was nearly as delicious, and a pork main dish, while the weakest link of the items we sampled on the menu, was tender and juicy.
For dessert, we had a s’more-like concoction that was essentially a richer-than-rich Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. I was dubious because I’m not a big fan of that candy. But this dessert was sensational.
Best of all, the service is impeccable and the dining room is serene.You don’t need to scream to be heard by your dinner companion.
If you want falafel or maybe something more exotic from the Middle East, the Upper West Side is sprouting an array of joints to help you sample cuisines from around the region.
Soom Soom, which opened recently on 72nd Street just east of Broadway is a falafel lovers delight. The golden orbs are perfectly fried, then tucked into loaves of pillowy pita. Best of all is the salad bar-like set up which allows you to pile your falafel high with all the veggies and sauces—not to mention endless tahini—that make a falafel a meal in itself.
I went wild at the salad bar—to the point that my sandwich was really a tower of toppings with the falafel shoved into the bottom of the pita almost as an afterthought.
Also new to the neighborhood is a restaurant serving up Druze cuisine. Another Gazala Place, which already has an eatery in Hell’s Kitchen, is to be situated at 380 Columbus Avenue, near 78th Street, Grub Street reports. Druze dishes are similar to those found in other Middle Eastern countries, but instead of pita, the Druze use a thin crepe called sagg.
Not on the Upper West Side, but yearning for a great falafel?
Not able to resist an apparently unstoppable trend, New Yorker’s continue to wolf down cupcakes. In fact,the Upper West Side branch of Crumbs has moved into shiny new digs. And the chain is expanding nationwide.
UWS restaurant Recipe roasting pig in alley. Photo: Courtesy Judy Starr via Westside Independent.
Pig Roasting on a spit in the alley behind your building? Sound appealing…or ghastly? Recipe, the New American restaurant at 452 Amsterdam Avenue off of 82nd Street, held a first anniversary celebration for its staff this week—and roasted a pig out back, a manager at the restaurant confirmed to the Westside Independent.
But residents apparently squealed. The smell and the sight of the piggy turning on the spit offended some. Read more.
Pinch & S’Mac, the pairing of former East Side pizza restaurant Pinch, and East Village macaroni and cheese eatery S’mac, has closed its doors to make way for an Italian restaurant called Grandma’s. The Italian eatery is slated to replace Pinch & S’Mac at the Columbus Ave. space located between 82nd and 83rd St., reports the Westside Independent. Read more here.