Food and Things

All about food and the way people eat it.


West Branch Satisfies Upper West Side Bistro Needs

I’ve never been a huge fan of Ouest, Tom Valenti’s celebrated Upper West Side eatery.   So my expectations for West Branch, his new bistro situated at 77th and Broadway, were pretty muted.

But, boy, was I pleasantly surprised!


This is a great addition to the Upper West Side dining scene.  For the price, the food can’t be beat.

The menu is a mix of inventive bistro fare-burgers, beet salad, pastas and the like-and some refreshed standards that don’t show up very often on today’s menus.  These include items like the classic chilled veal dish, vitello tonnato; celeriac remoulade with country ham and baguette; and sauteed calves liver and sweetbreads with bacon and onion.

If you’re in a mood for nostalgia foods, you can’t go wrong with the vitello tonnato; the meat was exceptionally tender and was glazed with just the right amount of piquant tuna sauce.  Celeriac is another old standard that doesn’t get a lot of play these days.  (”It’s such a great dish,” gushed the waiter about this root vegetable. “No one ever orders it.”) Valenti prepares it with with a light binding of mayonaise; it was refreshing and delicious.

There are decently-priced wines by the glass and the service was efficient and friendly.  Don’t go to West Branch, though, for a cozy tete-a-tete; the nose level is pretty unforgiving.

West Branch
2178 Broadway
New York, NY
212 777 6764

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