Have we been too hard on the Upper West Side?
When we say there’s no good food up there besides The Smith, we don’t really mean it. We don’t even like The Smith that much. It’s just a running joke. We’re sorry.
Because now we have Maison Pickle. It’s an uptown restaurant, but one that’s trying to feel “downtown” in a way that reminds us of an uncle who tries to seem younger by selling his house, buying an RV, and road tripping to Burning Man with a ziplock full of molly. It doesn’t quite work, and it all feels a little cheesy.
This place is run by the same people who own the popular Upper West Side restaurant Jacob’s Pickles, and it feels like an Applebee’s by way of the Meatpacking District. It’s fancy and good-looking, and there’s a troubling variety of food.
Here’s a small sample:
- Half Pig Head Confit
- Bacon Steak
- Flounder Rockefeller
And here’s another:
- Shrimp Dumplings
- Filet Mignon Au Poivre
- Garlic Chile Cucumber
It’s a big menu. Probably too big, because most of the food ends up tasting like the stuff you’d get at a chain restaurant in a mall. Take the chicken and shrimp dish - it comes covered in cheese and creamy sauce, and it tastes like something a 1950′s housewife would make to passive-aggressively inform her husband that she resents him.
That said, you might find a use for Maison Pickle. Cocktails, maybe. Or when you’re desperately looking for a young, well-dressed crowd north of 72nd Street. Because, at the end of the day, this is one of the few places on the Upper West Side that could almost pass for a “cool” downtown restaurant. It isn’t very cool - but if you know how to order, you might leave here not-unhappy. The French dips aren’t bad. They aren’t worth a trip, but if your uncle is driving his RV into town and wants to hang somewhere lively on the UWS, you guys could split one at the bar. Or maybe just go to The Ribbon.
One of the most luxurious-sounding things on the menu, and a complete bust. Go buy a monogrammed bathrobe instead.
If airports are your favorite place to eat, you’ll like this.
A decent sandwich. We wouldn’t go out of the way for it, but if we lived around here, it might make it into the starting lineup (batting ninth).
Are we still using baseball metaphors? Great. These are deviled eggs made with olive oil instead of mayo. Pretty good, and pretty overpriced.
A generic caesar. Ours came with cauliflower. To this day, we wonder why.
Our waiter asked us how the “salmon” was, so he gets half-credit for subconsciously knowing his fish families. Not a bad dish, but somehow reminds us of mall food. Maybe it’s the creamy sauce.
A giant serving of bread that pulls apart into rolls. We wanted to stop eating this, but couldn’t. It might be the best thing on the menu.