Even as the Upper West Side’s fine-dining standard goes up, maverick Ouest still stands out as much as it did when chef-owner Tom Valenti opened it in 2001. The frisée aux lardons with generous slices of buttery house-cured sturgeon wrapped around a poached egg plus candy-like piece of bacon is one of the best dishes in New York; and Valenti’s signature braised short ribs with beets and horseradish spaetzle remains nonpareil—the slow-cooked beef, nearly caramelized, is grilled before being served, imparting a smokiness that compounds the meat’s richness, all of which is cut nicely by the spicy dumplings. Desserts are just as indulgent—a semifreddo with roasted espresso and caramel sauce is the perfect adults-only sundae. It’s a rare place that can both please crowds and wow elitists—but Ouest is that place.
|Cross street:||at 84th St|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Thu 5–10:30pm; Fri, Sat 5–11:30pm; Sun 5–9:30pm|
|Price:||Average main course: $28; Prix-fixe $34 for three courses Mon–Fri, before 6:30pm. V, MC, AmEx, Disc, DC|