Caffe Buon Gusto
236 E. 77th St.
(bet. 2nd & 3rd Aves.)
Caffe Buon Gusto — serving straight-forward Italian cuisine — is the neighborhood gem. The interior of the restaurant had a makeover recently and if the plan was to make it less appealing, it worked. If you’re a fan of a color best described as “dull off-mustard” and Home Interior figurines, you’re going to be psyched with this place. But, ignoring the décor – the place is gold. Great food, good service, moderate prices make it the go-to for a night with a date, dinner with friends, or to grab a quick bite.
78th and 2nd tip – the back area gets BRUTALLY hot during the summer, stay away.
Seated quickly: Yes
Service/Staff: Quick, knowledgeable
Atmosphere: Not so much. It looks like my mother and grandmother teamed for their version of “exquisite design.”
Probability A Frat Guy Will Start A Fight: Low. If frat guys are here, they’re lost and asking the waiter where Moe’s Cantina is.
Central Park, enter on E. 72nd St.
(Central Park Dr. N.)
Sure, it’s a bit of tourist trap but even if you’re a native it’s worth trying the Boathouse once for ambience and people watching adventure. The food is over-priced, but you can have a great time grabbing drinks and appetizers at the outside bar. The biggest problem – the bar and sitting area might hold 100, but about three times that many people have had the same idea as you. Get there early, plan on fighting for tables and seats, and then you’ll be able to relax over mimosas.
78th and 2nd tip– Scope out the tables closet to the small brick wall, near the outside bar. Proximity to the bar is key, and the wall can seat another 2 or 3 if you slide the table over to it.
Seated quickly: No. Seating is brutal.
Service/Staff: Overworked and hate you.
Food: It’s basically expensive bar food.
Atmosphere: This is what you’re paying for – great place to bring out of towners – so soak up the sun, the people.
Probability A Frat Guy Will Start a Fight: Low. If frat guys are in the park, they’re shirtless and hitting on girls on the great lawn.