I'm not saying I don't like children. But if you are eating out in the Upper West Side, one of the city's most child-choked neighborhoods, you are likely to sit not far from shreiking infants in far too many restaurants. So here are a few that are (relatively) kid-free.
For many years Ouest has a reputation as "the only good place on the Upper West Side," which, while true, did an injustice to a wonderful restaurant. Ouest was years ahead of its time in serving a richer, more rustic kind of American food in an urbane environment -- not that different, if the truth be told, from what Tom Colicchio was doing downtown at Gramercy and Craft. The neighborhood has come a long way, but Ouest hasn't lost anything in the process, and remains the first choice in the area for a lot of locals.
This powerhouse French bistro may be best known for introducing the "five napkin burger" to the world, but it's the rendtions of southern French classics that its reputation rests on.
An elegant and modern sushi restaurant by the author of Sushi of Gari; like it (and any great sushi restaurant), omakase is the way to go.
Master chef Bill Telepan's eponymous restaurant is one of the city's best -- and most pleasureable -- of seasonal farm-to-table restaurants.
John Fraser's heroic effort to single-handedly bring haute cuisine to the Upper West Side has largely succeeded, thanks to his unpretentious but precise cooking. His Meatless Monday menu is so good that even I can eat it.
Kouzan is an original (or relatively original) Japanese restaurant: it delivers the usual sushi choices, and a few other dishes that are much more interesting than they might sound.
Greek superchef Michael Psilakis may have baffled the Upper West Side with this very high-concept seafood restaurant, but like everything else he does, it's brilliant.
Classy, old-school swank pervades this dinosaur, a conspicuous canteen for celebrities and gastrocrats. The food, though good enough, is something of an afterthought.
Marc Murphy (Landmarc) brought the fish shack flavors of Montauk to Manhattan's west side, adding in some clever comfort food along the way. Rock solid for any meal.