08 March 2008


72 W. 69th Street
New York, NY, 10023

Continuing our sampling of Upper West Side restaurants, we recently dined at Telepan.

When Bill Telepan opened his eponymous place it became the top dining place on the UWS, and it was impossible to get in, suffered from overbooking and perhaps an unwarranted reputation of having an attitude.

Fortunately now nearly three years later, the place while still popular is accessible, reservations are honored and the only attitude is one of welcoming friendliness and warmth.

The room has both a modern edge coupled with a country style that reflects the dedication to local products. As we had earlier at BLT Market, we were seated next to one of Telepan's purveyors. In this case, it was the pork and ham suppliers Jennifer Small and Michael Yezzi from The Flying Pig Farm (they referred to themselves as the pig farmers) from Shushan, NY near Sarotoga. When they are in Manhattan (they are frequently at the Union Square farmer's market) they stop in, chat with Bill, and have a wonderful meal featuring their ham and pork products prepared in a multitude of ways.

Telepan's menu is composed of three sections; starters, middle and mains (plus desserts). You can dine ala carte or select one of a few different menus (with or without wine pairings). The menu is American modern cuisine, executed to near perfection. In addition to the pork derived dishes there is organic chicken, fresh fish, pasture fed veal (like tender beef), etc.

Service was very good with one exception noted below.

The wine list is comprehensive, grouping wines by styles and regions. Our first disappointment is that excellent local and regional American wines are not featured. We are continually puzzled why a restaurateur features local produce and has virtually no local wines given New York state has some outstanding wines.

Our second disappointment was that wine service apparently is limited to opening the wine and pouring the first serving. No tables in our section during our recent visit had additional pouring of empty glasses of wine. Not what we expect at a top Manhattan restaurant. Very strange.

Overall this is a wonderful dining place and we look forward to many future visits, even if we have to pour our own wine.

Telepan - Highly Recommended

No comments: