Dovetail Set to Close at the End of the Month

Dovetail at 103 West 77th Street, one of the top restaurants on the Upper West Side, is planning to close at the end of the month, Eater reported. It’s expected to reopen after Labor Day with a new concept, though it’s not yet clear what that concept will be.

The Michelin-starred restaurant opened in 2007 and won strong reviews for its inventive cuisine. But its star chef John Fraser left earlier this year and sold his shares to focus on his other restaurants.

Dovetail is the latest upscale local restaurant to close its doors. Telepan on West 71st Street shuttered in 2016.

“Dovetail isn’t about practicality, not with its rotating sherry list, its lamb’s tongue and its beef-cheek lasagne bedecked with king trumpet mushrooms,” wrote Frank Bruni in a three-star review in the Times. “No, this restaurant is a bold wager that a patch of the Upper West Side with an unreliable appetite for adventurous — even somewhat fussy — dining will embrace it, at least if it’s executed with skill and panache.”

Photo via Dovetail.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 26 comments | permalink
    1. Rob G. says:

      Ooooooh, bummer. Only been there a few times but it was nice to have this unique spot up here on the uws.

      Hopefully the new concept will be just as good and interesting. With Telepan, Ouest, and now this gone, there isn’t too much left to fill the void for the culinary adventurous.

      I’m sure some of you will disagree, so hit me with your faves!

      • West88 says:

        I’d point out that Telepan, Dovetail, and Ouest you mentioned are old school, white table cloth establishments that are past their prime. Current, younger UWSiders (those below 50+) are looking for something that is current and will pay with their large wallets, just not a place where our grandparents would attend. Maison Pickle as an example.

        • js says:

          Most West Side restaurants are current/casual and have been for years. Nothing new.
          There were only a few “white tablecloths “.

          As for West Side resident preferring places like Jacobs Pickles, actually much of the business there and other hot restaurants is because they are “destinations” – attracting tourists and out of neighborhood eaters.

          It is the incredible cost of rent that has destroyed the range of restaurants, from casual to white table cloth to ethnic.

          IMO not good for everything to be clones of Jacobs etc

          • dannyboy says:

            The subtext is The Tell:

            “old school”…”past their prime.”

            “Current, younger UWSiders (those below 50+) are looking for something that is current and will pay with their large wallets, just not a place where our grandparents would attend.”

            btw, I am current, prime and whatever, but I guess the larger wallet thing speaks loud.

        • Bronx Boy says:

          “Younger UWSiders (those below 50+) are looking for something that is current and will pay with their large wallets, just not a place where our grandparents would attend.”

          I wasn’t really a fan of Dovetail, it was nice enough and the food was okay enough, but it was pricey.

          Telepan and Ouest, on the other hand, were great, and while they may have been steeped in tradition (we oldsters call this “good cooking”), they had inventive items all over their menus.

          Bragging about your big, swinging wallet is the definition of nouveau riche.

        • Old Dog says:

          Dovetail was rather more upscale, and more formal than Maison Pickle, yes; but the cuisine wasn’t ‘old’ or ‘old school’. Unless restaurant years are like dog years?

      • Amy says:

        Not only is there nothing for the culinarily adventurous, there’s a dearth of quality. I haven’t tried Oxbow Tavern but I have high hopes. La Sirene, on 80th and Amsterdam, has excellent authentic bistro food. The owner started in Paris and also has a restaurant by the same name in SoHo.

        • Smithe says:

          Hate to disappoint, but Oxbox Tavern is NOT GREAT. The food is mediocre at best. The last time I was in there, the bar staff hovered at the end of the bar socializing with their friends and making everyone else feel like an outcast.

    2. geoff says:

      Andanada, rated one Michelin star, formerly at 141 W 69th St also closed a couple of years ago.

    3. Tom Lee says:

      I saw this coming miles away.

      When they went to a prix fix menu – done!

      Great space, great food…but way to expensive for the area and the prix fix menu killed them.

      I think if they went down 25-30% on price and had a full menu that they could do very well. In line with Cesca, Cafe Luxembourg, Tessa, The Ribbon, Awadh,…that price point.

      Similar thing happened to Telepan – they kept raising their prices and then went to a prix fix. Done.

    4. h says:

      Ate there twice.
      The first time was the last time.
      The food was over cooked.
      The bill was over priced.
      Stay closed as far as I am concerned.

    5. Lynn says:

      The portions were ridiculously small.

    6. az says:

      What a shame! While I could rarely afford to go, it was perfect for very special occasions – great food, a quiet, comfortable room and wonderful service. I hope the new concept at least embraces those qualities.

    7. Nelson says:

      Sad news. One of my neighborhood faves. Barcibo, Nick & Tonys, Scaletta and now this!😢😢😢

    8. Harold says:

      Ate there twice.
      The first time was the last time.
      The food was over cooked.
      The bill was over priced.
      Stay closed as far as I am concerned.

    9. Kenneth Sherrill says:

      A tragedy for our neighborhood.

      • Harold says:

        A tragedy? Really?
        A tragedy is when someone dies before their time. A restaurant closing hardly rates the word tragedy.

    10. Roger Wolfe says:

      Good! My wife and I eat out regularly and I am a good home cook. As many times as we have looked at Dovetail’s menu, we never were motivated to eat there. I am tired of the “food as art” movement.
      I hope tht the “new concept” is more appealing.

    11. MarkR says:

      Check out Oxbow Tavern, Tom Valenti’s (of ‘Cesca and Ouest fame) latest project on Columbus at 71st. It hits an atmosphere, cuisine, and price point sweet spot. Besides, Tom’s a great guy, and its really nice having him back in the neighborhood.

    12. Wheels around NY says:

      This establishment refused to make accommodations to provide for wheelchair access (ie: ramp or chair lift) despite repeated requests on multiple occasions. That rendered it inaccessible to those among us who savor excellent food and are very supportive of quality upscale restaurants on the Upper West Side.

    13. Daniel Morgan says:

      How about mentioning the many other upscale restaurants that have shuttered in the W. 60, 70s and 80s in recent years? Telepan was just one of them! I bet you reported on those closings. And why not do a story about why so many of them have closed and why new upscale restaurants with new brand name chefs haven’t opened on the UWS in a while?

    14. Mike says:

      so sad, but I’m not shocked. We used this as a special occasion place, occasionally bringing out of town friends as well. Always possible to get a same day reservation which for restaurants of this price range is a bad sign. Will be missed but hopeful the new concept comes through.

    15. EagleEye says:

      Last quality place above 60th street on UWS. Very sad indeed.

      • 92nd street says:

        Really? Above 60th Street?
        Lincoln Ristorante, Shun Lee West, Gennaro, Mermaid Inn, Red Farm, The Milling Room, Nice Matin, Vino Levantino, Crave Fishbar, The Ribbon, Burke & Willis, Fishtag, Gari, Cafe Luxembourg, Boulud Sud, The Leopard at Des Artistes, The Smith, Atlantic Grill.

        There are lots of high quality Restaurants above 60th Street on the UWS. Enjoy!

    16. Pjay says:

      Too bad most classy restaurants are NOT appreciated by many people under 50. It’s that instant gratification dot com group who are basically clueless about dining. I know young twenty year olds that were raised to appreciate fine food,service& dining regardless of their pocketbooks! It all goes back to respect for art, antiques , classical
      Music& dance. I didn’t come from $$ but I could read! It a loss to see class in general unappreciated.

    17. Sean says:

      10 years is a good run for a restaurant today. The picture above shows a very dated restaurant. It looks like something mid last century. Most white tablecloth restaurants attack an older crowd who want to dine and converse and stay for hours. You can’t have that on the Upper West Side and last long. The cost of doing business is too high. The UWS from W72 on up has never been a good place to open a fine dining restaurant. It never has been. I’ve been here 40 years and the argument has always been the same. The younger residents here now are not the performers of before. It has a lot to do with the condo conversions. The elderly in rent stabilized apartments like the early bird special. And the newer residents with all the money like to grab and go. If they do dine they go out of the neighborhood. And it’s always been the same. I think it’s something in the water.