Restaurants are Suffering; Some Find Creative Ways to Keep Serving Upper West Siders

By Lisa Kava

As COVID-19 continues to spread at an alarming pace, lives have become topsy-turvy in a matter of days. Nothing is normal and things are changing by the minute.

Rules for restaurants have changed a number of times over the past few days. Last Friday it was announced that restaurants must operate at half capacity. Then, on Sunday night, Mayor de Blasio announced all NYC restaurants must close by Tuesday at 9 AM and will be limited to takeout and delivery. On Monday, the deadline was changed to 8 PM on Monday.

Upper West Siders who would like to support local restaurants during this challenging time may want to purchase gifts certificates directly from the restaurant that can be used at a later date. Tarallucci e Vino on Columbus Avenue at 83rd Street, Carmine’s at Broadway and 91st, and Smoke Jazz Bar on Broadway at 106th Street have all mentioned this option and any restaurant would likely appreciate the gesture. It is a great way to give immediate income to your favorite local spot.

Restaurants are trying to come up with creative ideas in these challenging times. “I want to keep my people employed,” said Luca Di Pietro, the owner of Tarallucci e Vino, which plans to remain open for takeout and delivery. Di Pietro is offering his servers and bussers the opportunity to work as delivery people in order to give the delivery business to his employees rather than an outside service like Seamless or Grubhub.

“Last night food sat on the counter for 45 minutes waiting for Grubhub,” Di Pietro explained. “At the moment delivery service will be limited to a certain radius walking distance. But Di Pietro is looking into the possibility of using bikes. “All deliveries will be placed in bags that are stapled shut and dropped at the doormen so that there is the least amount of social contact. For takeout orders, one person will be allowed in the restaurant at a time to pick up.”

Il Violino closed on Saturday night at 9:30 PM. The manager said it was empty. Photo by Karen Shapiro.

Carmine’s Upper West Side location plans to continue takeout and delivery service. “Orders can be placed either by phone or online and will be carefully packaged with increased sealing to protect guest safety,” said a spokesperson from the restaurant. Those who are looking for additional ways to support Carmine’s might consider purchasing Carmine’s cookbooks at https://carmines.securetree.com in addition to gift cards, the spokesperson added.

The popular sister restaurants Tessa and Asset have decided to combine their menus into one for takeout and delivery, explained Patrick Duxbury, the general manager. Asset will be temporarily closed and all takeout and deliveries will operate out of Tessa.

Tarallucci e Vino is offering a large lasagna which serves 12 people and can be cooked at home or frozen, according to Di Pietro. “This is a great option to have in your home and in the freezer.” Di Pietro is exploring the possibility of adding a similar option to the takeout and delivery menu, a new item called a Pinsa, a lighter Roman version of pizza made with rice flour, wheat flour and soy flour.

Tarallucci on Friday morning. Rita, the barista, and Anna, a server, spoke with a customer.

Many restaurants in the neighborhood will temporarily close. “I want to keep my staff and myself safe,” said Carmen Ortiz, General Manager of Il Violino.  “We are a family-owned restaurant and it has been heartbreaking all that has been going on.”  In a note to customers Ortiz wrote, “When it becomes safe to re-open we all very much look forward to welcoming back our loyal customers and friends.”

“We will temporarily close,” said a representative from Nice Matin on Amsterdam Avenue at 79th Street citing that the restaurant does not have enough takeout and delivery business to warrant remaining open at this time.

“In an attempt to maintain some normalcy and help you eat better we will deliver dining, bakery, grocery and deli products straight to your home,”  Salumeria Rosi on Amsterdam Ave at 73rd Street wrote to West Side Rag in an email. Orders must be within a 10 block radius and at a minimum of $50.  “While our full menu is available on the major platforms (Grubhub, Caviar, Postmates) and our deli counter is still fully stacked and operational for takeout; we will also supply and deliver to you items from simple organic eggs and butter to batches of our soups and pasta.” Customers may place orders by calling (212) 877-4800 or by emailing the restaurant, and should allow a three-hour window for delivery. Orders may also be placed the night before by 8 PM for delivery the next day by 1 PM.

Below is a preliminary list of Upper West Side restaurants that will temporarily close and those that will continue with takeout and delivery. This is evolving and can change at any moment, so please keep us updated on the status of neighborhood restaurants you may hear about.

CONFIRMED WILL TEMPORARILY CLOSE
Mermaid Inn
Tacombi
Il Violino
Nice Matin

UNDECIDED
Good Enough to Eat
Elea

CURRENTLY OPEN FOR TAKEOUT AND DELIVERY
Patsy’s Pizza
Kirsh Bakery & Kitchen — (all orders by phone will get 15% discount and gift cards purchase will have 20% discount also.)
Cesca
Bodrum
North Miznon
Cilantro
Thyme and Tonic
Bistro Cassis
The Smith
Momoya
Tarallucci e Vino
Carmine’s
Han Dynasty
Red Farm
Fred’s
Lincoln Ristorante

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 71 comments | permalink
    1. Alexandra Altman says:

      Bella Luna is open for takeout and delivery

    2. I hope Tarallucci e Vino is not making a gluten free pizza with WHEAT FLOUR.

    3. Esther Rotella says:

      Salumeria Rosi is also offering delivery of their deli items, along with other grocery items.

    4. Andrew says:

      Salumeria Rosi IS OPEN FOR DelIVERY AND TAKE OUT. WE ARE ALSO A GROCERY AND HAVE DAILY PROVISIONS STOCKED. WE WILL ALSO DELIVER THESE PROVISIONS TO HOMES IN UWS.

      PLEASE LINK TO Salumeria Rosi FOR UPDATES AND DAILY PROVISIONS MENU.

      WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT.

    5. ml says:

      I believe Arte Cafe (73rd off Columbus) and also Fairway Cafe are doing take out.

    6. Alan UWS says:

      I have been patronizing Carmine’s on the Upper West Side since they replaced a defunct Chinese restaurant in the early 1990’s and have enjoyed their lunch portion take out meals for years in addition to having in-restaurant parties. Just now I called to order my favorite dish in lunch portion at 1:00 PM and was told that they only have dinner priced meals for take out.
      They cry for customers to keep them open and then turn away business, regardless of the loyalty of people they are dealing with.

      • BronxBoy says:

        Why not just order a dinner portion and eat it over two days?

      • Alan UWS says:

        Just got an answer from Carmine’s as to why they are limiting take out order, which was not explained previously. They only have a limited amount of food prepared and need it for larger orders. That’s a reasonable explanation for me under the current conditions.

      • Me. Reality says:

        Suck it up, buttercup. If you liked them yesterday, support them today or lose them tomorrow.

    7. Judith Hole says:

      Gennaro’s at Amsterdam between 92nd and 93rd is open for takeout and dilivery. Opens at 5:00.

      • cornelia says:

        I’ve been having delivers froom them every night since the shelter at home, great service.

    8. m.pipik says:

      What about the diner/coffee shops? Not all of us want to eat expensive food especially as many of us need to count our pennies until we can go back to work.

      An the UWS is something like 22% seniors which means many are on fixed incomes.

      • Juan says:

        I totally agree with you. Though I am curious what diners you go to that have reasonable prices? I have found that most of the ones in the neighborhood charge ridiculous prices for very basic items. Any suggestions are welcome (preferably between 72 and 96). Thanks!

        • Mr. Peabody says:

          The Manhattan Diner on Broadway charges about $15 for a cheeseburger platter with fries. If that price does not seem reasonable to you then by all means hop into your ‘Wayback’ machine and get off at the 1980s.

      • Carol says:

        I believe West Side Diner on 69th is open for takeout.

    9. Jerry B says:

      Does anyone know of a website to show the neighborhoods with confirmed covid-19 cases? I’m trying to stay active – and not be a couch potato. But it would help to know the location of those unfortunates who have been tested and confirmed, or who have self-reported having the symptoms.

      • HelenD says:

        How would having a list help you not to be a couch potato?

      • Lenore says:

        best to assume that all neighborhoods have someone with the virus. Also best to assume that someone in your building might have it as well. Then take precautions without demonizing anyone.

      • Danielle Remp says:

        Mayor de Blasio reiterated two or three times in his news conference around 6:00 p.m. yesterday, March 17th, that there were no clusters in NYC.
        He stated that he has checked this just before the conference began.

    10. SLJ says:

      Playa Betty’s?

    11. Michelle says:

      Indian Tanpura on Amsterdam and 87th is open for delivery and take out. Best Indian food on UWS!

    12. Born’nBraisedUWS says:

      Gennaro, best restaurant on UWS, is open for take out and delivery

    13. Carol says:

      Dig (I think it’s just Dig and no longer Dig Inn) is open for pickup at 67th St. near Columbus Ave. So grateful! My personal, medical dietary restrictions are extremely limited (low histamine, 7 IgE foods, AIP), and this is about the only place I’m aware of where I can pick up anything nearby – on a good day, even…… that is allowed for me.

      • Carol says:

        PS – Dig is about as reasonable in price as you could get – probably less than a diner, depending on the item. 3 veg over a base, $10.50. Think a protein and 2 veg approx $13……

    14. Amelia Weiss says:

      The idea of gift certificates can also be extended to include supporting our other local businesses, some of which have been enriching our community for a long time. For example: Town Shop, on Broadway, and More and More, on Amsterdam, which gives us amazing holiday decorations every year.

    15. Karen says:

      Regional has signs in the window that they are providing delivery, including for lunch (which they don’t usually serve)

    16. UWSmaven says:

      Brad’s BBQ (former “firehouse” next to Good Enough to Eat and Harvest Kitchen) all owned by the same group are doing takeout/delivery in addition to GETE…

    17. James J coughlin says:

      5 napkin and playa Betty also open for take out and delivery

    18. kathy says:

      Cafe 82 is also open for take-out. Best soup, especially chicken matzoh ball, on the UWS.

    19. Bill B says:

      I’m sure glad all those chain drugstores like CVS and Duane Reade are plentiful in the UWS!

      • Danielle Remp says:

        I too.
        I waited for the crack of dawn on Saturday to shop at Fairway’s but there was already a line by 6:45 a.m.
        The guy in front of me turned around and asked that I save his place in line, and he was no 6 feet away from my eyes, nose or mouth.
        The shelves were futilely empty of basics, with crates all around, and no way to keep distance there either.
        The staff, in trying to stock the shelves, shouted across to each other — no 6 feet away from my mouth, nose or eyes.
        Yesterday, I resorted to DuaneReade. They were not crowded, and the store was very clean. They had eggs, milk, juice — many basics. I noticed that they carried lots of frozen foods, including meals. If necessary, I will go back, and buy these. They will probably cost 1/2 of what I would pay if I ordered restaurant food.
        For me, also, the drug stores were a food find.

    20. April says:

      Le Pain Quotidien closing forever tonight.

    21. Amhamhk says:

      Bodega at 236 Columbus, JNH Produce, refused to wipe the pen to sign the credit card form. He told me to stay home and not come to their shop. Was super loud, rude and only concerned about his sales. He said he didn’t care about the community. DO NOT give these kind of selfish retailers your business.

    22. Maria says:

      Santa Fe – takeout and delivery – margaritas and other drinks too

    23. Sherman says:

      Ironically this restaurant shutdown might actually be advantageous to restaurants in the city.

      Since everyone is stuck in their apartments they might be ordering in more to ease the stress.

      Anyway, many of these restaurants were barely keeping their heads above water even before this crisis. I wish them well.

    24. Christine E says:

      Bodega 88 will temporarily close

    25. Karen says:

      Metro Diner is closed because of the virus

    26. Scott says:

      DeBlasio needs to provide some sort of rent/property tax relief to these businesses during this emergency period. France has established a fund ensuring no businesses fail.

      DeBlasio has all sorts of wild ideas for how our money should be spent, like “Thrive” and concierge legal services for illegal immigrants. There’s plenty of money to sustain the bloated mess in City Hall while businesses get back on their feet.

      • Leon says:

        I agree with you in theory about the relief and I agree completely about the city spending our money more intelligently. But just don’t be complaining when your taxes go up in the near future. Because the relief you request has a price.

        • Scott says:

          You presuppose “Thrive” is a permanent thing, like trash pickup and the cops. It isn’t. The city got along for 300 years without this progressive patronage dump and it will in the future if it’s rightly put out of its misery. Save the $250M a year, reduce “homeless” expenditures and voila, no need to raise taxes on the people who keep this city going.

    27. Joe says:

      Buceo 95 is open for takeout and delivery. Best restaurant in the neighborhood, in my opinion.

    28. Harvest Kitchen, Good Enough to Eat, and Brad’s Burgers are all doing takeout and delivery and offering special low sodium meals for seniors and free fries in every takeout order for all medical personnel.

    29. Julio says:

      Zurutto Ramen is open for pick-up and delivery at 72nd between Columbus and Amsterdam/Broadway. Their Kuro Ramen with black garlic is just as excellent on a to-go container!

    30. Fredd says:

      Freddie & peppers pizza is open. Free delivery 212 799 2378

    31. Julia says:

      Jerusalem between 103-104 W side of Broadway doing felafel/chicken kind of takeout and delivery.

    32. E says:

      Got some delicious chile con carne from Fred’s delivered today.

    33. STAN says:

      Sal Minellas on 79th st is open for take out

    34. Elysha says:

      Amber Sushi on 70th and Columbus is open and doing takeout/ delivery!

    35. 20 years on UWS says:

      Carmine’s has been my favorite for a decade but they have let me down so many times. Even without this coronavirus crisis, they failed to deliver food for my parties (and at the end, I called the restaurant more than 10 times to cancel after 2hours of not showing up, and they delivered the food 3 hours later! I’m glad they finally work up and committed to deliver. I love their food but not the management!

    36. UWS - 40 years strong says:

      Fred’s is open on 83rd and Amsterdam. They are a terrific place with great service and food for anyone that doesn’t know them

      Dave the owner is a really great neighborhood guy. Please support them

    37. NY10024 says:

      We ordered dinner from Fred’s tonight. Happy to support them.

    38. Caela says:

      Viand on 85th and Columbus still delivering!

    39. Matt says:

      This whole CoronaVirus smells like 9/11 all over again.

    40. Joy says:

      Utopia diner is open for deliveries and pick up from 11am to 9pm. Yesterday walked in and asked them if they had corned beef and cabbage and they prepared it for me in an hour. Really helpful and ready to serve the community especially the old people in the neighborhood that can’t get out. Places like that needs our support. Stay safe everyone.

    41. Deb Greenberg says:

      You can add Kouzan to the list of closed restaurants. My husband said they had a sign that said they were closed due to Corona virus.

    42. Tony says:

      Serafina on 105th and broadway is open from 12-9 for takeout and delivery

    43. Jessica says:

      North Miznon on 72nd is also open for takeout/delivery! Daily from 5-9pm. Takeout via phone, delivery via Seamless.

    44. ty says:

      cafe Luxembourg has closed (for now)

    45. Ben says:

      Would love to encourage UWS restaurants to register on https://supportrestaurants.org/ so we can support them throughout the covid crisis

    46. dc says:

      Ordered from The Smith last night: two delicious cocktails and the “shared meal” deal, which was great.

    47. Sujit Balachandran says:

      ROTI ROLL (BOMBAY FRANKIE)
      THEY ARE OPEN AS WELL FOR TAKEOUT AND DELIVERY
      994 AMSTERDAM AVE
      NEW YORK
      NY 10025