1, 2, 3 at 96th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
86th St. to 105th St., Central Park West to Riverside Dr.
If there’s hope for the beleaguered New York diner, it may rest on the shoulders of Frank Tsiamtsouris and Fotis Hilas, the brothers-in-law behind this and four similarly shiny Manhattan spots (Metro, City, and Manhattan diners uptown, Good Stuff downtown). This one, decorated in cheery deco shades of pink, peach, and turquoise, proves the success of their formula: Give a healthy, global spin to a classic diner menu, hire servers who could probably juggle torches while serving coffee, and keep the rooms clean, bright, and inviting. Such standards have kept Manhattan perpetually packed since its doors opened in 1987, and regulars get indulged by servers who’ve been here almost as long. Massive burgers, omelettes, and salads are the best options; soups, fish dishes, and Greek plates get surprisingly skillful treatment, but limp pastas and stir-fries do not. Dense cheesecake makes a satisfying finish, and coffee—the true test of any diner—arrives hot and strong.Recommended Dishes
Fresh grilled turkey burger, $6.95; chili, $8.95; grilled Norwegian salmon, $15.95