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SHHH…The UWS Ditch Plains is Now Open for Lunch…and You Can Still Get a Table There!

We were on the Upper West Side looking for a place that serves brunch all day when we remembered that Ditch Plains, one of our favorite little restaurants on Bedford Street in the West Village, had recently opened up another restaurant at 82nd street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenue. How perfect was it that we were only a few blocks away!? As we walked up to the awning of the new location, we couldn’t believe how big the restaurant space was. As we entered the restaurant, we also couldn’t believe how empty it was. Normally that’s not a very good sign, but in this case, the word is probably not out yet on how great this place is for lunch! Since it’s set on a residential street, it has a very low key vibe to it. It has a really nice, inviting neighborhood bar in the front of the restaurant, and big casement windows with hard (ouch!) wooden benches and booths lining the interior of the space.

There are large photos of ocean waves on the walls which add to its relaxed and casual atmosphere. There’s also a large dining area in the back of the restaurant, probably good for larger groups or families on the weekend. Our waiter was a very attentive and friendly guy, and gave us a little history about the owners of the restaurant(s). They are a married couple (with children) who met and fell madly (it sounds better!) in love in Montauk, Long Island, and decided to name their restaurants after the very best surfing area out there (and romantic area too, obvs!) called Ditch Plains. Whew…so now that we gave you a little history of this place, you will understand how special everything we ordered was. We thought we wanted brunch, but the menu was filled with so many of our favorite summer salads, sandwiches and soups that we skipped the brunch and went right for the specials! To start, the chef prepared a delicious bruschetta with ricotta, shrimp and tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil…it was out of this world!

He also presented us with fried oysters, on top of spicy green peppers with a fabulous dill aioli dipping sauce. The oysters were lightly breaded and crispy without being greasy.

Another Magpie saw the clam chowder on the menu and couldn’t resist ordering a cup of that too! It was a creamy, flavorful soup filled with tons of chunks of real clam(!) and potatoes…and was another absolute winner!

And, in honor of our favorite restaurant spots in the Hamptons during the summer, we all chose to order lobster rolls! This was a really smart move. Unlike the lobster-gate scandal at Zabars this summer, ours was made with fresh, big chunks of real Long Island lobster – and served on a lightly buttered hot dog bun. It came sitting on top of a mound of homemade (and deliciously addicting!) sweet potato chips.

Throughout the meal, our very professional waiter refilled our coffee mugs and drinks, and replaced our silverware and napkins without any prompting. Boy, and this was just lunch… we can’t wait to go back there for dinner! So, for all of you Westside Magpies, if you haven’t been to Ditch Plains, you should make it your business to try this location out. And for the rest of you romantic, surfing Magpies out there, you should really give Ditch Plains a visit…before word gets out and you won’t be able to get a table anymore!!

 

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