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Aug 7, 2000 12:09 PM

greetings! + a couple of ?s about specific restaurants

  • c

hello all

i've been enjoying reading chowhounder posts for some time, w/o having properly introduced myself. everyone is super-friendly and welcoming and i can see that y'all really know your foodstuff! maybe that's why i haven't posted yet...i'm not as well informed about food as a lot of folks around here seem to be, but i love to eat and try new name's cj and i'm pleased to meet you!

now...may i ask for some advice/recommendations?

i'm bringing my sister to the city for her bday next week. she mentioned that she would like to go for italian. (she remebers a very good dinner at PUTTANESCA during her last visit...a little more than two years ago!) i actually passed by the other day and noticed another restaurant across the street, CUOMO'S. has anyone been there?

otherwise, any recommendations for good not-too-expensive italian? if reservations are req'd, somewhere i can get a table a week or two in advance? i've heard fair things about FRANK and MAX (on this site), but are these mostly red-sauce type places? we'd rather try somewhere that wasn't. maybe i can get a lunch reservation at PO? any suggestions for that spot? (there's been more discussion on BABBO here, but it seems much of the recommended food there is red meat or pork, which i don't eat...i'd go anyway, if my sister wanted to, but i'm not sure she'd enjoy it...she's adventurous, but not too much so...and neither one of us has a lot of experience w/ italian food.)

also, is the view at WINDOWS ON THE WORLD worth a (dinner) meal? i've heard mixed things about the food. anyone been there recently?

any and all feeback is appreciated.


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  1. Glad you emerged from the shadows! There's a wonderful little spot near the Minetta Lane Theater. Someone, I hope, will recall the name. There's a somewhat better known, and more expensive Italian place near the one I'm thinking of, but it's not as good in my opinion. The last time I was there it was cash only. Have fun. pat

    6 Replies
    1. re: pat hammond
      Leslie Brenner

      Is the wonderful place near Minetta Lane Theatre Bar Pitti? That's one of my favorite casual Italian places--Sixth Avenue near Bleecker, next door to Da Silvano. For Windows on the World, you might want to go up there for a drink at "The Greatest Bar"--a nice way to enjoy the incredible views.

      1. re: Leslie Brenner

        Bar Pitti! That's it. Lordy, I love this site. Thank you, Leslie. pat

        1. re: pat hammond
          Jessica Shatan

          Welcome aboard, CJ!

          Try PO for lunch or dinner--you are right that lunch res.s are easier to get. I thoroughly enjoyed the "tasting menu" at PO for $35 each (dinner). We told them any extreme likes or dislikes and they just made a 5 course dinner specifically for us, made by the chef with some special ingredients that he only gets for the tasting get the idea. The whole table has to do it though. And if you read the past posts re: PO, I did not find it to be so oily and salty as Jim did... but then it's hard to search for the posts as 2-letter words don't go thru.

          Anyway, I also wanted to say that at BABBO it's not all meat as they have a PASTA tasting menu there that is supposed to be awesome, but there could be meat in the pasta dishes, too.

          They probably won't card you at Windows if you're sister dresses up a bit and looks her sophisticated best (but you never know.) There is a great restaurant there (never been) called WILD BLUE but I think it's quite expensive.

          Another nice italian I like in that area is called Bel Villagio. I did write about it on this site so check it out if you like. It's on Bleecker betw. 6th and Carmine. It's a little upscale, reasonably moderate prices and NOT a red sauce place. More of a backup to PO or in addition because PO is better.

          Good luck and do report back!

          1. re: Jessica Shatan

            My report on Po, which Jessica is referring to, can be read at the 5/10 entry in the link below.


        2. re: Leslie Brenner

          thanks for the suggestions.

          perhaps we will go to GREATEST BAR for drinks + view. do you know if they card at the door? sis is 20. (we'll be celebrating 21 later in the week!)

          right now i'm leaning towards PO for italian...let's see if i can get a reservation for next week...will let you know how things go!


          1. re: cj

            Everywhere, technically, cards. But here's how I'd do it. have her dress really well, and if she's got any kind of personality, have her actually lead the charge into the place (she'd be more suspicious if she were "in tow"). If there's a problem, I'd VERY QUIETLY step in and mention that this is her 21st birthday celebration.

            You'll pull heartstrings and make them feel petty. Please note, that it's still illegal (both for her and for the bar) until the hour of her 21st birthday. And the bar can jeoperdize their license. But cops might be as likely to let it slide as they will, and they know that, especially since this is the actual birthday celebration.

            Also, the manager will like the word 'celebration' because it might connote champagne and other "damn the expense" spending. you don't have to follow through, of course, but look expansive when you say it.

            And keep this all VERY quiet. If anyone overhears, you don't have any shot whatsoever at getting in.

            Hey, I at risk here for suborning illegal activity? : )


      2. Hey, you needn't be an expert to chime in here. Everybody knows about SOMETHING, and if it's not already being discussed, just start a new thread! We love new threads!

        I think Po will fit your bill. Bar Pitti was the first of a restaurant trend where you see a very inexpensive-seeming menu but the price tag can easily mushroom to the stratosphere. I've never figured out how that happens, but I'm not the only one to have that experience there (or in an ever-increasing number of other's some mathematical ju-ju).

        Po's prices are higher, but a reasonable meal may be reasonably assumed to be gotten. Also, much as I like Pitti for certain things, Po is a much more well-rounded place, much more of a "normal" restaurant. Pitti excels for a snack or a put-it-together-yourself (grr-animal style) meal. OTOH, if that's what you want, definitely go for it.


        1 Reply
        1. re: Jim Leff

          many thanks, jim. i'm going to try to secure a dinner reservation at PO. (i was thinking lunch might be easier since it's only a week ahead? but maybe the fervor for PO's died done some.)

          funny about your message: my sister's nickname is JUJU...that caught my eye before i actually read all the way through...thought 'wait a minute, how does he know...' :)