Fun Italian for next SAt
Il Cantinori, on E 10th, one of my favorites is a little more north than you might like. I've always found the staff made my experience fun and not uptight at all, but rather extremely relaxed, IMHO.
I have searched and found others find it might be too pricey, but you might want to look into it nevertheless.
Piccolo Angolo, another favorite, on Hudson, is a bargain, but something totally different from Il Cantinori and good too, even though not up to the more sophisticated level of the other, IMO. It reminds me of holidays, eating in a room with my entire, extended Italian family. But a whole lot of fun, if you don't mind the noise. I know they were closing down for a couple of weeks holiday. But should be open by now.