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Jul 14, 2006 01:36 PM

Maria Pia or Cara Mia?

We're seeing the Wedding Singer tomorrow (2:00 show)and want good, but not too expensive italian after. I heard they are sister restaurants. Is one better than the other? Thanks!!

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  1. I cannot speak for Maria Pia, but I have been to Cara Mia a number of times and have always found it to be extremely high quality. The food is cooked well - not particularly inventive stuff, but just good, basic Italian food. They usually have nice fish specials, as well.

    Warning: the space is extremely small and they pack in a lot of tables, especially pre-theatre.

    1. Haven't been to either in maybe six months, but last time I was the menu and prices were about the same. Maria Pia is far more comfortable, larger and less crowded, especially pre-theater.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JoanN

        We ended up going to Maria Pia. We got there around 5:20 and it was perfect timing. About 20 minutes later, the place was packed. My husband and I weren't starving so we shared 3 apps.(crab cake, tuna carpaccio and calamari). My parents had the Striped Bass. The portions weren't huge, but everything was excellent. I would go back again.

      2. I haven't been to Maria Pia, but I do have a few words about Cara Mia.

        I've been there a few times NOT during a pre-theater rush, and it has been lovely every time. Great food, service, etc. However, the last time I went was before a show with my family (who came into the city), and it was awful. I had made a reservation, which I confirmed that morning. When I got there, the woman (who was the same person i had talked to earlier that day) claimed she didn't have a reservation for us. They were able to seat us, despite the fact that the place was totally packed. The service was very, very spotty and unattentive. The salads came out in a timely fashion, but the entrees took FOREVER to come out (to the point we were worried we weren't going to make an 8pm show. We had gotten there at 6:15). From the looks of it, it seemed like everyone's entree had been held up, and then they started coming out of the kitchen like mad. ALL of our entrees were totally overcooked. My sister's eggplant was actually burnt. And we had to totally rush through the entrees to make sure we got to the show on time.

        Again, I have had many other excellent experiences there, but it seemed like the kitchen and staff were not prepared to have a full house duirng the pre-theater crowd. I would not recommend it before a show. An on off hour, yes, but not pre-theater.

        1. I was at Maria Pia a couple of weeks ago for the first time. Mediocre. I haven't been to Cara Mia.

          Roberto Passon isn't much more expensive than Maria Pia and it's much better.

          1. The word on Maria Pia is that it is much better for a weekday lunch than for a pre-theater meal. I myself have only been for a pre-theater dinner and was seriously disappointed.

            Roberto Passon is quite good. La Locanda is also a favorite of mine, but only for their appetizers -- their main courses and pastas really don't do it for me (and I love the place nonetheless because the owners are super-nice and they have a few standout apps that I am happy to make a meal out of).