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Tricky Italian Rec.

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carparts417 Aug 4, 2006 04:26 AM

Im looking to take my girlfriend out for a great Italian experience. The only catch is that she isnt a pasta person and doesnt eat meat (confined to seafood/fish/veggies). Anyone have an idea? Just to give an idea, my favorite Italian is Babbo but I consider Babbo really a pasta place, I was never impressed with their secondi. Price point wise maybe 100ish before drinks. How is A Voce, does that fit the bill? Im thinking a place with good crudo would be an excellent start.

Thanks for the help!

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    Bronte RE: carparts417 Aug 4, 2006 11:22 AM

    Your girlfriend sounds a bit like me - I rarely order pasta and never red meat/poultry.

    I actually adore Babbo - either the 2 minute calamari or whole branzino. Also - Il Cantinori, Maurizio Trattoria, L'Impero, Felidia and of course Esca is very seafood orientated. But most places have a few seafood options (although I find Il Buco very difficult because of their limited entree selection.)

    Haven't been to A Voce yet but their online menu looks a bit limited from a seafood angle - serving only the usual salmon (which gets very boring as it's every restaurant's "staple" fish) and black sea bass which is also overused.

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      eeee RE: carparts417 Aug 4, 2006 01:16 PM

      How about Esca? Actually, is she stuck on having Italian or are you? Because I don't necessarily think of a great Italian experience as being sans pasta and meat. Maybe Greek would be nice if you want to be seafood-oriented and Mediterranean. Just a though.

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        Lucia RE: carparts417 Aug 4, 2006 02:19 PM

        I haven't been to A Voce since soon after it opened, but the bass I ordered was the low point of the meal.

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          calypsogirl RE: carparts417 Aug 4, 2006 02:43 PM

          the orchard and peasant both have really great fish and poultry dishes, as well as pizzas and flatbreads.

          1 Reply
          1. re: calypsogirl
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            Lucia RE: calypsogirl Aug 4, 2006 02:47 PM

            So does Apizz. Had an excellent risotto "paella" a couple of weeks ago.

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            bobby06877 RE: carparts417 Aug 4, 2006 03:41 PM

            Le Zie has some very good seafood dishes and is always consistent. Bianca also has some great seafood dishes and has a nice romantic feel to it. Both are well within budget.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bobby06877
              tamasha RE: bobby06877 Aug 4, 2006 06:32 PM

              I second Le Zie.

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              nycexplorer RE: carparts417 Aug 4, 2006 06:04 PM

              Mario also owns Esca. Given Babbo is your favorite, wouldn't Esca be a no-brainer?

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                Jorel RE: carparts417 Aug 4, 2006 08:27 PM

                Many Italian cuisines are actually very reliant on fish and/or seafood, especially those from Sicily and Sardinia, but others as well. Unfortunately, I haven't found a good Sicilian or Sardinian restaurant in New York that does really good fish dishes like the amazing swordfish found throughout Sicily.

                Nevertheless, I have to say that Babbo's branzino is very good, so I would give the secondis another try (I find them excellent or better) and there are plenty of antipasti choices as well. I would do Babbo over Esca any day, but Esca will have many more fish selections. And if you're really convinced that Batali can't do secondi (I disagree), Extra Virgin has a nice branzino, too.

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