Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Aug 19, 2006 02:49 AM

Suggest a restaurant in Little Italy

I will be visiting family in NYC. Need an Italian restaurant in Little Italy to take my Long Island relatives to. Some of them are Italian and know good food. Don't need to impress them, no place trendy, don't need to see tourists or movie stars-just great food and good service. Please help.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Best advice: avoid Little Italy.

    1. If they are Italian and don't want to see tourists, I would stay as far away from Little Italy as possible. In fact, the only time I would ever recommend it is for people who want to be surrounded by tourisits and don't care much about the quality of the food. That said, there seems to be one restaurant down there that seems to be better than the rest though I can't remember the name. You can scroll down and check that out though. Good luck!


      1. If they know good food they'll hate Little Italy. There's really none to be had there.

        Why not take them to Peasant or Lupa? You can take the family on a stroll through Little Italy and then have dinner someplace else. They'll probably appreciate that more in the end.

        1. I know everybody here hates Little Italy but, since the OP asked for a suggestion in Little Italy, why not pick the best of the bunch and try to swallow the food snobbery? In fact, I do have a favorite in Little Italy and I'm not afraid to say so.

          If you're prepared to pay cash, because they don't take credit cards, my suggestion is a small place called Benito II (163 Mulberry, between Broome and Grand). Suggested appetizers: stuffed artichokes, fried peppers (they're not really fried, just sauteed with lots of garlic), fried zucchini, mixed green salad (very vinegary), spedini alla Romano (bread stuffed with mozzarella, battered & fried, served with a light caper-studded sauce), steamed clams in red sauce. Sometimes the clams are great, sometimes they're a little tough, but the sauce is great and begs to be sopped up with chunks of bread. Suggested main courses: any pasta they make (but linguine with oil & garlic or marinara are really good) chicken scarpariello (served either on or off the bone - on is better), veal dishes are pretty good, too - I particularly like the piccata. Sometimes they have lobster on hand and will make you lobster fra diavolo with linguine - it's worth asking. (If they don't have any lobsters, sometimes they run to a neighboring restaurant and get some for you.) Wine is not sophisticated - they've got a house red and a house white, which they'll bring in half carafes, full carafes, or they'll just bring out the big bottles. And I think they have Italian beer. We never have dessert, preferring to go to the cafe/bakery on the S.E. corner of Broome and Mulberry - can't remember the name - for a coffee and a couple of cookies, so I don't have any recommendations. Benito II doesn't usually take reservations for small groups, but it's worth a call ahead if you have more than 6 in your group (212-226-9012).

          1 Reply
          1. re: Deenso

            Thanks for the tip. I now know Little Italy is a tourist mecca, but perhaps Benito's II will prove a good choice, after all when dining in Manhattan even Long Islanders are tourists.

          2. I'm sorry that I have to break this to you.

            But, if your relatives know and love good food, plus they don't want to be around tourists, then the last place that you want to go to is Little Italy.