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Coming to NYC from SF. Can't get a res at Babbo. Suggestions?

Waitied too long to make a reservation and Babbo is booked Labor day weekend. Any suggestions for places to eat? Rustic italian is a favorite of mine, but anything creative is welcome. Price doesn't really matter, but I do like more casual and laid back as opposed to stuffy. Thanks.

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  1. Babbo has several tables in the front that are open for walk-ins, so you might just want to wait at the bar.

    Some other Italian places to consider are: Peasant in Nolita, Aroma in the East Village, Crispo on 14th street, Lupa in Village (also Batali), Po in Village.

    1. You want rustic Italian? Peasant is great.

      Sfoglia in the Upper West Side is another very good rustic Italian.

      As good as Babbo already is, Lupa, pound-for-pound, is better imho. It's a terrific Roman trattoria.

      1. I third Lupa - it's great food for great value.

        I also recommend Il Buco in Noho on Bond St and Ama in Soho on Macdougal

        1 Reply
        1. re: livetotravel

          Fourth lupa and do not overlook Po.

        2. Agreed. You must try Babbo or Lupa. You can do walk in at Babbo early (5:30pm) or late (9:30-ish). Going on a weeknight also boosts your chances. The pastas are rustic and the portions generous. Sitting at the bar is also great because both Babbo and Lupa bartenders whip up mean drinks. Do a search on Babbo and you'll find countless recs.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Porthos

            i'm not against waiting....how long will you wait at babbo if you walk in at 8:00 on a friday/saturday night? as long as they have a bar, i'm cool. on the other hand i do like eating at bars.....can you eat at the bar?

            1. re: Big Larry

              I don't think you'll get close to the bar at 8.00 on a Friday or Saturday, Larry..

              - Sean

              1. re: Big Larry

                Yeah, you should go ahead and take the 10:30pm reservation (if it's still available), plan on a late lunch, or skip lunch and eat early. Friday/Saturday is impossible at 8pm. If you thought A16 was bad, Babbo and even Lupa walk in at 8pm will be pretty absurd (think minimum 2 hours). Again, the drinks do help pass the time. I would really try 5:30pm or 10pm if you're waiting for the bar/bar tables on those nights.

            2. How about Scalini Fedeli? They have a $65 prix fixe. My family ate there last night and can't stop talking about how good it is.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bodie

                Scalini Fedeli does not get enough attention. It's very good.