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Birthday dinner (Italian) in NY?

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My sister and husband will be visiting NYC from Arizona during Thanksgiving week. Her birthday is the day after Thanksgiving and were thinking about celebrating that Friday with some good Italian food, but not high-end expensive. They're both ex-NY-ers who appreciate good food, but would like to avoid the touristy places, spend some, but not break the bank. Any suggestions?

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  1. Lupa would fit the bill. Still Batali but not crazy expensive or slammed. Otto is another good choice. Avoid the mediocre to awful pizzas and go for the pastas and salumi. I'm a big fan of Bellavitae as well although not everybody feels the same way.

    Lupa http://www.luparestaurant.com/restaur...

    Otto http://www.ottopizzeria.com/index.html

    Bellavitae http://www.bellavitae.com/bellavitae.php

    If you're looking for something off the beaten track Minetta Tavern could be a lot of fun. Nice versions of classic Italian American food served in an ex speakeasy last decorated in 1943. Atmospheric in a very Bogey and Bacall kind of way.

    Minetta Tavern http://newyork.citysearch.com/profile...

    1. I agree with Bob about LUPA. You can't go wrong. The food is quite amazing. Well worth the trip. Right around the corner, we have had a few good meals. DASILVANO. I still would pick LUPA over DASILVANO, but at least it is an option for you!

      http://dasilvano.com/index.cfm

      1. i had a great and very reasonably priced meal at crispo the other night. and the place has great atmosphere, especially if you sit in the bacl near the fireplace. you'll feel like you're a million miles from 14th street. (at least, i did)

        1. Lupa sounds like a great choice. The "poor man's Babbo?"

          1. Inexpensive and fun: Il Bagatto (3rd and A, I think).

            1. bar pitti !!!