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Monday Night Italian - Bianca, Da Andrea or Crispo

My wife and I are heading for a quick Sunday/Monday trip to Manhattan in late February and we've tentatively decided to make this an all-Italian eat-fest. Since our budget is modest, the high end destinations are not really an option. What I'm hoping to do is to set up four Italian meals that, if not exactly complementary, are somewhat dissimilar in experience (whether it's type of food, atmosphere, neighborhood, etc.). The two definites are Lupa for Sunday dinner and inoteca (paninis) for Monday lunch. I'm leaning toward Luzzo's for Sunday's pizza lunch (thanks to all who made suggestions in a previous thread), but I'm torn about Monday night. We're considering Bianca, Da Andrea and Crispo or any others you might suggest. Which of those would be the best complement to the others we've chosen? As always, thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. I'd go with Crispo. More rustic Italian than Lupa and better than Da Andrea IMHO.

    I like their appetizers (if I remember right, the fried risotto balls and fried sausage stuffed sage leaves were good) and the pastas (the carbonara gets raves on this board though I've never tried it). I even had a pretty good hangar steak there too.

    As for Lupa, apps and pastas are the way to go. I haven't come across a great entree though that pork shoulder with the rose petal glassado's decent.

    1. Wow, Bianca, Crispo or Da Andrea? Three of my favorite Italian restaurants. I would eliminate Bianca only because they do not take reservations, something that I think you would want since you are making a trip. The main difference in deciding between Crispo and Da Andrea would be the type of atmosphere you are looking for. Da Andrea is smaller and cozy and a little subdued. Crispo, on the other hand, has a busier and more energetic vibe to it. The food at both are outstanding so I would choose based upon the type of atmosphere you are looking for.

      3 Replies
      1. re: bobby06877

        How does the atmosphere at Crispo compare to Lupa? It seems like they are both loud and bustling. I'm not sure if my wife wouldn't be going for the charming little place vibe after the bustle of Luzzo, Lupa and inoteca (or so I've heard).

        1. re: Seanchai

          Crispo feels less crowded and more comfortable than Lupa.

          1. re: Seanchai

            Crispo is larger and better laid out than Lupa so even though it can get energetic, I have never felt crowded. (unless they seat you up front close to the bar. That is not pleasant). It has a neighborhood kind of feel to it that I enjoy and has a lot of regulars. In that case it is similar to Le Zie. I would not worry about Crispo being similar to Lupa from an atmosphere standpoint.

        2. I can not comment on Crispo or Bianca but have been to Da Andrea and absolutley loved it. Like Bobby said, it has a rustic almost farm house feel, the food is outstanding and is in a very relaxing atmosphere. The food was outstanding as well.

          1. Haven't been to Crispo, but have been to the other two and Bianca definitely gets my vote!!!! I used to love Da Andrea but think it's gone a little downhill recently. You may have to wait a few minutes at Bianca, but the bar next door is so cute and the host will come get you next door when your table is ready...you can even bring your drink from the bar over to Bianca with you!

            1. I'd go with Crispo. I like Da Andrea, but it's a very low-key neighborhood place. And I do think the food is a notch or two better at Crispo. If I were an out-of-towner, that's that one that would impress me most.