HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
What's your latest food quest? Get great advice
TELL US

Monday Night Italian - Bianca, Da Andrea or Crispo

s
Seanchai Jan 11, 2007 05:19 AM

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.

  1. a
    ABT Jan 11, 2007 03:54 PM

    Another vote for Crispo. Their spaghetti and meatballs is awesome, it's not something I usually order but their version is excellent and completely crave-worthy. Their stuffed butternut squash pasta, with chestnuts, is also great.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ABT
      fat parish Jan 11, 2007 11:14 PM

      had a great meal at Crispo last night. love the stuffed hot peppers and risotto balls, and bucatini amatriciana. hubby got the spaghetti and meatballs special and it was great, as usual. i agree with someone who said Da Andrea has gone downhill. went over the summer with my whole family and it was cramped, uncomforable, and the food was not tasteless. i used to be a fan but won't go back. if you reserve at Crispo, you may want to sit in the back enclosed (and heated, of course) garden. it's lovely and i believe has a large fireplace.

    2. m
      mle18 Jan 11, 2007 03:50 PM

      Crispo is one of my favorite restaurants in New York. There Carbonara is awesome.

      1. l
        Lucia Jan 11, 2007 03:39 PM

        Crispo. Da Andrea is nice, but unsurprising. I was underwhelmed by Bianca.

        1. h
          harrison Jan 11, 2007 02:35 PM

          Funny, I've taken my business partner, an out-of-towner to both (within the past year), and he liked Crispo better.

          I've yet to make it to Bianca, but have heard positive reviews all around.

          Sounds like a great couple of days of eating - enjoy and report back!

          1. m
            mae Jan 11, 2007 02:23 PM

            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.

            1. n
              nychowgirl Jan 11, 2007 02:20 PM

              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. w
                wingman Jan 11, 2007 02:13 PM

                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. b
                  bobby06877 Jan 11, 2007 01:46 PM

                  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
                    s
                    Seanchai Jan 11, 2007 11:00 PM

                    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
                      l
                      Lucia Jan 12, 2007 12:13 PM

                      Crispo feels less crowded and more comfortable than Lupa.

                      1. re: Seanchai
                        b
                        bobby06877 Jan 12, 2007 02:33 PM

                        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. r
                      Rafie Jan 11, 2007 05:43 AM

                      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.

                      Show Hidden Posts