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Tall Order for Italian Suggestions... Beware.

db963 Mar 29, 2007 01:38 PM

I have a tall order to ask. I am from Pasadena, CA and I am meeting my mother, 2 aunts, sister and cousin (all women) into the city for dinner in late April. The food choice is mine to make as I am the family foodie. My aunts and mother are not fans of "trendy, chic" restaurants but by no means are they fans of The Cheesecake Factory either. They want to go to a great Italian place, but someplace like Babbo would be over the top for them. I have been to Becco, which was ok, but not worth a repeat trip in my opinion. Personally, I would love to take them to Il Buco, but again, they would most likely find it over the top. My hope is that it is a semi entertaining place-- not too quiet but too loud as this would drive my mom crazy. Thankfully, they are all drinkers, so a wine/drink list is important.

Your help is most appreciated. Thank you.

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  1. k
    kesues RE: db963 Mar 29, 2007 01:40 PM

    What about Beppe or Po?

    1. mangiabeve RE: db963 Mar 29, 2007 01:42 PM

      ... or il trulli?

      1. l
        Lucia RE: db963 Mar 29, 2007 01:42 PM

        Crispo would be my first choice. Also consider Lupa, Apizz, Peasant.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Lucia
          pellegrino31 RE: Lucia Mar 29, 2007 02:02 PM

          I second the Crispo rec. Would fit right in to what you're looking for.

          1. re: pellegrino31
            Melanie RE: pellegrino31 Mar 30, 2007 07:26 AM

            I was thinking Crispo as well.

        2. c
          cimui RE: db963 Mar 29, 2007 01:50 PM

          I second Po for food, but it can be cramped seating for a large party and it can get pretty loud. They also don't take reservations, so if you need certainty, this isn't the place to go.

          Spiga in the UWS is a very nice, low-key spot with a very good wine list and pretty good food. (On the dessert-scape, the lemon mascarpone mousse is particularly nice.) Portions are quite reasonable in my book, but some would find them small. It isn't the kind of hearty, eat-until-your-buttons-pop kind of Italian restaurant.

          If it's warm enough in late April, the folks at the restaurant will throw open the huge, bay windows out front and let in the fresh, NYC evening air. (And that isn't entirely an oxymoron, either. ;)

          There's a place on 79th with good, homemade pastas, but I can't remember the name right now. I'll check back with you when I do.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cimui
            cimui RE: cimui Mar 29, 2007 01:59 PM

            Oops, it's 77th, actually. La Vela. I don't really like their secondi options all that well, but their fresh pastas are pretty good.

          2. s
            Simon RE: db963 Mar 29, 2007 02:29 PM

            Borgo Antico (13th St near University Place) just might be the answer...not trendy, not loud, but still in fun downtown neighborhood...reasonably priced but still definitely somewhere that a couple of aunts would consider "a very nice meal"...and, they have game specials to satisfy the foodie in the group...

            my guess is that Lupa might too loud for your dinner (i went there yesterday w/ my gf and her parents and we were hollering to hear each other)...

            If you want to go more upscale, there is Il Giglio, which is more old-school fancy than trendy (though you might see an occassional celebrity, NY Giant, etc there) but it would probably fall into the over-the-top category...(but the free antipasti might compensate in their minds)...

            1. v
              Victoise RE: db963 Mar 30, 2007 07:28 AM

              Ok, I keep posting this but it's perfect for you. Arte Cafe on 73rd near Columbus Ave.
              It's elegant, simple, unpretentious but with very good Italian food. Brick oven. Great pastas, wonderful soups. Many many ladies like this place (including me). I go for the great lunch price ($9.50) but it's pretty at night also.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Victoise
                elaynetobin RE: Victoise Mar 30, 2007 10:00 AM

                Belle Vitae on Minetta Lane. Perfect for your needs...authentic, quiet, quaint. Check spelling.

                1. re: elaynetobin
                  cimui RE: elaynetobin Mar 30, 2007 04:42 PM

                  I lived right around the corner from Belle Vitae when it opened a few years ago and never tried it--unfortunately, it seems! Do you think it's good enough to warrant a special trip downtown for it?

                  1. re: cimui
                    jsmitty RE: cimui Mar 30, 2007 05:10 PM

                    yes!!!! Try to sit at the chefs prep area. that was tons of fun......

                2. re: Victoise
                  jsmitty RE: Victoise Mar 30, 2007 10:22 AM

                  there are many many more special places than arte cafe in my view.. if you area visitor a nighborhood place like arte can be surpassed many times over. i say
                  any of these (my faves on the list are po, crispo,bellavitae and da andrea)
                  the orchard
                  perbacco(many on this site have favorable views, i have never been. small plates)
                  da andrea
                  piccolo angolo

                  have fun in ny!

                3. c
                  Crepe Suzette RE: db963 Mar 30, 2007 10:39 AM

                  Maybe Cacio e Pepe in the E Vill? By late April it will be warm enough to sit outside. There's been a ton of stuff posted on the board about this place.

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