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West Village Restaurant for NYC Hater

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I've recently moved to NYC and am in love with it! But, my father has always hated New York and was pretty crushed when I moved here. I finally convinced him to come visit, and I'd like to take him out to a great dinner that might change his mind about the city. He's visited here on business more times than I can count, but he hasn't really explored more than midtown and downtown.

So, I'd love some help finding a charming, neighborhoody restaurant in the Village (preferably the West Village) with incredible food. Italian would be ideal! I tried Babbo, but unsurprisingly it's all booked. Thanks!

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  1. Crispo or Po for Italian
    August and Snack Taverna aren't Italian but fit your "charming neighborhoodly restaurant" ideal. So does Little Owl, if you can score reservations.
    Finally, Perry Street isn't charming or neighborhoodly, but the space is airy and sort of calming and food is great.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lucia

      I second Po - not that it's an alternate Babbo, but Mario was the original chef-owner, and it's really a neighborhood gem. Crispo is good, too, but somehow I feel it's better for a group of friends than lingering dinner-with-Dad.
      Lucia's other suggestions are great, too, although Snack is VERY teensy and you may feel time-pressured by waiting patrons (although notably not by waitstaff!)

    2. Those are all good choices. What about good ol' Blue Ribbon Bakery?

      7 Replies
      1. re: julseydesign

        I would choose Apizz (not west village) or Extra Virgin.

        1. re: princeofpork

          add
          aoc bedford
          ditch plains
          morandi
          da andrea
          bellavitae

          1. re: jsmitty

            I love Da Andrea. I take my parents there when they visit and we've never been disappointed.

            1. re: piccola

              agreed. i think GUSTO would do just about as well for this kind of occasion.

              1. re: mrnyc

                alexandra
                aoc bedford
                do hwa
                da andrea
                piccolo angelo
                alta
                fatty crab
                paris commune

                1. re: scout1

                  Alta (if your father is okay with small plates), Da Andrea (if he wants very low-key) and Blue Ribbon Bakery are all good. Alta really feels tucked away and cozy, with great food. BRB is really nice if you get seated near the window on the main level (I don't love their sub-tereannean level) and can watch the village pedestrians wander by. It can be really charming. Though no-reservations could be a bummer.

                  Morandi will be too scene-y for a guy who doesn't like NYC.

                  I'm a big Crispo fan, too. It's a big space but somehow feels intimate with the brick and the candlelight. It can get a bit noisy, but quiets down relatively early...IE, at 9:30 PM the crush is over.

                2. re: mrnyc

                  Is Gusto holding together after the departure of Jody Williams to Morandi?

        2. AMA on McDougal is a great little place where the chef often comes out and serves -- very friendly and good Italian.

          August is great if you can get seated in the back room but can be crowded if in the front.

          Il Mulino but your dad may be outraged by the prices...but damn it's tasty (while famous for impossible reservations, I have found that if you walk in they can flip through reservation book and sometimes find a spot in less than ideal time but if price is not an issue, do it!)

          For a great NYC but hometown type of experience, may be fun to also stop in at Ottamanelli's butcher to get some delicous meat to make at home (great deal on ribeyes).

          And Babbo tip of the day -- my girlfriend took me for a fabulous B-Day dinner...if you go early, say a 6 or 6:3o dinner on a weekday, you should have a very short wait for one of their 6 unreserved tables in the front.

          And there's always Lupa on Thompson (early dinner probably needed to do it, or an early lunch).

          Hope that's helpful!