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A Voce? L'Impero? Another Italian restaurant?

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I still can't squeeze in a reservation at Babbo but as in my prior post, I will be willing to stand at the door at opening time to see if I can get seats at the bar. However, if that doesn't appear to work and/or my friend passes out from hypoglycemia, what would be other alternatives for very fine Italian? I know Lupa would be recommended and I'd like to go but my friend has been there and didn't really want to go back. I've been hearing much about A Voce and though there are some complaints about it, the menu doesn't sound bad. I was able to get a reservation at A Voce through OpenTable for the same night (saved just in case I cannot get into Babbo). I was reading a bit on L'Impero just to see and there have been some positive reviews on it. Though I admit, the menu at A Voce sounds more intriguing. What are your opinions?

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  1. I prefer L'Impero, though frankly neither restaurant lived up to my expectations.

    1. The food we had at A Voce was excellent, but we found that the noise level became unbearably high when the room filled up.

      L'Impero is, in my view, wonderful in every way. Delicious food, good service, elegant decor, and low-key ambiance. I would pick L'Impero just to have the polenta with mushrooms. Seriously to-die-for! In nice weather, there's dining on a small, very charming outdoor patio that overlooks a park.

      3 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        I concur with RGR that the food at both A Voce and L'Impero were excellent. I didn't have any problem with noise level nor service at both places, so I say whichever menu looks more intriguing to you, go for that. Either way you won't be disappointed.

        1. re: kobetobiko

          Both aer excellent but L'impero edges A Voce.
          Two different atmospheres too

          1. re: DoctortedNYC

            Thank you all for the feedback. Both restaurants sound fantastic and I'm glad that most of you think that either would be good options. That polenta at L'Impero sounds fantastic...I'm always a sucker for amazingly creamy polenta. :o) But I think I have to go with my initial choice of A Voce. I like the fact that there's some traditional items as well as some with innovative twists. I also like Andrew Carmellini's style of cooking. But there's still hope that my first choice of Babbo will go through. We'll see.