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Looking for Incredible Italian Food

h
hoplover May 8, 2007 12:29 PM

I am coming to Manhattan the first weekend in June to celebrate my husbands birthday. We usually eat at Esca which we love but this time I will be bringing our 15 year old daughter and I am not quite sure Esca will have something for her. Can you please suggest a wonderful Italian restaurant that would be special for a birthday. Babbo might be too out there for our daughter. We are foodies and we come to Manhattan just to eat twice a year. Can you point me in the right direction. Thanks so much!

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  1. amanda3571 RE: hoplover May 8, 2007 12:31 PM

    Have you ever tried Il Mulino?

    http://www.ilmulinonewyork.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: amanda3571
      sing me a bar RE: amanda3571 May 8, 2007 06:33 PM

      Don't do it!

    2. c
      ceeceee RE: hoplover May 8, 2007 12:42 PM

      crispo on 14th btwn 7th and 8th. best carbonara in the city! lots of choices, nice atmosphere!

      1 Reply
      1. re: ceeceee
        k
        kenito799 RE: ceeceee May 10, 2007 09:48 AM

        I think Crispo has just the right tone for a 15 year old. Reserve in the back garden, it's great. She will likely love the zeppoli--fried doughnuts with chocolate for dipping. And get the bone marrow--those Fred Flintstone bones always draw me back to Crispo.

      2. NAtiveNewYorker RE: hoplover May 8, 2007 12:44 PM

        Il Cortile. The pasta is superb (especially the Marinara and Oil+Garlic, both of which are kid friendly). The Little Italy setting is fun. And you can walk to a cafe for dessert.

        3 Replies
        1. re: NAtiveNewYorker
          t
          tommyk7 RE: NAtiveNewYorker May 8, 2007 12:52 PM

          Il Pallazo (Little Italy) or Erminia (UES)

          1. re: tommyk7
            NAtiveNewYorker RE: tommyk7 May 8, 2007 12:54 PM

            Il Cortile beats Il Palazzo. I've eaten them side by side.

            1. re: NAtiveNewYorker
              financialdistrictresident RE: NAtiveNewYorker May 10, 2007 03:23 PM

              Il Cortile is one of the few places in Italy you can eat Italian.

        2. n
          norcallarry RE: hoplover May 8, 2007 03:22 PM

          Just spent 4 days eating our way around Manhattan (from San Francisco). Had a great dinner at Felidia on E. 58th. Pastas are unbelievable as are the desserts. (This was our 4th visit there in 3 years and have always been satisfied.)

          10 Replies
          1. re: norcallarry
            steve h. RE: norcallarry May 8, 2007 03:33 PM

            i'll second felidia.

            1. re: steve h.
              g
              Gordognyc RE: steve h. May 8, 2007 06:14 PM

              Felidia is an excellent choice if you are going to be in that neighborhood.

              PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE avoid Il Mulino AT ALL COSTS. I cannot emphasize how overrated and ultimately unpleasant that place is for a real foodie. This is a visceral issue on chowhounds, so I expect others to disagree, but trust me. If you want to eat downtown you can get Northern Italian that is just as good or better at Da Umberto on 17th and 6th without the crowds, wait, obnoxious attitude or overblown check.

              1. re: Gordognyc
                l
                lutece RE: Gordognyc May 8, 2007 06:44 PM

                DaUmberto was not good. It was average and very expensive ....avoid it..
                Felidia, was awful and also too expensive.
                You'd be better off at Becco. Or even in Little Italy. I still like Angelo's better than any of the above places.

                1. re: lutece
                  k
                  kalyse RE: lutece May 8, 2007 07:57 PM

                  i love scalinatella. on 3rd and 61st street. cozy atmosphere, great service and excellent food.

                  also to second what someone else said, just recently had a great meal at il crispo.

                  1. re: kalyse
                    h
                    hoplover RE: kalyse May 9, 2007 04:47 AM

                    Thanks so much for being kind enough to let me know your thoughts and suggestions. I too love Scalinatella. I have eaten there and Il Postino before and enjoyed it. It's so hard to choose because as you know you do have some of the worlds finest cuisine. Your so Lucky!! You also live in the world's best city and I cannot wait to come. Thanks again,

                  2. re: lutece
                    fershore RE: lutece May 10, 2007 08:18 AM

                    I've had lunch at Becco several times and enjoyed it always enough to go back. On my most recent visit, a mom and her young daughter sitting at the next table asked a server whether Lidia was there and could they meet her. They were taken to the kitchen. They came back to the table and then Lidia came out and sat with them for quite a while. Signed their cookbook and Lidia admired the girl's doll and asked questions about it. Lidia then conversed with the rest of the patrons individually. My Mom was starstruck.

                    The food may not be "incredible," but the price is right and I value that welcoming feeling. It adds to the dining experience.

                  3. re: Gordognyc
                    j
                    jsmitty RE: Gordognyc May 9, 2007 08:01 AM

                    agreed!!!!! i waited for an hour and a half at il mulino (no joke) for a "joint" that is mediocre and caters to regulars only....
                    incidentally, i have put elios on the ues in the same realm....

                    1. re: Gordognyc
                      n
                      neddludd RE: Gordognyc May 9, 2007 09:58 AM

                      I think for a while Il Mulino was superb, even given all the nonsense in terms of reservations and overpricing and arrogance. It was an operatic experience in which, from the tons of free meal openers, to everything else, every aspect of the food was great. But then I think they got greedy, franchised, and began taking their success for granted. The last time my wife and I were there it was absolutely mediocre, and I won't pay those prices, or go through the reservations crazyness, for mediocre.

                  4. re: norcallarry
                    ChefJune RE: norcallarry May 10, 2007 09:23 AM

                    I'd also recommend Felidia, and be sure to let them (Lidia) know you are bringing your teenager. She'll pay special attention.

                    1. re: norcallarry
                      financialdistrictresident RE: norcallarry May 10, 2007 03:20 PM

                      At our last visit to Felidia we were underwhlemed and it's overpriced. Only plus was we were there for white truffle season and discovered an amazing smoked beer.

                    2. c
                      ChrisZ RE: hoplover May 9, 2007 05:49 AM

                      I doubt that babbo would be too out there, There seems to be something for everyone.

                      1. NiKoLe1625 RE: hoplover May 9, 2007 06:21 AM

                        Babbo is a winner. It's only really out there if you want it to be. They have some really basic pasta dishes that don't get too crazy! I don't think it would be hard for her to find something to eat there! You may want to think about Crispo or A Voce as two alternatives. HOwever, if you are going to go to Babbo, you have to make your reservations now. They open the lines one month in advance to the day!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: NiKoLe1625
                          bread for breakfast RE: NiKoLe1625 May 9, 2007 07:50 AM

                          Barbuto in the West Village might be another good choice. I'll provide another vote for Babbo, too, though!

                          1. re: bread for breakfast
                            t
                            trinyc RE: bread for breakfast May 10, 2007 09:04 AM

                            I vote for Peasant or Lupa!

                        2. d
                          dprbailin RE: hoplover May 10, 2007 09:42 AM

                          Lupa. Like going to Babbo but cheaper. Go early. It is packed. You can eat at the bar. Giant wine list with carrafini and low prices.

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