Sezz Medi, Pisticci, or Piatto D'Oro II?
I'm looking for the best Italian within walking distance of 125th and Frederick Douglass. I'm leaning toward Piatto D'Oro II because of good reviews and better prices (no item on the menu is over $15). However, I'm not looking for good or better--I seek the best. Please advise.
Have you been to Rao's? You probably won't get a table unless you know where Jimmy Hoffa is buried, but it's "to die for."
I just noticed that you're looking for "walking distance." Rao's is a bit too far to walk, but it's north of 96th street, which is my cab-only neighborhood anyways.
My experience is that Sezz Medi is the better bet. Pisticci's is a nice space, but I was very disappointed in their food, which I think is overpriced for what you get.
Assuming that Gennaro at 92rd & Amsterdam is outside your range -- in my view, it's a clear pick over others in the area -- I'd give a slight nod to Pisticci over Sezz Medi for their pastas. Sezz Medi's pizzas and stuffed breads are delicious, and there's a much better wine list than at Pisticci. Don't overlook Max Soha, which has lusty pastas and a once-a-week osso buco, and an interesting list of Italian wines that changes frequently.
This is a late response, but I had dinner at Piatto d'Oro last night with my wife and a friend and we can't rave about it enough. It was a complete surprise to me to find Italian food like this in Harlem. We've been craving something other than soul food in our nabe for some time and this was a real find - probably the best Italian I've had in NYC (though I admit I've not been to Rao's). Worth a trip to 118 and 5th Avenue, even if you don't live in the area.