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Best Modern Italian?

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I'll be visiting NY in the fall, and am looking for a great Italian restaurant that isn't necessarily traditional. I'd like it to be lively, pretty (or cool decor), and in a perfect world it would have a garden or outdoor seating. Any recommendations?

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  1. Crispo has outdoor seating. Not very modern but not red sauce either.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lucia

      Crispo comes closest to your requirements but it ain't so purty with cool decor.

    2. go to 54th and 2nd avenue. Place called as Angelo's Pizza, do not go by the name, it is a big place with lots of sitting area which includes indoors and outdoor seating. Really good italian food and pizzas. They also have good wine collection.

      1. I recommend A Voce and Insieme wholeheartedly. A Voce currently has outdoor sitting but may be closed for fall.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kobetobiko

          I agree that A Voce's modern Italian cuisine is first-rate. However, it's the interior's super-modern/cool decor, i.e., all hard surfaces, that causes the noise to rise to an insanely high when the room fills up, making normal conversation very difficult.

        2. Limpero.
          New chef Michael White doing amazing things.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Greghms

            We have not been to L'Impero since Michael White took over the kitchen. So, it's good to hear that his modern Italian cuisine is excellent though not a big surprise considering his fine pedigree. L'Impero has a small, very charming outdoor terrace which, weather permitting, might be open.

          2. I'd recommend Gusto. It's innovative, fresh, and creative Italian, with outdoor seating.

            1. Spigolo of course!!!!! 82nd and 2nd-call for reservation-a must!!! if its warm then outdoor seating is first come first served. Cozy restaurant wuth the best food!!!! Trust me-I'm the UES Mayor!!

              1. It's more casual, but Vespa on the UES has a great outdoor garden area. Yummy food and always full, but you can get reservations. Harder to get into, and with no garden, is Babbo - I'm sure you know it, and it's my favorite! Definitely a bustling, cool scene.