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Sep 24, 2007 01:38 PM

Best Italian Restaurant in Midtown

I have some friends from West Virginia/South Carolina who have never been to NY and are planning at 5 day trip for the first week of December. They asked me for suggestions for "special" restaurants in Manhattan and they basically eat Italian food, fish and beef ( very meat and potatoes people). I suggested L'Impero, which is my very favorite restaurant in NY (although I haven't been there since Scott Conant left). Does anyone have any other suggestions that I can pass along?

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  1. Here's a v. recent review of mine of Alto, which I believe is a "sister" restaurant to L'Impero.

    1. Cookshop is a good NY experience...neighborhood and approach to food, but also has a down home feel to it. I hail from VA and have taken folks from home to Dylan's Prime downtown (not sure if still there) for a different steak experience and they loved it.

      2 Replies
      1. re: minagary

        Just for the O.P.'s sake, Cookshop is not Italian and hardly in midtown.

        1. re: Wilfrid

          Same goes for Dylan Prime -- neither Italian nor in Midtown, and -- for the record -- more a scene than a foodie destination. Sorry.

          L'Impero is a good recommendation. Same goes for Alto. If you are looking in midtown west, try Insieme or Vice Versa.

        1. there is a lovely place just across the street from Bloomingdales on Lex. I can't for the life for me remember the name, but I can find out. They have a fantastic old bar, good food and old world service; zebra wallpaper.

          2 Replies
            1. re: fayehess

              Brio is on 61st and Lex. It's a nice little bistro-style spot near Bloomingdale's. Good pastas, pizzas and wine. It's also great to sit outside if the weather is right.

            2. I really like Insieme. Since some people like Italian food for the homey digs and large portions that sometimes come with it, I think I should probably mention that Insieme isn't really about either of these.

              These aren't Italian, but perhaps they'd like Bar Americain and Del Frisco's in midtown, as well.

              2 Replies
              1. re: cimui

                a couple of more idea's:
                San Domenico - very refined, very expensive but usually very good
                Teodora - the same owners as celeste and bianca, only more refined
                Patsy's - Old school Italian American - great for out of towners, they won't feel intimidated, great people watching, very good red sauce italian

                L'impero is a good suggestion, but it ain't midtown either. I think the food at Alto might seem a little weird (for lack of a better term) to the OP. It is the polar opposite of red sauce italian and might not evern recognize the food as italian (more like german.)

                1. re: Cpalms

                  Thanks for reminding me about San Domenica - you're right, the food is dependably good and the service is terrific. Plus, you never know who you'll be sitting next to - last time I was there (granted a couple of years ago) I was at a table next to all the top politicos in NY - headed by Gov. Pataki! But the bill was also $500 for three people and we only had one bottle of wine!