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Red Sauce Italian on UWS

j
jbau Nov 13, 2007 07:02 AM

need place for tonight for 6 people. We're looking for delicious red sauce italian in good atmosphere. thanks.

  1. b
    bosox Nov 13, 2007 08:37 AM

    the first place that comes to mind is carmine's on bway around 92nd street (UWS).

    4 Replies
    1. re: bosox
      d
      Daniel76 Nov 13, 2007 09:24 AM

      Carmine's is disgusting.

      1. re: Daniel76
        b
        bosox Nov 13, 2007 09:52 AM

        it's the first place i thought of. i haven't actually been there, was just making a suggestion. i know people who actually really enjoy it. one man's trash is another man's treasure.

        1. re: bosox
          Striver Nov 13, 2007 09:55 AM

          Carmine's always reminds me of Yogi Berra's remark - "Nobody goes there any more - it's too crowded". :)

          That said, Carmine's offers substantial servings of no better than decent primarily Italian-American dishes in a busy, noisy seting. I'm no fan, but as bosox points out, it's very popular, particularly for large parties.

      2. re: bosox
        k
        Ken J. Nov 13, 2007 10:02 AM

        Pizzabolla 654 Amsterdam 92 Street 212-579-4500 Old style “checkered tablecloth” Italian with very reasonably priced good food. Good antipasti, entrees, brick-oven pizza and good selection of reasonable priced wine by the bottle and glass.

      3. m
        macncheesy Nov 13, 2007 09:57 AM

        How about La Grolla on Amsterdam between 78th and 79th? In addition to red sauce Italian, they have some other more innovative dishes as well. They also have a prix fixe if you're interested.

        1 Reply
        1. re: macncheesy
          LNG212 Nov 13, 2007 10:22 AM

          I thought La Grolla considers themselves Val Daosta (sp?) Italian? Their food is very good, I agree.

          Carmine's seems to be very popular with larger groups (and out-of-towners). Pizzabolla I found to smell like dog and it grossed me out (so my friend and I ditched and never ate there).

          La Vela is good. We also thought Coppola's (79th St) was good thought it's been a while since we've been to either.

        2. c
          cimui Nov 13, 2007 10:01 AM

          La Vela has really nice homemade pastas in an informal atm., moderately priced. Pappardella has nicer digs and more red sauce (and I think is slightly more expensive). Either would accommodate six just fine.

          1. fgf Nov 13, 2007 11:40 AM

            Funny, I was just trying to think of a place on the UWS that isn't Red Sauce Italian. Bettola, Arte Cafe, Pomodoro, Cafe La Fenice, Celeste, Coppola's, Pappardella, Bello Giardino, San Luigi, Patsy's...

            5 Replies
            1. re: fgf
              c
              cimui Nov 13, 2007 11:57 AM

              Spiga isn't at all -- and it's really good. I think La Vela could go either way.

              1. re: cimui
                i
                idia Nov 13, 2007 12:51 PM

                La Fenice!!!

                1. re: idia
                  MMRuth Nov 13, 2007 12:51 PM

                  Where is that?

                  1. re: MMRuth
                    JoanN Nov 13, 2007 01:22 PM

                    On the east side of B'way between 69 and 70. Maybe it's because it's my neighborhood joint and overly familiar, but I don't think it's much better than fair and the atmosphere is nothing special. The pastas are okay, but no better. It's fine for a quick, moderately priced dinner if someone needs something near Lincoln Center. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother. It's the kind of place I go to when it's getting late, the grandkids are getting cranky, and they don't want to walk more than two blocks.

                    1. re: JoanN
                      i
                      idia Nov 13, 2007 06:37 PM

                      That about says it all.
                      I discovered it during a rainstorm and ran in there and have been going back ever since when I don't feel like going more than a block for a meal.
                      It's really not bad at all. But it's definitely "red sauce Italian!"

            2. p
              paisley Nov 13, 2007 02:01 PM

              i second La Grolla - i go quite often and have never been disappointed. the artichoke app is amazing - actually - so is the arugula salad with goat cheese and dried cherries!

              1. p
                powermd Nov 17, 2007 08:07 PM

                After reading this thread my fiance and I tried both Coppola and La Grolla this week. We were not impressed at all with either restaurant.

                La Grolla was particularly disappointing. The fontina cheese fondue appetizer (for some reason every other menu item contains fontina...) was tasty but unsophisticated, and the included pears did not complement the cheese at all. The sauteed mushroom appetizer seemed like it came straight out of a can. I hoping for something resembling stuffed mushrooms. The mescalun salad was very bitter, although colorful. I tried the prosciutto rissoto - it looked like cat vomit - and had a distinctly ricy texture, not creamy at all. The vegetable lasange ordered by my fiance was good, but nothing special. I had a special for dinner, a pork chop in some kind of blueberry mushroom sauce. Not bad, but again, nothing I'd ever go out of my way to order again. Ours was a party of six, and several mistakes were made in bringing out the correct dish. One mistake was repeated twice before the waiter finally figured it out. I tried the chocolate mousse for dessert. Three glops of heavy, very dark chocolate gunk that could pass for duncan hines cake icing.... needless to say, I won't be going back.

                I lived in Boston for quite a few years and greatly enjoyed the North End. I wish I could find some restaurants in New York that approximate that wonderful experience.

                2 Replies
                1. re: powermd
                  d
                  Daniel76 Nov 19, 2007 11:23 AM

                  I would tell you that the UWS does not have good Italian food.. The same way Little Italy does not..

                  1. re: powermd
                    Striver Nov 19, 2007 02:08 PM

                    Slightly off-topic, but Roberto's in the Bronx would be my recommendation, with a stop at one of the cafes for dessert (De Lilo's, Morrone's, etc.). In the same area (Belmont/Arthur Ave.) are several Italian-American restaurants (Roberto's is not what I'd call a red sauce place) that remind me of the North End (Pasquale's, Enzo's, Dominick's), in no small part because they use the excellent local purveyors for meat, produce, cheese, bread, etc..

                    Do a search on "Arthur Ave" if you're interested.

                  2. v
                    vanessaknows Nov 18, 2007 05:58 AM

                    My ranking:
                    gennaros
                    acqua
                    bettola
                    celeste
                    la vela
                    regional

                    All good safe bets and all have a good red sauce.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: vanessaknows
                      s
                      Stuffed Monkey Nov 19, 2007 06:56 AM

                      I like gennaros and celeste, but when I hear red sauce I think more of a place like Cappola's on 79th,

                      1. re: Stuffed Monkey
                        c
                        chowrlk Nov 19, 2007 07:19 AM

                        Gennaros is the best place for Italian on the upper west side hands down. Around 92nd and Amsterdam. There is a 20 dollar minumum per person, but that gets you a lot of food.

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