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Relatively Inexpensive Italian for a Triple Date

Hi, Chowhounders!

I have a triple date coming up in a couple of weeks, and since I'm the resident foodie, I know the restaurant choice is going to fall to me. I need a place with relatively inexpensive (under $25) entrees, since two of the six are students. The restaurant should be lively enough that a group of 6 wouldn't annoy anyone, but not so loud that we have to shout. No need for a "scene"-- a neighborhood place is great. Ability to make reservations is a must; ability to use a credit card is preferred. Any neighborhood is probably fine, but Midtown (either side) or below might be better than the UES/UWS.

I'd like to go with something Italian, since that's a crowd-pleaser, but not a small plates place (my boyfriend and I just walked out of Suba hungry). My immediate thought was Crispo, but they require a credit card for a group of that size, and since no one's plans are firm yet, I'm hesitant to put it on my card now. I know everyone loves Apizz-- would that fit the bill?

You all always have great recommendations, so I'd appreciate any thoughts you can give me! Thanks!

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  1. Apizz is more romantic than a group dinner and can be quite expensive if you are drinking. Try Copolas on 3rd and 27th. Good food and reasonable prices in a very nice atmosphere/

    1. I wouldn't consider Crispo too romantic for a group dinner--I've had groups of 6 there, leaving credit card and all. I really like Apizz. It's more intimate than Crispo, but it can be loud in there, so a group of 6 would probably be OK. Peasant is a better fit for groups, but it may be out of your price range. Other options--Lupa, Cacio e Pepe, Otto.

      1. how about something like supper? they can handle the group size and are less expensive than the otherr recs. though they dont take reservations- you can call ahead if you have a larger group. Its a great combo between neighborhood-y and downtown-y......

        1. You might consider Da Andrea. The food is not as good as Crispo, but it is much cheaper and one of the best in its price range. The atmosphere is perfect for a group of 6. Lively but not too noisy. No credit card required to reserve.

          1. Here you go: Russos Ave B, Otto, any of the Patsys, Tony di Napolis if you want family style. not sure if you are legal as you are students but they have great sangria. Nero, Il Bastardo & Zucchero e Pomodori are all owned by same group. all are good. There is a hidden place called Boom in soho. sometimes they have live music.pangea might be a good spot as well, haven't been in a few yrs.

            4 Replies
            1. re: fein

              Thanks for the suggestions so far, gang! I have a provisional reservation at Da Andrea. I have an Italian last name and the man taking the reservation didn't need me to spell it for him, which I take as a good sign.

              How does everyone feel about Da Andrea? Is there a compelling reason against it or in favor of somewhere else?

              And to clarify, we'll definitely be drinking wine. We have a couple of grad students in the mix, but we're all years past the legal age. :)

              1. re: Cuisinescene

                Have friends from out of town who always make it a point to go there. Knowing them, it's a good price/value ratio and good food and a nice place to be. With their rec, I've put it on my 'must try' list. It's not really my nabe.

                1. re: Jane A.

                  Thanks for the input. I think I'll stick with Da Andrea, and I'll definitely report back!

                2. re: Cuisinescene

                  da andrea is the perfect restaurant for yr needs...all homemade and theyre from bologna...food capital of the world.

                  i usually get the warm octopus salad and either the paparadelle with sweet sausage or the sweetbread entree.