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Mar 27, 2008 03:16 PM

Crispo, Campanile, Tratorria Trecolori or Lupa???

I have narrowed down our choice to these moderately priced Italian restaurants for our upcoming weekend in Manhattan.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.


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  1. These restaurants do not offer the same experience. What are you looking for this weekend? I ate at Lupa and Campanile and both are really different. Campanile is for an older clientele where the food is more the experience than the scene in which you eat it. Lupa is crowded and loud with bad service. I know that everyone will knock me over the head for this but I hated my experience at Lupa. I did not like the food at all. I am not a Batali snob because I love Otto and Casa mono.

    Campanile's food is excellent, but traditional, but the ambiance is subdued. The owner is really nice and makes you feel like family.

    I loved Nino's of Tuscany because there is a piano player, Irving Fields, that plays there and the food is good and not too expensive.

    Everyone here just raves about the other 2 restaurants you asked for.

    1. Each of the restaurants has a website with the menu listed. I would look at the menus and see which appeals to you the most. All have great food, so it is more a matter of personal taste, and whether you want to put up with some noise or require a more subdued atmosphere. Crispo and Lupa are noisy, though that doesn't stop me even though I prefer quiet, because I love the food.

      1. Agree with the other posts so far - it all depends on what kind of atmosphere you're looking for. I've been to all your choices except Campanile. Of the remaining choices, Trattoria Trecolori has the least interesting food in my opinion. It's good but not fantastic. The atmosphere feels a bit too sedate for me plus I hate to deal with Times Square so I avoid it on that basis too.

        I'm a big fan of Crispo and Lupa. Both have amazing food and are loud and tables are tight, which I don't mind and in fact think it makes it more fun. The crowd at Lupa is trendier (can't stand that word but can't think of a better one at the moment) and Crispo gives off more of a casual neighborhood atmosphere. If you decide on Lupa but feeling a bit uncertain about the noise, try to get a table in the back room. The decor is different from the main dining room - it's more formal but not stuffy and it's less noisy.

        1. I've never been to Campanile or Trecolori. I love Crispo and Lupa, but they are different experiences. Lupa is more authentic, but it is also more cramped and uncomfortable and a harder reservation to get. Crispo is always reliable, and it's close to my apartment, so I've been more often. I don't think you could go wrong with either--it depends on the type of food and atmosphere you're looking for.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Lucia

            Wow. Thanks for all the posts in answer to my original. It is hard to know which restaurant would be best for us as we are a group of 4...our mother and three 50 something year old daughters from Denver, Chicago and Miami are taking a mother/daughter trip to NYC without husbands. So it is a little difficult as I am planning the trip, and want to make sure everyone is happy with my restaurant choices. Also, one of us is on a stricter budget,and I don't want to put her in an uncomfortable spot by choosing a pricey restaurant. Also, none of us are adventurous eaters....tripe and rabbit would not be our choices for dinner!

            I guess I would have to say the food quality and service is more important than the "scene". I travel to NYC a lot and have a lot of favorite restaurants, but most of them would be too pricey for our group. So I really appreciate the help from the NYC chowhounds.

            Thanks again for all the opinions!

            1. re: glsebs

              Hm... I'd say that Lupa is a bit more adventurous food-wise than Crispo, although there are plenty of safe choices on the menu as well. I should also say that I took my parents to Crispo, and, although they loved the food, they did think it was a bit loud. This was on a Friday night, so if you're going on a week night, the sound level not be as high.

          2. Since you say that this dinner is for people in their fifties maybe they would love Nino's of Tuscany where Irving Fields, he is 93 by the way and plays there 6 nights a week, plays all your favorites. He goes around the room before starting to play and asks you what you want to hear. That gives him a chance to chat because he seems to love doing that also. He is very nice and it is a fun ambiance. It is far from trendy but a very nice place and like I said in my other post, not too expensive.