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Is There Good Old-School Italian-American Anywhere?

A friend's sister is coming to town and she is hankering for well-prepared IA dishes that "real" Italian restaurants don't tend to serve any more -- shrimp scampi, veal dishes, etc. She is not looking for a trencherman Carmine's type place or a campy theme restaurant, and price isn't a problem. I came up blank.

She'd like to stay in Manhattan, preferably the Upper East Side, or at least East Side. Thanks.

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  1. If price isn't a problem, why limit yourself to Manhattan. Car service to and from the Bronx, Queens or Brooklyn will meet your needs. Ask on the OB board.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bobjbkln

      Thanks for the suggestion, but it isn't my quest. I was just following orders! I think I know what you probably have in mind for Queens and the Bronx, but not Brooklyn.

    2. No need to shlep to the Outer Boroughs. Campanile is exactly what your friend's sister has in mind. This neighborhood "hidden gem" is tucked away on 29th St., b/t Madison & Park Av. S. The traditional Italian-American fare is well-prepared and delicious; the very efficient staff couldn't be friendler; and the large space has an old-fashioned feel with well-spaced tables and a conversation-friendly noise level.

      http://www.campanilenyc.com

      5 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        Thanks for the suggestion. Are you sure the restaurant is still open. The website is gone and they are no longer on Open Table.

        1. re: Dave Feldman

          Campanile's phone number is 212-684-4344. I second RGR's suggestion of Campanile. I try to get there every time I am in town because you are sure you will get an excellent meal served by the owner Slavko. He is hands on and is quite a character! Come back and tell us about it!

          1. re: cricri7

            Slavko?
            So is Campanile yet another "old-school Italian" restaurant now run by people who may never have stepped foot in Italy, in the spirit of Arthur Avenue, John's, Le Streghe, and countless others, yet still greet you with a hearty "Buon giorno!" when you walk in the door?

            1. re: il Trifulau

              Even if his name is Slavko, he is Italian.....

          2. re: Dave Feldman

            Hey, Dave,

            Campanile is definitely still there! I just got off the phone with Slavko. He didn't know that the website was gone. He said his daughter takes care it, so he's going to contact her asap.

        2. For old New York Italian I am quite partial to Gene's on West 11th, followed by Volare on West 4th.

          1. Paul and Jimmy's on Irving...Frank's Trattoria on 1st Avenue between 22nd and 21st...

            1. Picolo Angolo would be PERFECT, however it's downtown and further west

              www.thelunchbelle.com

              1. Gino's.
                Lex between 60-61

                Do some googling - you'll see. It's been around a loooong time.

                1. No wonder I didn't have any ideas pop to mind. Of all the restaurants recommended so far, I've only been to one -- Gino's -- which I last visited more than 25 years ago. I used to enjoy it and can't remember why I stopped going -- I probably stumbled onto "real" Italian food and abandoned the Italian-American food I grew up with.

                    1. re: hon

                      Just the palce I was about to recommend - very old school and delicious.