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Jun 26, 2008 02:01 PM

Help my dad love the West Village as much as I do

My boyfriend and I recently moved down to the far west village, a few blocks south of Meatpacking. My dad came to visit for the first time the other night and it was a complete disaster. He used to buy meat in the area for his Queens restaurant (a casual Irish pub) and has the impression that it's very seedy, dirty and unsafe. He couldn't find parking so we ended up finding a spot a ways down 7th Ave, and in a fluster I chose Centro Vinoteca which was far too noisy and modern for his taste. Between the vicinity to the Meatpacking District, the parking and the restaurant he was cranky and disappointed and I really want him to love it as much as my boyfriend and I do.

So where can I take him to make this right? His favorite restaurant in our old location on the upper east side was Da Filippo, and his overall favorite restaurant in the city is the Parkside in Corona. So I'm looking for a place that's traditional Italian, comfortable with some space between tables and relatively quiet. Good sized portions, solid service and overall value would be a huge plus. I'd greatly appreciate any suggestions...

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  1. market table.
    Or as another option, i'm from queens and i think that he might appreciate the nice folks at da andrea on hudson.
    personally hate centro vinoteca, the service is terrible and not worth it.

    1. I personally think August is a good "parents-speed" restaurant - modern and high-quality cuisine, but not pretentious or as much of the "party" atmosphere as some other places. Seating can be a little tight, depending how much that bothers him.

      I also like AOC Bleecker for a casual spot, and the outdoor area is great for summer. A bit more spacious in there, too.

      Little Owl (if you can get a reservation) would seem to also be a good pick, again, so long as slightly cramped quarters aren't an issue.

      3 Replies
      1. re: jonasblank

        It's a been about a year since I've been to AOC on Bleecker, and we went a number of times before deciding that we really thought the food was pretty mediocre. I agree that the outside area is lovely on a not too hot summer night. The last time we went, the music inside was deafening though - at lunch, too!

        I was going to suggest Wallse, but (a) it's not Italian food and (b) it can also be a bit noisy.

        1. re: MMRuth

          I agree about AOC. We decided it was mediocre after one try.

        2. re: jonasblank

          Based on a number of recs on this board I took a friend to August last week for her birthday and the food was horrible. Had a fresh pea soup, which was wildly oversalted, along with lamb shoulder, which turned out to be chopped up and then DEEP FRIED IN OIL before being finished in the oven, thus accounting for its weirdly off flavor and disgustingly greasy texture. I tried (as did my friend), but simply couldn't eat it. My friend's fish was OK; nothing special but edible.

        3. maybe employees only
          or is that too far south?

          1. Try Toscana on Carmine. It is a different model from your usual W. Village loud clip joint. They sometimes feature rabbit or game hen. The last time I went, they had baby chickin, or poussin (spelling?). They do a good Bistecca Fiorentina and the antipasti are voluminous. One starter we always have is sliced beef in green sauce. They also do half portions on pastas, so you can then go on to a main course. I have friends from out of town for whom I call ahead and make sure they have the rabbit, which is very authentic Tuscan and served w/ polenta. It's between Bedford & 7th Ave.

            2 Replies
            1. re: sing me a bar

              I think Toscana would be a great place for an old New Yorker. The owner is a gregarious Florentine who invites you to be a guest at his table, not merely another cover towards paying the rent. Malatesta (which is closer to you) is also another Italian place with quality food and good ambience. The immediate area is far west village and attractive, if not a bit boring, but if you go eastward a couple blocks, the area does get a little seedy.

              If your guest enjoys Irish pubs, Mr. Dennehy's might be another option.

              1. re: JungMann

                I agree about Franco. More and more, I go where I feel welcomed and familiar. Even when a private party takes up a huge table, you don't feel cramped or worried by others hearing your conversation (I'm very UN-PC!). Everyone I've taken there wants to go back. Sometimes the fish dishes are a bit bland. I wish he'd do a branzino instead of the pistachio-encrusted salmon (which used to be my regular order), but the elbow room and ambiance are worth the fact that it isn't a trendy destination. On weeknights it can be so quiet that you worry he isn't doing more business, but it is much fuller these days than it was, so I guess it's getting discovered.

            2. my dad loves blue ribbon bakery, perilla, da andrea.