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2 nights in Ny in Sept & want great Italian

One night Italian, anyway, one night (open?)?? My husband & I. Midtown or downtown or in between---Am from Seattle & we have some wonderful eats here but not killer Italian...Dont mind a little splurge, prefer not to get filleted by the wine list. Other night: Open to ideas - - -

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  1. Alto - in midtown - excellent but expensive. V. good wine list - it's on line, but I don't know how the prices are.

    Lupa - Greenwich Village - more casual, trattoria style Roman food, also v. good wine list.

    1. New York has tons of Italian, many good ones, some terrific. Do you want so called "red sauce" Italian- which in NY means Sicialian, Northern Italian, Ventian, etc.
      Babbo certainly would be at the top of any list and a personal fav. I also love Al Di La in Park Slope/

      1. On the higher end, Babbo, L'Impero, Alto. High-moderate, Scarpetta, Pepolino, Vice Versa, Orso. Moderate, Lupa, Crispo. All of these have some very good wines in the $50 and under range. Fort the other night, can you narrow it down a bit, types of cuisine, price range, ambience?

        6 Replies
        1. re: rrems

          Hey, rrems,

          L'Impero has closed and will be re-opening with a new name -- Convivio -- and a re-designed, less expensive menu.

          We finally made it to Alto a few weeks ago. Our dinner was superb! Good service and very pleasing ambiance. Expensive, but worth it.

          1. re: RGR

            I keep on forgetting about L'Impero closing for renovations. I hope the new restaurant will be as good.

            1. re: rrems

              Though the menu concept will be different, it will still be Michael White's food, so I think it's a safe bet that it will be excellent.

              1. re: RGR

                ah, but we don't know this. do we?

                1. re: steve h.

                  I've eaten Chef White's cuisine at both L'Impero and Alto, and in both restaurants, it has been superb. Do you honestly think that will change for the worse because there will be a different menu format at Convivio?

                  1. re: RGR

                    i'm a cautious buckaroo. i'll pass judgment down the road.

        2. Babbo, Lupa, Peasant, Apizz.

          1. Babbo is generally considered the top Italian destination restaurant in NYC. This is a very popular Mario Batali joint and requires, at least, a 1 month advanced reservation

            Lupa, which is Babbo's much more casual trattoria affiliate, is also very good and is much easier to get a table at.

            3 Replies
            1. re: RCC

              yeah...i called Babbo yesterday, 30 days to the date, at 10:02 am. Busy signal until around 2 o'clock , when I was got through, waited on hold 15 minutes, and then was offered 10:00 pm. Crap. But that was for a Saturday...i have managed to reserve Sunday with less grief.

              Do you think I'll be happy at Lupa, considering I've been to Babbo in the past, and love it?

              1. re: danna

                Yes, you will be more than happy at Lupa.

            2. If you're looking at high end anyway (I mean if you're considering Babbo) you should also seriously consider Il Mulino and Alto. Although I might classify these places as more than 'a little splurge'. Il Mulino is a small, rustically designed italian joint where it's impossible to get reservations, the prices are astronomical, and all they do is consisently give you superb italian food. And unlike other high end italian restaurants in the city, you will not leave hungry.

              Alto is a bit more modern, focuses mostly on Northern italian dishes, and the food is prepared with thought and care. I had the best polenta of my life at Alto, and the duck, oh good lord, I think I need to make another reservation there right now.

              Pepolino and Lupa are other places where you can't go wrong.

              1. do babbo and then take a taxi to to piccola venezia near laguardia airport..worth the trip

                1. Dell'Anima serves the best pasta I have eaten in NYC in a long time...

                  Second choice is Lupa.