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East Village advice: Perbacco or Lavagna? Seymour Burton?

We have recently moved to the East Village and have been having some great meals, like at Pylos, Kanoyama and Back Forty. Would like to try somewhere we have not been, have read good things about both these Italian places --- do either or both take reservations?
And why can't I get Seymour Burton on the phone, does anyone know? Are they closed for vacation? Their phone message machine says mailbox full.

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    1. Seymour Burton is closed at least until the fall when it will reopen under a different name. As for the italian, Grubstreet just had a good write-up on Perbacco saying new chef Simone Bonelli "is producing some of the most elegant and progressive italian food in the city."

      1. Perbacco and Lavagna are both good, but different. Give them both a go. I find Perbacco to be much more authentic Italian and Lavagna to be more of a pan-Mediterranean menu. Also, although the wine list at Perbacco is excellent, it can be pricey.

        5 Replies
        1. re: adrman

          adrman, we have not been to Perbacco yet but have been enjoying Lavagna for years (only downside is it can be so noisy). What do you suggest at Perbacco? (I'll also do a search of this Board). Thanks in advance. fdr

          1. re: financialdistrictresident

            Went to Perbacco last night. Has been full since NY times review.

            Nice carafe of prosecco (though I wish there had been more affordable wine choices.)
            Crostoni Misti were very nice though it was literally only three little bruscetta..not easy to share. Goat cheese, walnut and honey was the winner

            Frittura (mixed seafood) was good but basic. Scallops and other seafood all tasted really fresh.

            The winner of the night was agnolotti filled with prosciutto and topped with slim shavings of cantaloupe...unexpectedly fresh and delicious.

            Kind of expensive for the small amount of food. Very noisy, had to battle to get a waitress to take our order, but delicious, delicious pasta...which I didn't think was their strong point before the new chef.

            1. re: financialdistrictresident

              Sorry fdr, I was away on business and didn't see your post. Honestly, these days I've been sticking with the specials. As Maggiej stated, since the NYT review, the place has been packed. We usually go by with our dog early Sunday evenings for dinner and sit at one of the outside benches. When we walked past last night around 6:30, the place was mobbed. Several parties were waiting to get in out on the sidewalk. You would only see that pre-review on Friday, Saturday nights around 9. I guess that's the price of fame, but it's probably pretty hard for the staff to keep up with that kind of crush. I think I'll be giving them a break for a month to let things cool off.

              1. re: adrman

                Also, the review said that the chef would probably still be on vacation this week...

                1. re: adrman

                  thanks, adrman. May have to try it on a weeknight . . .

            2. Yeah, Seymour Burton is doing a huge renovation while waiting for a permit. I didn't know they were going to change the name, too. The overhaul will be big, though, I definitely saw a dumpster out there recently.

              1. If you're willing to venture to the LES you can try Bacaro, Rayuela and Elyssa Dido. . .Falai for a splurge.

                1. Add Belcourt on Second Avenue to your list.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Wilfrid

                    Wilfrid, we still haven't tried Belcourt. It seems inexpensive, more of an everyday place. How is the food? (I'll also do a search of this Board).

                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                      We tried Belcourt last weekend. The fried scallions, bouillabase, grilled fish and reasonable wine were a hit. We had an excellent server and the lively, brasserie atmosphere was just what we were looking for. Location on 4th & 2nd Avenue and outdoor seating are a big plus. We will definitely go back and eat our way through the menu. Only downside is limited fish/chicken entrees. Chef will not serve the chicken without the bacon (or whatever meat it had) so that's one less possibility for this non-red meat eater.

                      1. re: financialdistrictresident

                        they do make it without bacon. we had it just the other night. a no pork person was with us.................

                        1. re: sadiemulcadie

                          thanks, sadieulcadie. I so wanted that dish! I will ask for it again without the bacon and see what happens. Maybe with a different server or when the regular chef is off :)

                    2. re: Wilfrid

                      If Perbacco is full try In Vino right down the block. They don't have a chef but the food is solid. It's all Italian food and wine. The wine list is well put together. Try the ravioli.

                    3. What about the RedHead? We haven't been yet but recent posts look interesting . . .

                      1. I have not been to I Coppi recently and heard their chef changed awhile back. They have a nice garden and decent Italian food (not earth shattering). I've been for brunch more than dinner. Might be worth a try . . .