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Po, Lupa or Crispo?

ukitali Oct 10, 2008 11:41 AM

Which do you think is the best bet for a birthday dinner with my boyfriend? He's kind of a picky eater and doesn't like restaurants that are too loud and crowded. We'll be going on a Sunday evening. Any other nice, moderately priced Italian places to try?

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  1. a_and_w RE: ukitali Oct 10, 2008 11:49 AM

    Haven't been to Crispo, but Lupa over Po for sure. Another place you might consider for a more tranquil and romantic setting is Apizz on the LES.

    1 Reply
    1. re: a_and_w
      ukitali RE: a_and_w Oct 10, 2008 11:56 AM

      We went to Apizz for an anniversary dinner and really liked it. Something similar would work.

    2. r
      rrems RE: ukitali Oct 10, 2008 11:54 AM

      Crispo is normally loud but on Sunday nights I have found it pleasantly quiet. Lupa would work equally well, but is more difficult to reserve and waits for walk-ins can be long. I also really like Pepolino, but it is slightly more expensive.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rrems
        ukitali RE: rrems Oct 10, 2008 12:02 PM

        I already made a reservation for Lupa, just in case.

        1. re: ukitali
          rrems RE: ukitali Oct 10, 2008 12:11 PM

          Good thinking!

      2. financialdistrictresident RE: ukitali Oct 14, 2008 03:08 PM

        What do you mean by picky eater? Crispo and Lupa were pretty loud when we went. Po is small, if you can get a cozy window seat it's really nice. I liked the food at Lupa and Po better then Crispo.

        1 Reply
        1. re: financialdistrictresident
          a_and_w RE: financialdistrictresident Oct 15, 2008 08:43 AM

          Po feels kind of cramped to me.

        2. l
          lbzeats RE: ukitali Oct 15, 2008 08:05 AM

          I have not been to Po in a few years. They had a down period IMO but I hear are back up. I think Crispo is excellent. Fantastic prosciutto and the best real Italian carbonara I have found in NYC. Many other choices as well. If you sit in the back it is a fantasy semi-grotto room that the chef/owner built himself as a hobby. A little fountain, lots of stone and strange appliances for making, slicing and preparing proscuitto adorn the walls.

          6 Replies
          1. re: lbzeats
            jvish RE: lbzeats Oct 15, 2008 08:18 AM

            Po will defintely be the most relaxed and quiet of the 3 its small but you still feel comfortable..Lupa has the best food in my opinion (with Po coming a close second on a good night) but you can easily get squeezed into very tight tables and it is loud and can be uncomfortable..Crsipo has the most breathing room of the 3 but probably the 3rd best food

            1. re: lbzeats
              a_and_w RE: lbzeats Oct 15, 2008 08:43 AM

              Interesting..can you describe the carbonara at Crispo? My favorite is Lupa and I had an excellent version at Roberto Passon recently.

              1. re: a_and_w
                Lucia RE: a_and_w Oct 15, 2008 12:41 PM

                Carbonara at Crispo has been discussed on CH before, so you might want to search. It has a poached egg on top and the runny yolk mixes in w/the sauce.

                1. re: Lucia
                  MMRuth RE: Lucia Oct 15, 2008 01:10 PM

                  Yes - that poached egg bit strikes me as less than authentic. I like Lupa - and the back room tends to be quieter.

                  1. re: MMRuth
                    a_and_w RE: MMRuth Oct 16, 2008 02:40 PM

                    Hmmm...less authentic perhaps but intriguing nonetheless. I like a discernibly eggy carbonara as long as there's no cream. I'll have to give Crisp a try next time I'm in town...

                2. re: a_and_w
                  rrems RE: a_and_w Oct 16, 2008 03:41 PM

                  I have had the Carbonara at both Lupa and Crispo, and I prefer Crispo's version even if it is less authentic. The egg has more presence and I find the dish to be more flavorful overall.

              2. k
                kenito799 RE: ukitali Oct 15, 2008 06:57 PM

                Lupa is really awesome. Perfect for a birthday. We went early and it wasnt loud, maybe Sunday will be the same. I love Crispo but Lupa is definitely more special and teh food is quite perfect. You won't be disappointed. If he is picky in a particular way, make sure to ask questions, the servers are helpful. But they neglected to announce that one special was spicy and my mom is reallysensitive to heat so she couldn't eat it. We were happy to trade with her since everything was so good,

                1 Reply
                1. re: kenito799
                  ukitali RE: kenito799 Oct 20, 2008 12:08 PM

                  We ended up going to Lupa and had a very good meal.

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