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Po, Lupa or Crispo?

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. 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

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

    2. 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

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

        1. re: ukitali

          Good thinking!

      2. 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

          Po feels kind of cramped to me.

        2. 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

            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

              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

                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

                  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

                    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

                  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. 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

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