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Babbo booked for my birthday, need another Italian rec.

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Hey all, so seperate from the post on my girlfriend's birthday, is this one for my birthday. She is trying to plan something Italian as it's my favorite, though unfortunately Babbo was already booked (I've never been). She temporarily booked Del Posto, but I've read so many reviews of people saying that the portions are small for how expensive it is, we don't need to spend $300 and leave hungry just because it's a "special" place. I've never really been to any of the high-end Italian restaurants in the city, so I'm looking for suggestions. We usually go to more low-key places like Malatesta, but she wants to take me somewhere different, so, suggestions? Perhaps something with a tasting menu?

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    1. re: Simon

      i second that, read my thread re;scarpetta tonite

    2. Scarpetta or Convivio.

      1. Convivio or its more upscale sibling, Alto.

        1. if you can get to astoria/queens, go to piccolo venezia, it buries places like scarpetta and convivo which i like, but cant compare to piccola venezia

          4 Replies
          1. re: intrepid

            Just thought I would report back...had an 8:15 reservation Wednesday night and our table was waiting when we arrived right on time. Service was great throughout the night, very attentive waiter, nice hostess. Every dish we ordered was great, started with olives and burrata sfizi which were nice starts. Then had the rustic chicken liver crostini with beautiful marsala onions on top, and one of the special appetizers of the night scallops with some sort of balsamic squash sauce (can't exactly recall) but it was great. For main dishes, I had a special, squid ink tagliatelle with sliced cuttlefish in a puttanesca sauce. It was just what I wanted if they would've asked me to create my own dish, I don't find cuttlefish that often and when I do, I always pounce on it. GF had the lamb shanks which were perfectly cooked and well seasoned. They brought out a dessert with a candle for me which was nice, it was some sort of cake and ice cream - I don't exactly recall as we'd been through a bottle of white - but it was rather good.

            We'll definitely be back, as about 90% of the menu looked great to me, though Scarpetta will be next. Thanks all-

            1. re: fishermb

              >>>Just thought I would report back...had an 8:15 reservation Wednesday night <<<

              Where?

              1. re: TipsyMcStagger

                I think it's Convivio especially because fishermb mentions "sfizi." When we had dinner there, olives and burrata were on the sfizi menu, and the chicken liver crostini were on the antipasti menu.

                1. re: RGR

                  Ah yes, I suppose I didn't mention what resto I went to :) It was indeed Convivio