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Dec 22, 2008 12:40 PM

Italian in Gramercy area

I'm looking for recommendations for an Italian restaurant between 14th and 34th Street on the East Side. It has to be open Christmas Eve and have a regular a la carte menu (with lots of choices for my brother who is a picky eater) A nice, cozy, warm atmosphere is preferred with pastas in the $15-20 range. I was looking at Novita and Trattoria Belvedere. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks!

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  1. I'm not familiar withTrattoria Belvedere, and our one experience at Novita many years ago was not inspiring. I would suggest Paul and Jimmy's, on 18th St., just west of IrvingPl. You'd have to check to see if you they will be open on Christmas Eve and if their regular menu will be served.

    1. bar stuzzichini is open, the small plates choices is good for a picky eater and the pastas are good and in your price range.

      3 Replies
      1. re: trixareforkids

        Bar Stuzzichini is serving a 7-course fish menu. I've never been to Paul and Jimmy's but the atmosphere seems a bit er, stuffy.

        1. re: ukitali

          I think its only a supplement to the Stuzzichini portion of the menu. Its one of the places I'm looking into for Xmas eve dinner.

          1. re: ukitali

            Paul and Jimmy's is definitely not stuffy though if you're looking for a hip scene, you'll be sorely disappointed. The welcome is warm and the atmospherics in the small, cozy dining room are endearingly old-fashioned, i.e., typical 50's-60's decor, including a large mural of an Italian scene on the back wall. Most importantly, the food is very good.

        2. Pau l and Jimmy's is a great choice...Food is good there.

          1. I think that your choice of Novita is an excellent one.

            Also in the same area is Via Emilia. Not exactly a cozy warm atmosphere, but the food is consistently delicious.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Hurner

              I agree with the Novita suggestion. I also would suggest Beppe. We have had consistently excellent meals and service there.

              1. re: Hurner

                Second the Via Emilia rec--atmosphere isn't bad (not too bright or loud), food is great, interesting and reasonable wine selection. Not sure if they're open XMas eve, tho.

                1. re: drmoze

                  I've been to Via Emilia and while the food was good it just wasn't the atmosphere I was looking for. We ended up at Paul & Jimmy's and everyone thoroughly enjoyed their food and the service was very good.

                  1. re: ukitali

                    Glad to hear you enjoyed Paul & Jimmy's. And, yes, its atmospherics and those of Via Emilia are entirely different , i.e., V.E.'s = big, bright, and modern vs. P&J's = small, warm, and old-fashioned.