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Jan 30, 2009 07:17 AM

Great Italian

Hey Hounds,

Have some friends in town for the race on Sunday. We'd love to go somewhere fun to carb load. Any suggestions??

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  1. We don't have "great" Italian here in NOLA. Good Italian choices: Vincent's, Eleven79, Cafe Giovanni, Irene's. TF's eat club fav. is Impastatos. "eat club" .

    1. I think Leonardo's on St. Charles in the CBD has the best Italian in New Orleans.

      3 Replies
      1. re: gillsnthrills

        The food was great BUT check your credit card receipts as of late....I went to New Orleans a couple months ago and enjoyed an exquisite meal from Leonardo's. The 'want-to-be' mafia decor was all to cliche and a gorilla-sized oaf donning a leather jacket sat at the end of the bar. I used a credit once on my quick trip (that single transaction being at Leonardo's). I was surprised to see two charges in the New Orleans area on my billing statement (an impossibility as I live out of town) the following month. By a short process of elimination, the restaurant itself (or 'associates') looks quite fishy. Don't get my wrong, my chicken was cooked perfectly and I had some of the best red gravy in my life there but my memories were soured months later. . .a fair warning at least to those already struggling to recover in New Orleans.

        1. re: gillsnthrills

          I thought so when I went but then read some terrible reviews so I was afraid to recommend it. I went for lunch.

          1. re: gillsnthrills

            i went for lunch. it was ok. waitress said the blueberry bruschetta was their best app, but it was very weak and expensive. the duck ravioli didnt strike me as memorable.

            my votes are Eleven79 and Irene's. Eleven79 has excellent pasta.

          2. other options:
            Fausto's, Two Tony's, Mosca's, Pascal's Manale, Ristorante Da Piero

            1. We are from the Boston area and will be visting New Orleans in April for the 5th time in the last 7 years. It is absolutely our most favorite city with the best food in the world.
              BUT, we have come to the conclusion that NO just doesn't handle Italian well.
              We have been very disappointed in Irene's and Cafe Giovanni which seem to get many rave reviews, but to us the food just didn't match the reviews.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bobseesit

                have you had the "feed me" at Tony Angelo's?
                what style or region of Italian cuisine are you comparing or looking for?
                you might also try Del Porto, Sal & Judy's, or Gio's Villa Vancheri if you venture to the Northshore.
                glad to hear you like our NOLA so much and plan to return. cheers!

              2. Ristorante Filippo's at the Causeway end of W. Napoleon has given me some good meals. As far as for NO not doing Italian "well", maybe this is, hopefully, just a phase: our past boasts restaurants such as Turci's and Bertucci's. Mandina's, is of course, Italian- creole , a subset all on its own.

                3 Replies
                1. re: underworld gourmet

                  I see edible complex mentioned Mosca's, otherwise, how could we have forgotten what has long conceded to be one of the best restaurants in the area, if not America? (It has garnered spectacular reviews over the decades.)But you will need a car. And a very good sense of direction.

                  1. re: underworld gourmet

                    ive been a few times and honestly i dont find it worth mentioning... i heard so many stories about it in its heyday, but each time it was just sorta average. nothing like my grandmother's cooking and not as impressive as Eleven79.

                    what do you get there?

                    1. re: kibbles

                      Years ago we used to love Moscas. We went back after many years of absence and wondered "what were we thinking?. My son tasted the chicken cacciatore and proclaimed it inedible. We also had the bordelaise, shrimp and oysters. All are easily made and improved upon at home. I won't return.