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Italian dining challenge:

misnatalie May 13, 2009 03:28 PM

So we are 3 people,- one who's quintessential Italian is Tony's DiNapoli and Carmines, one vegan just turning to vegetarian (so cheese is o.k.) but no meat of any kind, and myself who loves Scarpetta and Babbo (and have been to both Tony's and Carmines ONCE and hope never to go back). Nothing too formal, 30's-50's east or west preferred. Where can we go so everyone is happy? HELP.

  1. LeahBaila May 15, 2009 06:46 AM

    Mia Dona or Luna Piena


    2 Replies
    1. re: LeahBaila
      Emmmily May 24, 2009 08:56 PM

      Just had a pretty fantastic dinner at Mia Dona. Their cannellini bean soup in particular was outstanding. And when they found out it was my birthday they comped me a limoncello :-)

      1. re: Emmmily
        LeahBaila Jun 2, 2009 06:15 AM

        Nice! Good feedback, Em!


    2. j
      jenhen2 May 14, 2009 08:10 AM

      A little south for you, but I recommend Crispo!

      1. Spends Rent on Food May 14, 2009 07:28 AM

        I agree with most of the suggestions here, Convivio, and iTrulli most of all.

        I'm not sure Becco is the place I'd choose, it's quite tight, and if you go a the wrong time you'll be wedged in with the pre-theater crowd.

        This may cause some gasps, but I've become a frequent visitor of Salute on 39th and Madison. They changed owners about 18 months ago, and have a menu that highlights home-made fresh pastas. It's no Babbo or Scarpetta, but it's head and shoulders above Carmines and Tony's. I just double-checked the menu, and there are plenty of options for the vegetarians, and meat-lovers alike.

        If you're looking for something slightly off the beaten path, I'd definitely recommend Salute (especially the pasta).

        1. f
          foodwhisperer May 13, 2009 09:54 PM

          Try Lydia's Becco ,,,,, its in between what you mention ,,, the pastas are pretty good and the veal chop is very good,,and they give you all the pasta you want

          3 Replies
          1. re: foodwhisperer
            drumwine May 13, 2009 10:35 PM

            go for Insieme....old school/new school menu, all palates satisfied

            1. re: drumwine
              misnatalie May 14, 2009 06:25 PM

              Looks perfect, that's for the suggestion.

            2. re: foodwhisperer
              RGR May 14, 2009 08:02 AM

              I would not recommend Becco. The ayce pastas are mediocre; they've jammed in as many table as possible in each dining room, making seating sardine-tight; and the noise level is deafening.

            3. r
              RGR May 13, 2009 08:07 PM

              While I like Trecolori and I Trulli, my pick would be Convivio, which I think is a cut above those two.


              4 Replies
              1. re: RGR
                rrems May 13, 2009 08:28 PM

                I heartily second Convivio, my favorite Italiian restaurant .

                1. re: rrems
                  misnatalie May 13, 2009 10:34 PM

                  I just wonder if the menu there is too intimidating for the Parmigiana / Scallopine Italian eater. If they have to ask what it means they think they won't like it.

                  1. re: misnatalie
                    rrems May 14, 2009 08:09 PM

                    It's a shame, but you are probably right. Have you looked at the menu? If it won't work, another recommendation would be Crispo, as another poster suggests. It's not on the level of Convivio, but everything is delicious, and the menu is extensive, with the familiar dishes along with more adventurous ones. They also show the menu on their website, though it may not be completely up to date or include the list of specials.

                    1. re: rrems
                      misnatalie May 14, 2009 10:06 PM

                      I really like Crispo but it is too far down town.

              2. c
                conordog May 13, 2009 04:21 PM

                imo all the good italian is south of 17th street if you're not on an expense account. 30s-50s will be tough. sounds like the carmines guy would like serafinas. hard to call not knowing your budget. if youre on a budget though, angelos for pizza and pasta is quite good. theyre penne vodka is excellent and the pizza is very fresh (and a great option for a veg). the menu in general though is simple and affordable (they offer a family style pasta portion as well if you like that). they get a plus for execution. simple modest decor though- dont expect babbo. i think its on 58th and 5th/6th. if you want babbo quality and arent on a budget, san pietro does some really nice things (theyll even shave you fresh truffles)- even then, its not as good as babbo. my sleeper in the area is the tacky named 'pasta lovers' on 49th btw 6th/7th. really nice and hearty meat tortellini bolognese and great fried zucchini. youll have to live past the name of the place though. affordable.

                2 Replies
                1. re: conordog
                  simetrias May 13, 2009 07:12 PM

                  Is I Trulli an option? I've always found the food to be good, atmosphere and service, too. Nice little garden out back in warmer weather.

                  1. re: conordog
                    misnatalie May 13, 2009 10:31 PM

                    Thanks so much for the suggestions, budget is not a factor.

                  2. LNG212 May 13, 2009 03:44 PM

                    I'm a vegetarian and I really like Trattoria Trecolori. I've taken a couple of different groups there -- some fish eaters, some (big time) meat eaters, some picky eaters. All have enjoyed it. For your veg friend, I've had several of their ravioli dishes (usually specials) and they are really wonderful. The downstairs is quite bustling (esp. pretheatre) but the upstairs is quieter and the tables have more spacing between them.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: LNG212
                      LNG212 May 13, 2009 03:45 PM

                      Adding a place:

                      Trattoria Trecolori
                      254 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

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