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Good storefront restaurant in Greenwich Village

I have planned my trip to NYC for months. Made reservations. Piccolo Angolo on Friday night. Now I read reviews and find out proprietor is rude and many experiences there are unpleasant. I do not want to waste one of only three dinners on rude. Any suggestions, only two days away, for good neighborhood restaurants?

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  1. Perhaps, La Ripaille? We've not eaten there, but we have passed by, and it looks lovely. It's on my "go to" list because of the positive reports I've read.

    http://www.laripaille.com

    1. Spotted Pig, Malatesta Trattoria, August, Wallse
      (navigate addresses and menus via menupages.com)

      www.thelunchbelle.com

      3 Replies
      1. re: LeahBaila

        I ate at August recently and was really impressed - the food beat my expectations by a mile. I'm not as big a fan of Wallse as others - Austrian just doesn't do it for me - but I suppose it is "good for what it is."

        Have you been to Spotted Pig lately? I've been hearing that they lost their magic.

        1. re: una mas

          Re: Wallse, it may be too warm outside for hearty Austrian fare, anyways.
          I was at the Spotted Pig in the winter and enjoyed by burger (though it was a bit too heavy on the blue cheese).
          What did you have at August?

          www.thelunchbelle.com

          1. re: LeahBaila

            We had the sweatbreads as an appetizer, as my friend had never tried them before. Really well executed - dangerously large portion though! I ordered a lamb steak special that was really exceptional. Pretty sure my friend had duck. I'll double check the dining journal when I get home.

            One thing I remember for sure: it was all really tasty! This place (and Wallse for that matter) should be bookable 2 days in advance, unlike some others mentioned in this thread.

            I also really like Aquagrill in the area, though I'm pretty sure that it doesn't qualify as a "storefront restaurant."

            A bunch of those restaurants on Cornelia St. may be suitable and viable; e.g. Le Gigot (neighborhoody and cozy). Just stay away from the Cornelia St. Cafe.

      2. I'm not quite sure what makes a restaurant a storefront restaurant, but there are tons of great places in Greenwich Village, as well as in the West Village which is where Piccolo is.

        I don't find the owner at Piccolo to be rude. In fact, I find everyone there to be friendly. That said, I am a little confused as to the popularity of the place. The food is typical of a decent red sauce joint. The environment is uh... "quaint." It is the type of place where the waiters all sing Happy Birthday for diners as appropriate. It certainly isn't the kind of place that merits booking three weeks in advance, as now seems to be required, and I am very confused as to the Zagat food score.

        3 Replies
        1. re: una mas

          By storefront I mean, neighborhood, good food, not splashy. Typically small space. In the 90's there used to be an outrageous place in the East Village called Casanis. It was French, friendly, food was over the top. Window front looking out at the street.

          1. re: dbylaska

            There's a place called Casinis on the LES. It is French & friendly, but I think it's only 5ish years old. The food is quite good, but not over the top.

            http://www.casanisny.com/

            1. re: dbylaska

              Based on that I reiterate my rec of Le Gigot on Cornelia.

          2. Little Owl. But I don't know what a "storefront restaurant" is, either. Small and homey?

            http://www.thelittleowlnyc.com/
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/588609

            2 Replies
            1. re: small h

              ...and practically impossible to get reservations two days in advance.

              1. re: kathryn

                I didn't realize that. I went there in December, and while it was a tough reservation then, I figured things had settled down. I see by Open Table that I was wrong.

            2. While I have never found the owner to be rude(just effusively outgoing),the food there is just OK. I would recomend Da Andrea, great ,reasonably priced Italian cuisine in a nice setting with a friendly staff. It is located on West 13th,between 5th and ^th across from the Quad movie theater. Another option would be Malatesta on Christopher St. ,near Washington St-again great Italian,etc.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JohnBoy

                I frankly don't find the food at Da Andrea to be of notably different quality than that of Picollo. Both pretty much fall into the category of "Italian food I can probably find just about anywhere" for me. Totally different environment, though. Da Andrea still has a neighborhood feel, but it is much nicer.

              2. little owl, spotted pig, extra virgin, marys fish camp, all good places. would you do east village too?

                1 Reply
                1. re: BLover33

                  Yes, actually I prefer the East Village. Thanks.

                2. IMHO it is necessary to go away from trendy neighborhoods for a good storefront restaurant. Perusing the Outer Boroughs board and a short subway may be the answer. Otherwise Cosette on less fashionable 33 St in Manhattan is a very cozy bistro. It is probably very similar to the French restaurant that you mention.