I have to go to Little Italy, I know I know
I know it sucks and that its purely for toursists and that I should really go to Arthur Avenue, etc etc...But I have to go and I have to make the plans...Can somebody please recommend a fun lively place with good food, where my clients will be feel that the at least approximated the real expierence....Please...
It's been a number of years but when I was living in NYC and had friends/family/clients who wanted that "authentic" Little "It-lee" experience, I always steered them towards Luna.
Would the real experience be bad food, nasty waiters and lots of noise?
Lombardi's is a pizzeria, so maybe not what you're looking for?
Il Cortile is upscale and relatively classy, so maybe not what you're looking for?
Umberto's does have good mob pedigree.
What about the Benito's restaurants? I haven't been in years, but I remember them being bearable.
I actually really enjoy Angelo's of Mulberry Street everytime I go. I've been going there for a long time and while it gets a reputation as a tourist trap (like all of Little Italy), the food is very good. I especially enjoy the eggplant caponata, minestrone soup, and gnocchi. It's a bit tacky but a nice, old school place with quality food.
Would I pick that over something like Scarpetta or Babbo? Probably not, unless I really wanted some serious red-sauce Italian which is what it is.