best ITALIAN in little italy?
does anybody have any recs for the best italian in NYC and good gelato? we're going to NYC for our wedding anniversary! thanks in advance!
Can you tell us why you want to eat in Little Italy? There are so many Italian restaurants elsewhere in Manhattan that are far superior, many of which would be perfect for a celebratory meal. If you are willing to consider other neighborhoods, please let us know your per person budget for food only (drinks, 9% tax & 20% tip additional).
My vote goes to Emilio's Ballato on 55 East Houston. On Houston Street, so not directly in Little Italy (in Nolita = North of Little Italy).. but I think the only good italian place in the area. More "upscale" than the restaurants in Little Italy but not fancy/expensive. Lot of celebs spotting as well. I think you will find better mozzarella/meatballs/cannoli there any of the italian restaurants on Mullberry and I personally think its one of better under-radar traditional italian places in the city. If you do go, I know its not written about on chowhound at all, so curious if you agree or disagree (one person who went there years ago did disagree..)
I think best gelato is Groms (two locations, one on bleeker about a 15 min walk from Emilios on west side of things).. but right around corner from Emilios is Ciao Bella. Perhaps get some gelato from there and then walk to one of the local bars for a quasi date/nightcap? or perhaps get a drink before hand? Barbossa is a quiet place nearby on Elizabeth street, but if you feel not romantic enough feel free to try something else or perhaps use google (bar marche may be more lively).
In Nolita, in terms of less italian-american traditional italian food (which Emilios is), Peasant is another option.
In terms of in the deep of little italy.. people seem to like Fioro's.. but this is a cigar store as wel so I think you want to eat outside.. if sitting on sidewalk in grand street isn't ideal (grand is trafficked less than mulberry, but is still busy), I'm not sure. In college many years ago one person said they liked Mela a lot. I can't vouch for it at all but I suspect Emilios will be much better.
Hope this helps.