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inexpensive Italian downtown?

I'm looking for a great, inexpensive Italian place downtown. It would be great to find house made pasta... but that might mean it gets expensive. I'm not a huge Bianca fan, too salty and heavy. I'd love some suggestions!

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  1. Spina
    175 Avenue B, nr. E. 11th St. New York, NY 10009

    1. Thanks... I googled Spina and read some rave reviews... it looks like a great choice!

      1. East Village style... Luzzo's, Max and Frank are my three favorites


        1. How about Little Frankies? Really good food, about the same price point as Bianca.

          1. I'd recommend Supper (2nd St. and Av. A), Cacio e Vino (2nd Av. between 4th and 5th), and Frankie's Spuntino (Clinton St. just south of Houston). Frank is also good but I think a bit more expensive. I've liked Li'l Frankie's in the past; I haven't been there recently but tend to get a salad and pizza, and I've previously found their salads excellent and their pizzas good. I'd rate Cacio e Vino higher, because I like their pizze and schiaccati better and find their menu more interesting. Never heard of Spina; I'll have to try them, and thanks for the recommendation, Rmis32. Any favorite dishes there?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Pan

              Thanks everyone! I think it's between Spina and Cacio e Vino.

              1. re: Pan

                Spina was recommended by a friend. I'm going tom'w night, so I'll report back.

                1. re: hellomarisa

                  The primary impression I felt was the high degree of freshness quality in the ingredients. I started with basil bruschetta , topped with a light, subtly flavored ricotta. Simple, tasty and, like all the dishes I tried, presented in an understated, elegant fashion. Next course was a beef carpaccio topped with chanterelle mushrooms, arugula and shaved parmigiano. The slightly salty carpaccio was offset by the delicate mushrooms and along with the other ingredients. provided a delightful palette of flavors that complemented each other nicely.

                  We then moved on to 2 of the much anticipated fresh pasta dishes. Farfalle w/ chanterelle mushrooms, speck and cream was my favorite dish of the evening. It was rich and creamy, yet light. If that was the only dish I hate that night, I'd have walked away happy. The last pasta dish. Gnocchi roasted eggplant, tomato and scamorza ( a mozzarella-like cheese), was also quite good. The pasta dishes don't bowl you over, but befriend you more more with each bite.

                  The prices are reasonable, with the pasta dishes running from the teens to low 20's. We stretched out the meal to over 3 hours and indulged ourselves with 4 courses, but one need not order that much to enjoy a complete meal. We couldn't even think of desert. The selection of wines were varied and the chef/owner / sommelier is knowledgeable about the wines.

                  1. re: Rmis32

                    Spina is my new favorite italian place. I was there just again last night. I love the people who work there. Rob and Salvatore are just utterly fantastic! Warm and friendly and super knowledgeable.

                    I had the orrechiette last night in rabbit ragu. another hit! I just love their red pastas. The last time we went i got the bolognese and my friend got the gnocchi. both delicious. now i want to go back and try the farfalle!


                    1. re: Rmis32

                      pasta dishes from the teens to low 20s? you could have had amazing pasta at convivio for that price.

                      i just saw this thread now. i wouldve recommended da andrea on 13th. the chef is from bologna...everything is delicious and homemade. pastas are priced from $10-14 tops.

                      1. re: sam1

                        Yeah, 20s for pasta is quite expensive in my book. At the places where I eat, such as Lupa, I expect primi in the teens (preferably clustering around the low to mid teens) and secondi in the 20s (even better: starting in the high teens). If I'm paying low 20s for pasta, it really SHOULD bowl me over.

                        1. re: Pan

                          Actually most of the pastas are in the mid teens. 15-19. there's only like one or two that are over 20 and those are with seafood

                    1. Gusto on Greenwich Avenue good gutsy Neapolitan cooking