If you had to pick ONE Italian restaurant...
Want to do an "Italian" day on the 31st. Going to Nick's pizza in Forest Hills for lunch (we'll be out that way...is there any parking around there?), need a rec for dinner. We are probably looking at a late night seating, so reservations shouldn't be an issue. Open to neighbourhood joints, or more upscale as long as its not stuffy, quality of food (esp pastas) is paramount. Have a res@Marea, but open to Convivio, Scarpetta, Apizz or just about anything else as long as its memorable. Resonable wine list is a plus so what would you choose?
I have not been to Marea, but many people do seem to enjoy it -- plus, I feel like I've read in several different places that it's been listed as one of the best newcomers of the year, for whatever that is worth.
I have been to all three of the other spots - Apizz, Convivio, and Scarpetta - and you cannot go wrong with any of them. That being said, I believe my ranking would 1) Scarpetta, 2) Convivio, and 3) Apizz.
This is not a slight on any of these places, as you will be happy with any of them. Apizz feels more intimate, and I really like the room there -- it's a good date spot (not formal, though). Both Scarpetta and Convivio are nicer in terms of elegance, and they both have really great pasta too.
Again, you cannot go wrong, but my rankings are as listed.
I was thinking Apizz even before I got to the end of your question. Assuming that you are having pizza for lunch, I would lean toward a more protein oriented diner? Apizz does meat real good. But, I think I would go to Lupa!
For pasta, there's no way to beat the pasta tasting menu at Babbo. Having said that, I'd have to agree with Scarpetta, Convivio and Apizz in that order.