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Dec 6, 2009 09:22 PM

Family Style Italian

Just saw Throwdown with Bobby Flay and the episode was about Rao's. It got me craving a family style Italian restaurant now. Seeing all the posts on how impossible it is to get into Rao's, what are the good family style Italian restos in the city or out? I've been to Carmine's and Tony Di Napoli's, I know they're touristy but I liked them. What else is out there?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I like Tony's too. It's unfair to compare it to Babbo or Scarpetta -- it's not trying to be that. But it's good at what it does, which is family style Italian (really , Italian-American, what many call "red sauce").

    I also like Serafina. It's not family style, but some of its menu is closer to authentic Italian than Tony's. And it does offer many italian comfort food items like pizza.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ml77

      the tony's on the UES seems a bit better than the times square one

      1. re: ml77

        I've been to Babbo and plan to go to Scarpetta soon as well. I never was going to compare Tony's to those type of restaurants. I mean, they're both Italian but it's still like comparing apples to oranges.

        I may try Sambuca I guess. Any suggestions off island?

        1. re: ml77

          Without comparing apples and oranges, I'd still say that Tony D & Carmines dont do more than a mediocre job with this "red sauce" family style eyetalian. Since the OP also posted on the Outer Boroughs board, I recommended Queen (Bklyn) and Park Side (Queens). Someone else recommended Dominick's (Bronx -- Arthur Ave). All are much better. In Manhattan, Piccolo Angelo on Hudson is not strictly "family style" but is large sharable portions of much better red sauce food than Tony D or Carmine. MUCH better. And a great owner too (Renato).

        2. Has anyone tried Sambuca on W 72? Family style Italian- I have been thinking about going with a large group.

          2 Replies
            1. re: rkaene

              I haven't been in a while (maybe 3 years?) but the few times I've been to Sambuca I thought it was perfectly fine . Definitely better than Carmine's, and probably better than Tony's. Dean's is a good recommendation too, although it's always struck me as a bit more of a place to go with a bunch of kids.