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Dec 8, 2009 06:21 PM

Convivio vs. Alto

Coming to Manhattan was looking to have dinner at a nice italian restaurant. Trying to keep it around 80 dollars per person for food only. I was looking at Convivio, which has a 4 course pre fixe at around 57 dollars, and Alto, which has a 4 course pre fixe for around 84 dollars. Ambiance is not as important as food so is Alto worth paying close to 30 dollars more. If their are any other suggestions I will also take those but I am coming in less than two weeks so reservations may be tought to get. Thanks

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  1. Actually, they are pretty easy to reserve on short notice. I like Convivio so much that I have only been to Alto once, as I can't see spending so much more, and I prefer the Southern Italian emphasis at Convivio.

    4 Replies
    1. re: rrems

      I actually already have reservations at both so that is not an issue. I was noting the time constraint in case someone was going to recomend a place like babbo.

      1. re: dagrassroots

        We had dinner at Alto last week. We did not do the prix fixe; instead, we shared a starter and a pasta, then each had a main and a dessert. Although we didn't do it necessarily to save money, it did turn out to be about $40 less than it would have been if we had both done the prix fixe. And we certainly did not go away hungry.

        The food was excellent. As has been mentioned, it is a different style and more refined;than at Convivio which, btw, we also like.

        You can see photos of our meal at Alto here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

      2. re: rrems

        I agree with Rrems. BTW: The prix fixe at Convivio is now $62. Two of us had a wonderful, light a la carte meal last Saturday for $110 including tax (with only one wine by the glass, but with one app, and two (large) pasta courses plus dessert and espresso) The octopus appetizer is just out of this world. Talk about an explosion of flavors!

        1. re: erica

          I had one of the best meals in NYC at Convivio just last month. the prix fixe, which was only $59, was a superb deal. The gnochetti with uni and crab as well as the chicken liver crostini are some of my new favorite restaurant dishes. Never been to Alto, but you certainly can't go wrong with Convivio.

      3. Alto is definitely more refined. I would say the food is on a higher level.

        1. Hahahaha. I was also deciding between the two and saw your entry from 'the Google' haha. Then I read the Brunz (Frank Bruni). Check it out my friend, because it kinda decided for me. Going on the 10th; if it sucks major ass, then I may keep you posted that night.

          People around here BTW, may frown (or throw monkey feces) upon mention of this NYT food critic's name, but hey, the guy knows more than most. And he ain't skinny hahaha

          1. I just had lunch at Alto and it was delicious. The portions were more than enough and I enjoyed every bit of it. Atmosphere was nice and service was good. Though, I just can't get over Convivio. I still like it better. Convivio is a bit more casual feeling. And I would go back for the food any time. In the end, I think I would pick Convivio.

            1. I like both, but Alto is a more upscale experience than Convivio. I would pick based on what you like more -- pasta or main courses. I enjoyed the pastas more at Convivio but enjoyed the mains more at Alto. I felt that the mains at Convivio were overshadowed by their fabulous pastas.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Miss Needle

                That's a good point. At Convivio I actually substituted a second pasta for my entree in the prix fixe.