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Great Italian restaurant similar to Crispo in food, atmosphere, price??

Hey all,

Taking the parents to the city in a few weeks and was looking for some great Italian in the style of Crispo. We went there last year and they loved it. My mother is more of a "safe order" and particularly loves pasta dishes, while my father and I are most adventurous eaters and will try almost anything. Therefore, any pastas that include duck, lamb, tripe, etc she will not eat. She loves pizza, pasta, chicken, shrimp, and will occasionally delve into fish that she does not deem "too" foreign. Crispo had a very large and extensive menu with lots of specials so it was great since it had a nice variation for all of us to choose from.

To give you an idea of what I am looking for I am considering Lupa, Otto, Giorgio's of Gramercy, Max (may be a bit too casual, want to try something a little better), and Maialino (obviously the most high end and priciest). After looking at the menus I think these would be pretty good. Although, for batali restaurants I must say Lupa and Otto have some really basic pasta dishes. And the same goes for Maialino on the pasta front. For entrees, it seems like a lot of them may be outside of my mother's comfort realm with the exception of the chicken. So she would probably have to choose from either a pasta or the chicken. Do they serve the eggplant in the trattoria? Anyway, my father and I would go for the main even - Suckling pig.

Basically, just want a really great meal, nice atmosphere, great experience. In the medium price range preferably. Any other recommendations??

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          1. re: daffyduck

            Most of those are way more expensive than Crispo.

          2. I've also heard great things about Locanda Verde and Al Di La

            1. Really good parent Italian place = Sfoglia on Upper East Side. I'm not one to go out of my way to go that far north, but i thought their pasta dishes were fantastic. The rest of the menu (with the exception of the bread which was amazing), not on the same level as the pasta...My mom loves it and talks about it in the same breath as some of her other favs, standard mom joints like Crispo and Five Points.

              www.immaculateinfatuation.com