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Looking for "neighborhoody" old-fashioned Italian restaurant

TheLatestDish Jan 7, 2010 08:46 AM

We will be in Manhattan on Sunday, February 14. Would love to eat at a great old-fashioned inexpensive Italian Restaurant. We are staying at 6 Columbus Circle Hotel. BYOB would also be okay. Any recommendations?

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  1. LeahBaila RE: TheLatestDish Jan 7, 2010 09:00 AM

    While I'm not quite sure what you mean by "old fashioned" (in what terms?), I will throw out Tanti Baci Cafe in the West Village. Homemade pastas, out-of-this-world meatballs, small/intimate space that feels hidden from the bustling street above. Check it out: http://www.tantibacicaffe.com/tbcnyc....


    Tanti Baci Cafe
    163 W 10th St Bsmt A, New York, NY 10014

    1 Reply
    1. re: LeahBaila
      TheLatestDish RE: LeahBaila Jan 7, 2010 09:26 AM

      When I say "old fashioned" I mean that I wanted to find a little quaint neighborhoody place, with great inexpensive traditional Italian food like your grandmother used to make. Thanks for the recco. Any other suggestions?

    2. ellenost RE: TheLatestDish Jan 7, 2010 09:04 AM

      If you're willing to go to First Ave. & East 22nd Street, there's a great old fashioned inexpensive Italian restaurant named Frank's Trattoria. The front is a pizza place, but behind the pizza is a traditional Italian restaurant. Food is delicious. Loved the baked clams and fried calamari. Chicken parm is excellent too. Wonderful tiramisu. This is definitely not a "hip" or "happening" place.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ellenost
        smokeandapancake RE: ellenost Jan 7, 2010 09:27 AM

        I would say il vagabondo, of course..simple fare..just what grandma used to cook. bocce ball court...the nicest and most accomodating waiters EVER......oh and i agree with franks...i also love their meatball pizza

        1. re: smokeandapancake
          TheLatestDish RE: smokeandapancake Jan 8, 2010 09:02 AM

          We are going to try Il Vagabondo. Thanks so much for the recco!!!

      2. Motosport RE: TheLatestDish Jan 7, 2010 09:58 AM

        Sam's on 39th just East of Lexington sounds like what you are looking for.

        1. NAtiveNewYorker RE: TheLatestDish Jan 7, 2010 10:01 AM

          Malatesta Trattoria on Washington Street

          1. prunefeet RE: TheLatestDish Jan 7, 2010 10:18 AM

            Rocco's on Thompson St just above Houston. been going there for over 30 years.

            1 Reply
            1. re: prunefeet
              pace RE: prunefeet Jan 7, 2010 03:32 PM

              Haven't been there so don't know if it's good, but Villa Mosconi has been around forever.

            2. g
              gutsofsteel RE: TheLatestDish Jan 7, 2010 03:34 PM

              Wherever you go, just make sure they're not doing some special Valentine's Day thing. That usually means an overpriced lesser quality version of the restaurant.

              1 Reply
              1. re: gutsofsteel
                Bob Martinez RE: gutsofsteel Jan 8, 2010 09:11 AM

                I strongly second that. When a restaurant says "we have a special menu tonight" they mean "we're going to limit your choices and make you pay through the nose."

              2. shaogo RE: TheLatestDish Jan 7, 2010 04:03 PM

                Go south on Ninth Avenue to the southeast corner of 9th and 56th Street, to Ralph's.

                While it's certainly not Italian haute cuisine, the food is not bad at all and comes in generous portions for very, very little $$.

                The atmosphere reeks of "neighborhood New York" if that's what you're into. The restaurant's been there as long as I can remember.

                862 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                2 Replies
                1. re: shaogo
                  coasts RE: shaogo Jan 7, 2010 04:56 PM

                  Really? i never gave this place a second look despite passing it twice a day for three years.

                  1. re: coasts
                    jptcu RE: coasts Jan 8, 2010 09:17 AM

                    It's not very good.

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