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Italian NYC with teens

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Dear Hunds~
My sister and family will be staying upper 70's near Riverside Drive in March. My niece turns 18 and wants a "classic Italian" dinner for her fete. Lupa seems too "out there" according to my sister for them and I have recommended Frank Spuntino on Clinton Street. (They are subway savvy). Any other ideas?? I looked at Appizz which might also be a possibility.
Thanks in advance from a SF Bay Area NYC fan!

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  1. Frank (on Second Avenue -- not to be confused with Frankie's Spuntino) has very classic Italian-American food, and is a kind of divey but hip/young atmosphere. Same with Malatesta in the West Village. Both are cash-only.

    Other places I'd recommend:

    Piccolo Angolo. Different atmosphere than Frank or Malatesta, but really basic but yummy. And the family that runs it is just lovely -- we always get great service there. Be sure to make a reservation well in advance though -- they get booked up!

    Il Bagatto

    1. How about Il Vagabando on the UES? I always loved it when I was a kid.

      1 Reply
      1. re: southernitalian

        I too have teens. They love to go to Bello's on 56th and 9th. The price is moderate and the service and decor is fine. The menu shold satisfy all attending.

      2. I think Apizz is a great idea. It's not the typical red sauce Italian spot, but it's familiar food. Although, I think the pasta meals at Lupa are very familiar as well, so I could be off base.

        I also agree with Piccolo Angolo, above though I haven't been there in a while.

        1. How about Crispo? I've always had great meals there and some of the dishes are a bit creative while others are classics. Should be something for everyone.

          1. you're crazy not to go to Lupa. super good super cool village experience. the "out their" stuff is only an option. most of the menu is Romano traditionalle. and they have an amazingingly reasonable incredible wine list. and you will certainly need some wine, no?

            2 Replies
            1. re: cleevus

              I wondered about this too. Lupa is a fairly straightforward restaurant that I think offers the best value of any that we've discussed. And yes, that is an AMAZING wine list!

              1. re: cleevus

                If the 18-year-old niece in question has requested "classic Italian," I suspect she is talking about Italian-American. That said, I see why someone might classify Lupa as "out there." Don't get me wrong, I love Lupa (gee, that could be a TV show lol), but if someone is expecting veal parm, spaghetti and meatballs, fired calamari, and the like, then Lupa may not fit the bill.

              2. I don't think you'd find Lupa particularly "out there", it's classic Roman cooking modernized, not reinvented. But, other thoughts, Accademia del Vino, I love the one at 3rd Ave & 64th, I understand they have a new one on the UWS which I haven't been to, it wasn't open last visit to the city.

                1. Lupa can be a joke, their sides are miniscule and their waitstaff pretentious. The kitchen is also very inflexible. The pastas are good and their wine list is very fair, but there are a lot more comfortable Italian restaurants in NY that make you feel that they are doing you a favor serving you.

                  1. frankies and apizz are good options. never been to lupa and not a fan of crispo. palma on cornelia is yummy.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mch

                      Remember please~this is not for me. If I were going for Italian in NYC, I'd return to Del'Anima which we loved on our last visit. I think Apizz,Frankies,Frank and/or Frank Spuntino are the best options from what I can tell. I did look at Piccolo Angelo and it doesn't seem like a bday kind of place.

                      And..I am among those who was immensely underwhelmed by Babbo. Friends adore Lupa but it doesn't hold the draw for me having been to Babbo.

                    2. Serafina has a high teen population with some decent food. Try Sette Mezzo for good Italian food but the crowd may be a bit stuffy and the place is cash only. I recommend the Cipriani Downtown for good food accompanied with a good ambiance but the tabs are a bit high depending on your price range.