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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.
          JeremyEG

          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!
              JeremyEG

              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.