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Alternative to Bellavitae for wife's birthday?

m
mr_seabass Feb 7, 2010 03:23 PM

It's my wife's birthday later this month and I'd like to take her somewhere in the vein of Bellavitae - delicious authentic italian food in an understated setting. We've been to Bellavitae so many times that it would be really nice to try somewhere different. Anywhere downtown would work. Any thoughts?

  1. s
    stephaniec25 Feb 8, 2010 07:17 PM

    I love Bellavitae and I understand what you mean about the understated setting. Why not try Apizz? It's also very good Italian in a cozy, romantic atmosphere with a nice wood-burning oven. It is reminiscent of Bellavitae but not a carbon copy, so it would be a nice change.

    1. p
      pace Feb 8, 2010 02:50 PM

      Second I Sodi. Food at Palma is very good, but the space is teeny. IMO it's more pleasant in warm weather, when the garden is open and you have more room. Have not been to Quinto Quarto, but have heard mixed reviews about both food and service.

      1. jeffreylydon Feb 8, 2010 06:51 AM

        You might consider Quinto Quarto a few blocks away.

        1. ttoommyy Feb 8, 2010 05:51 AM

          One of the chefs from Bellavitae opened his own restaurant, Palma, on Cornelia Street. We haven't been, but I assume it has food similar to Bellavitae.

          http://www.palmanyc.com/home.html

          2 Replies
          1. re: ttoommyy
            m
            mr_seabass Sep 7, 2010 05:55 AM

            Eventually, our Bellavitae dinners were put to an end - it recently closed down. So with a teary eye we tried Palma for our wedding anniversary last week. I'm happy to report that the meal was a huge success. Palma is very similar to Bellavitae in its understated and relaxed setting, the staff are wonderful, and the food (which we shared) is superb. Here's what we had: The caprese and beet salads were very good. The Malfatti (a dumpling of spinach and buffalo ricotta cheese) was absolutely delicious, and the tagliata di manzo may even have been the best I have had. The pannacotta and cheese cake were also memorable. So it looks like we have a new favorite. Nonetheless, we'll miss Bellavitae.

            1. re: mr_seabass
              ttoommyy Sep 7, 2010 09:11 AM

              Thanks for the report. We've yet to try Palma, so your good words make me want to go. Sad to see that Bellavitae closed...I had not idea.

          2. r
            rrems Feb 7, 2010 06:42 PM

            I haven't been to Bellavitae, but I just took a look at the menu and based on that I think you would like Pepolino.

            1. d
              DavyTheFatBoy Feb 7, 2010 06:15 PM

              We like Bellavitae a lot. We also like I Sodi on Christopher Street.

              1. r
                RGR Feb 7, 2010 03:33 PM

                We've never been to Bellavitae. When you say "authentic" Italian, what exactly does that mean? In any case, how about Scarpetta? Authentic or not, the food is seriously delicious, service is excellent, and the setting is very pleasant.

                Photos from our first dinner at Scarpetta, including shots of the interior here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157622038539682/

                Another set from our second dinner here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                4 Replies
                1. re: RGR
                  i
                  intrepid Feb 8, 2010 01:13 AM

                  bellavitae and scarpetta yes both have good food, but are totalally different, b-is understated, s- is overstated

                  1. re: intrepid
                    r
                    RGR Feb 8, 2010 06:31 AM

                    What exactly do you think is overstated about the ambiance at Scarpetta?

                    1. re: RGR
                      i
                      intrepid Feb 8, 2010 10:09 AM

                      the noise, the people, the surrounding hood etc

                      1. re: intrepid
                        r
                        RGR Feb 8, 2010 10:20 AM

                        One of my major restaurant peeves is high noise levels, and I have never found Scarpetta to be exceptionally noisy. I'm not sure what you mean by "the people." From our two experiences there, the restaurant attracts a very mixed crowd. And unless you are eating at one of the al fresco tables (something I would never do since I don't like dining on the sidewalk), I don't see how the surrounding neighborhood is an issue.

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