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Dinner ideas for best chinese/Italian in Chinatown/Little Italy - bringing 11 year old son

agulledge Feb 28, 2010 09:34 AM

I'd love some feedback for a March trip to NYC with my son - his first visit. We will show him the touristy spots of Chinatown and Little Italy so I wanted some of the better suggestions. Have heard Wo Hop and Hop Kee for chinese and Paesano's or Angelo's on Mulberry for Little Italy. Discuss....(please)

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  1. Chandavkl RE: agulledge Feb 28, 2010 10:25 AM

    Well, Little Italy has mediocre, overpriced, tourist trap food, so getting a good recommendation would be difficult. At one time, core Chinatown was similarly full of touristy places, but things have changed in the past decade or two. I suggest a place like Jing Fong on Elizabeth because it has a different kind of ambience, i.e., being in a large dining hall in Hong Kong. That's something that you can't replicate in many parts of the country. Neat escalator ride to the second floor dining room.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Chandavkl
      RCC RE: Chandavkl Feb 28, 2010 10:33 AM

      I think that the OP wanted to show their 11-year-old the touristy places in Little Italy. Hence, the need for Little Italy Italian restaurant.

      1. re: RCC
        Chandavkl RE: RCC Feb 28, 2010 10:53 AM

        Was just putting out a warning for lowered expectations in Little Italy.

        1. re: Chandavkl
          RCC RE: Chandavkl Feb 28, 2010 12:20 PM

          Well, you sure have your way of dashing out any expectation that an 11 year old kid has of New York's Little Italy neighborhood.
          What Italian restaurant/neighborhood would you take an 11 year old to?

        2. re: RCC
          agulledge RE: RCC Mar 3, 2010 03:47 PM

          Yes (assuming OP is not something I wouldn't agree to, LOL). I realize what Chandavkl says is absolutely correct and a perfectly appropo Chowhound/foodie reply. Since it's my son's first visit to NYC, I wanted him to experience the neighborhoods. At his age, he would enjoy that moreso that Lupa or Osteria del Circo, etc. although the same is clearly not true for me. So, with that in mind, yes, I'd like the best from the group of middle of the road Little Italy or Chinatown spots. Thanks so much you all! This Texas Girl is highly appreciative...

      2. Quine RE: agulledge Feb 28, 2010 12:26 PM

        I think a Dim Sum Palace would wow! Your son, all the carts, the other families, the energy. I would also say, look at a Korean BBQ place, Also another experience I am sure any 11 year old would love.

        Sorry I am not big on Italian, so no suggestions there.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Quine
          agulledge RE: Quine Mar 3, 2010 03:48 PM

          Thanks Quine. Great idea. Any recs on such a dim sum place?

          1. re: agulledge
            kathryn RE: agulledge Mar 3, 2010 03:59 PM

            Jing Fong doesn't have the best dim sum in town, but it is rather impressive visually.

            1. re: agulledge
              Quine RE: agulledge Mar 3, 2010 04:23 PM

              I am sure your son will adore dim sum. I bow to the chowhound opinions, as what I chose is more based on choices that are probably not perfect for this situation.
              I just googled the suggested Jing Fong and I do think this will give a good dim sum experience!

              If he is not yet a chopstick user, you might wanna whet his appetite for the surprise ahead by gifting him with a pair to learn on. I am sure he will be delighted!

          2. u
            uwsister RE: agulledge Feb 28, 2010 04:26 PM

            I always think of Wo Hop or Hop Kee as places you go late night after you drink with your friends -- perhaps I am biased. I agree that a dim sum place would be more fun for him, there are quite a few threads debating the best dim sum in Chinatown. If you're interested in dim sum, definitely read those threads! Tons of information. Korean BBQ would be fun too but there really isn't a good one in the area. Oh, and I always love grabbing some ice cream from Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. Stick to the "regular" flavors!

            1. CantStopEating RE: agulledge Feb 28, 2010 04:58 PM

              Little Italy is a great place to see for an 11 year old. He'll love it and remember it forever. Try Il Cortile. It's a bit pricey but I think it's the best tasting of the Little Italy restaurants.


              1 Reply
              1. re: CantStopEating
                agulledge RE: CantStopEating Mar 3, 2010 03:50 PM

                You are sweet to post. Thanks. I had heard of Angelo's (which is overpriced and just ok) and Paesano's but wasn't really satisfied those were the right spots. I'll check your rec out! Thanks again...

              2. w
                Westminstress RE: agulledge Mar 4, 2010 10:57 AM

                I actually think the Dim Sum idea sounds fun. But if you're more in the mood for Italian, just a couple of blocks from Mulberry Street is L'asso, which has pretty decent brick oven pizza, as well as pastas, salads, etc. I've only ever tried the pizza there, but I like it (better than Grimaldi's, which is also close by). I think it's probably the best Italian in the immediate area, and it's where Lou DiPalo always tells people to go.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Westminstress
                  babbabooey RE: Westminstress Mar 4, 2010 11:01 AM

                  Ferrara Bakery for dessert

                  1. re: Westminstress
                    LeahBaila RE: Westminstress Mar 4, 2010 12:32 PM

                    Agreed. Dim sum is oh-so delicious and would be really fun, but if you're in the mood for Italian, Little Italy is quite a sight to see for a youngster. Pizza/salad/pasta is a familiar route and, while I've not been, I've heard good things about L'asso.


                  2. c
                    City Kid RE: agulledge Mar 4, 2010 11:23 AM

                    Jing Fong and other dim sum places are great fun with kids and a good way to have them try many new and exotic things. There is something about the carts that fascinates them. If you do go to Chinatown, and if he likes video games, take him to the Chinatown Fair video arcade at 8 Mott St. My sons loved it, used to have a tic-tac-toe playing chicken, which you could challenge to a game and the house always won. Just don't forget the Purell!

                    1. Motosport RE: agulledge Mar 4, 2010 12:42 PM

                      Puglia's in Llitle Itally comes to mind as a fun dining experience for your son. It is family style seating. Unless things have changed it is a bit of a circus with the strolling musicians and a woman with a parrot on her shoulder working the crowd. Decent food too!

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