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Need help narrowing down my italian restaurant choices - Po, Peasant, Barbone or Apizz or other recs

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We will be seeing an early show in the West Village and looking for a great Italian restaurant, nice ambiance in either the East or West village or other downtown locations. These are four choices that I have found - want to know how the hounds feel about these choices or other recommendations would be appreciated as well!!

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Apizz
217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

Barbone
186 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

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  1. I've had great meals in the past year or so at both Peasant and Po, so if I had to choose one of the two, I'd go with Peasant for ambiance (others might disagree, but purely on food, I'd give it to Po). Peasant is both sexy and cozy, with a roaring woodfire oven visible in the back (granted, that's less appealing when its 80 degrees out like today). However, I recently had an even better meal at Il Buco, which has a fabulous ambiance to boot -- it tastes and looks like you are in a farmhouse in Italy. If I had to choose one of the three, definitely Il Buco.

    I'm assuming you're leaving out Lupa and Babbo because reservations are out of reach? If you have a while to plan, you might consider those as well -- they'll be closer to your theater. Babbo has wonderful food, but does get loud (if that's not the ambiance you want).

    I'm sure someone will also suggest Scarpetta -- I haven't been so can't judge, but it's supposed to be excellent.

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    Lupa
    170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

    Babbo
    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

    Il Buco
    47 Bond St., New York, NY 10012

    Scarpetta
    355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

    5 Replies
    1. re: _emilie_

      Here's your reco for Scarpetta! Definitely would be top of my list for W. Village when I haven't planned for enough in advance for Babbo.

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      Babbo
      110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

      Scarpetta
      355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

      1. re: _emilie_

        Scarpetta has fantastic food, service, and atmosphere (love the giant mirrors and the skylight) but it's more chic than romantic, cozy, etc.

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        Scarpetta
        355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

        1. re: _emilie_

          Thanks emilie - if we eat at Peasant or Po do you know of a good place for dessert nearby - we want to make a full night of this - magic show - dinner than dessert at another spot.

          1. re: mboxermd

            Po is not far from Grom (good gelateria), and if that doesn't suit, there are some old school Italian dessert places on Bleecker nearby (but I don't know if those are any good though). There was a Beard Papa right around there but I believe it closed. Can't think of anything particularly desserty (and good) near Peasant. There's Ciao Bella gelateria nearby on Mott, but I don't think its quite as good as Grom. There is also a newish bakery called Oro that looks like it could be good on Broome Street, but I haven't been. If you are willing to go further east, I like Sugar Sweet Sunshine for homey baked goodies. You could also trek up into the East Village and go to Chickalicious for a full dessert experience, but it gets packed so there might be a wait once you get there.

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            Sugar Sweet Sunshine
            126 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

            Broome Street Bar
            363 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013

            Grom
            233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

            Beard Papa's
            2167 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

          2. re: _emilie_

            We just ate at Hearth (in the East Village) and loved it, including the dessert (which was on the pf). It's truly exceptional.