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Jun 8, 2010 02:39 PM

Looking for a classic Italian restaurant

I'll be visiting NYC this weekend and I'm looking to make a reservation for 3 of us with various food allergies/restriction so I'm opting for an Italian restaurant, but feeling a little overwhelmed with all the choices. I'm looking for something somewhat reasonably priced with good, classic Italian food and we're big fans of good antipasto plates. I'll be staying near grand central station but willing to travel. Since it'll be a Friday night I'll need somewhere that takes reservations. Thanks!

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  1. I am not from NYC but I visit there often. I asked this question a few days ago. Here's a few places recommended to me that I like but I have not been there. Mario Batalli owns Esca and Otto I think.

    Otto @ 1 5th Ave., New York, NY 212 - 995 - 9559.
    ESCA @ 402 West 43rd St., New York, NY 212 - 564 - 7272.
    Inoteca @ 323 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 212 - 683 - 3035.

    I don't know about raw fish. We have bream, bass, trout and tuna here but we cook it.

    402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

    1 Reply
    1. re: Littleman

      None of these are "classic" Italian restaurants.

    2. it would be helpful to know the specific dietary restrictions...there are some Italian places in the city that can accommodate gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy if that's an issue.

      2 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Good call. I have anaphylactic reactions to peanuts and all legumes (so any kind of bean) and my friend is keeps kosher so he always eats vegetarian (but sharing of pans and dishes and such is okay). My boyfriend has no restricitons. Italian should be able to accomodate all of these, but if you have other favourite restaurants that would too let me know!

        1. re: lara.k.park

          If by "classic" Italian you mean "red sauce," I don't think any of the three restaurants suggested above fit that description.

          Esca is fish/seafood oriented. I'm not a fan.

          'inoteca offers a small plates menu. We've had some good antipasti there. When it's busy, the noise level is deafening!

          'inoteca photos, including antipasti:

          (We've not been to Otto.


          Instead of Italian, perhaps, Indian? The food at Tabla is excellent and would be able to meet all your restrictions. If you go, ask to be seated upstairs.

          Tabla photos:

      2. These are not near grand central but Patsy's and Celeste are great. Patsy's is more known for its pizza than other Italian food. I know for a fact that their cheese does not have rennet. Patsy's is on Columbus and 74th street. Celeste is my favorite place to go to. They have all types of Italian food. The owner travels to Italy once a month and gets new ideas for his restaurant. I love their pizza and their Gnocchi. Their gelato is also amazing. They are on Amsterdam between 84th and 85th street. Just note that they open up at 5 and are filled up by 6.

        1 Reply