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best pasta in nyc?

So I just got back from Bologna, and basically the pasta at every restaurant I went to was head and shoulders above anything I had ever tasted before. Where does one approach such perfection in New York? I've been to alot of acclaimed (and not so acclaimed) Italian restaurants in New York, and they have invariably disappointed - in fact I didn't even know I loved pasta until I went to Bologna... oh god, the ravioli w butter and sage, the gramigna con salsiccia, the tagliatelle con funghi, wow.

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  1. Where have you tried pasta in NYC that was disappointing?

    1. I love the pasta at Babbo. The Pasta Tasting menu is heaven.

      Don't know if you also like to cook, but with your newly found love of pasta, you might consider making your own pasta at home. It's not as daunting as it seems (I learned to master it in a 2-hour cooking class) and fresh pasta made at home tastes SO much better than "fresh" pasta from the grocery store or dried pasta.

      -----
      Babbo
      110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

      1 Reply
      1. re: edwardspk

        Another vote for Babbo. Excellent pastas.

        Carmellini is putting out some very good pastas at Locanda Verde too. A Voce also used to serve consistently good pastas.

        -----
        Babbo
        110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

        A Voce
        41 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010

        Locanda Verde
        377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

      2. Sometimes it not what you eat but where you eat it. I have a feeling you're going to be disappointed no matter where you go if you are looking to recreated the experience you had in Bologna.

        1. Make it at home with fresh pastas and sauces from Rafetto's on Houston St. Not fancy, just awesome.

          1. I'm laughing because I visited Bologna last summer and had a very similar experience with pasta and with gelato, as well. My suspicion is that unless you frequent the highest of the high-end places you won't repeat your experience, and maybe not even then. I remember dining at i Trulli last summer, post-trip, and thinking "Eh?" Having read the replies I think that homemade (if you are that committed) or from a place like DiPalo's might suffice, You'll just have to go back! (and visit Parma while you're at it!).

            1. Marea
              Scarpetta
              Sandro's
              Convivio
              Babbo

              -----
              Babbo
              110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

              Convivio
              45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

              Marea
              240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

              1. The Fusilli with red wine braised octopus and bone marrow at Marea and the Spaghetti with tomato and basil at Scarpetta are some great pastas to try out.
                Also, which restaurants were disappointing in NYC where you tried the pasta?

                1. Babbo
                  Scarpetta
                  Falai
                  Del Posto
                  Marea
                  Convivio

                  etc
                  etc
                  etc

                  -----
                  Babbo
                  110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                  Del Posto
                  85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                  Falai
                  68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

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

                  Convivio
                  45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

                  Marea
                  240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                  1. Thanks for the suggestion guys - I knew I could count on you for some suggestions. Since everyone mentioned Babbo, that's a place I will have to try out.

                    And this was not just a case of thinking things are better in Italy. I've been a number of places and usually think "the XXX in New York is just as or almost as good" - not for pasta in Bologna, it was out of this world. I'm not trying to recreate the whole Italian experience, just some of those dishes (although I realize that some, like wild mushrooms, would be very hard to recreate over here).

                    Where have I had pasta in New York? Honestly, i'm not good with names since some of it was a while back, but i've tried a number of Italian places that are highly rated by zagat - two that I remember off the top of my head were Erminia and Po, both disappointing. My wife's been to more, i'd have to ask her, but she definitely hasn't been to Babbo's so maybe we'll try that out. Thanks guys.

                    -----
                    Babbo
                    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: littleneck12

                      I think that the pasta game in NYC has really been elevated the past few years with some new restaurants (but with high prices to match), so definitely try some of those mentioned by sgordon.

                    2. Which "acclaimed" Italian restaurants in New York have you been to?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: gutsofsteel

                        The OP answered "Honestly, i'm not good with names since some of it was a while back, but i've tried a number of Italian places that are highly rated by zagat - two that I remember off the top of my head were Erminia and Po, both disappointing."

                        I think the OP will have some good places to try after this thread!

                      2. So, just to update, we made a reservation at Babbo for my wife's birthday, but tonight we were looking for something a little more casual (i.e. a little cheaper than some of these places) and tried out the pasta tasting menu at Falai ($45 pp for four courses + dessert). Everything was quite good, particularly the pici with wild boar ragu, which I felt was comparable to a gramigna con salsiccia I had in Bologna.

                        Thanks for the rec sgordon.

                        -----
                        Babbo
                        110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                        Falai
                        68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: littleneck12

                          What's on the Falai pasta tasting menu? They don't have a copy of it online. Does it change daily?

                          -----
                          Falai
                          68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

                          1. re: lnedrive14

                            Inedrive, it's four pastas + passion fruit soufle for $45 p.p. We were served the four pastas on the menu other than the gnudi. We loved the pici, liked the agnolotti and spaghetti chitarra, but weren't quite sold on the cuttlefish stracci.

                            Serving sizes seemed a little larger than half-plates, so it was a great value.

                          2. re: littleneck12

                            Glad you liked! That pici is, for my money, one of the best pastas in NYC right now, equal to (if not better than) the much-vaunted spaghetti with tomato & basil at Scarpetta. In the spring they do it with a cinnamon-scented lamb ragu that's equally wonderful.

                            Didn't know they'd added a pasta tasting - might be a little carb-heavy for me, to do a whole meal of them.

                            Re: lnedrive14 - They don't change up the menu terribly often, but it's in a constant slow flux - one or two dishes might change each month as things go out of season. Don't know about the tasting menus, though, as I usually go a la carte since the portions for the secondi are scaled down quite a bit when you get them as part of a tasting. That said, scaled down or not they're a good deal - $45-50 for four courses.

                          3. Speaking of Babbo, do you know if the pasta tasting menu can be made vegetarian? I just looked on their website and only one of the dishes looked to have meat, though I may just not understand the dishes from the names.

                            Never mind, I just saw this:
                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/361747

                            Thanks anyway!

                            -----
                            Babbo
                            110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: atjsfo

                              Besides the bolognese, Domingo's Pyramids also contain meat (I haven't tried it but check out the link below)

                              http://tamarindandthyme.wordpress.com...

                              You probably won't have a problem substituting the non-vegetarian dishes, but you should verify when you make your reservation.

                              1. re: fm1963

                                Wow, great site, thanks for the link.

                            2. Hello, this thread's a little old but is about what I'm looking for, awesome pasta, a few of them vegetarian!
                              - I've been to Babbo and loved the pastas there but I was hoping to try something new.
                              - I had gone to Scarpetta a while ago and although I don't rmbr everything that we had (we did have the much raved about spaghetti), I rmbr that it didn't wow us.
                              - Places that I'd like try at some point but are a little too expensive for this occasion are Ai Fiori, Del Posto and Marea.
                              - Two places that I'm considering are Lincoln and Ciano.
                              I would appreciate suggestions on which one should I pick. Thanks!

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: indiefoodie

                                Dont forget about Maialino. Fantastic Cacio e pepe and Carbonara.
                                Had a nice cacio e pepe in Eataly last week along with an excellent Gnocchi with lamb shank ragu
                                Marea's Spaghetti with crab and Fusilli some of the best pasta I ever had
                                We actually really loved Scarpetta's Agnolloti with rabbit, Spaghetti, and ravioli,
                                For something more casual you can also try Giovanni Rana

                                I know I'm not answering your question, but giving you some more food for thought

                                1. re: Ziggy41

                                  Thanks! So the choices now include Ciano, Lincoln, Maialino and it probably deserves another chance, Scarpetta.
                                  One of the diners is a vegetarian so are there any places that get eliminated because of that requirement?

                                  1. re: Ziggy41

                                    Speaking about cacao e pepe and bucatini amatricana, (I threw this one in), a little known newcomer in Soho, Da Marcella is making some of the best (and most reasonable) pasta in New York right now. This place is about to be discovered big time!! Fantastic food, along with hands on ownership, make Da Marcella one of the up and coming great restaurants (food wise for sure) in NYC right now!!

                                    1. re: sockster

                                      A friend of mine who owned a really good Italian restaurant in the Village, highly recommended Da Marcella. I wanted to check it out, but forgot he mentioned it. So, seeing this post reminded me to go try Da Marcella.

                                      1. re: foodwhisperer

                                        Da Marcella makes incredible pasta- at totally reasonable prices.

                                  2. re: indiefoodie

                                    I think of Ciano and Lincoln as being rather staid and an older crowd. Haven't been to Lincoln. I do like Ciano and its warm service, but its Tuscan, homey, farmhouse decor and feel need an update IMO.

                                    For pastas I prefer L'artusi and their newer sister restaurants, L'apicio. Downtown, livelier crowd and spaces. GREAT pastas

                                    1. re: thegforceny

                                      Thank you! Any favorites (just for Pasta) between dell'anima, L'Artusi and L'Apicio? Looking at the menus, L'Artusi seems to have a few more vegetarian pastas than the others.

                                      1. re: indiefoodie

                                        truth is, all 3 have excellent pastas. l'apicio has quite a few pastas options...the most of the 3 if i recall. theyre on the salty side but i like it. anything carbonara they do well.

                                        l'apicio is very loud though. im recall plenty of vegetarian pasta options.

                                    2. re: indiefoodie

                                      pasta at marea mediocre

                                      1. re: indiefoodie

                                        Lincoln.

                                        Cuz it's better.

                                      2. I had good pasta at Al Fiori, a small ravioli.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: foodwhisperer

                                          Al Fiori's Winter 2014 Restaurant Week Lunch Only Menu looks good! Hoping to find other good restaurants with good pasta on the RW list!

                                        2. Just last night I had pasta with sea urchin and crabmeat at Esca. I wanted more the second it was all gone. It was so delicious.

                                          1. It will seem crazy, but from someone who lives half the year in Italy, I would say that the best pasta are the hand pulled noodles (la mian) at Spicy Village on Forsythe St.

                                            1. Hearth's pasta dishes are very strong. Their ragu is amazing and a lot of chowhounders love their gnocchi.

                                              1. Maialino has superb pasta.

                                                1. Lately I'm enjoying the pastas at Mercato.
                                                  Trenette with almonds, garlic, tomato and basil
                                                  Gnocchi in beef and pork ragu
                                                  Fusilli, Cavatelli and any other daily specials