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Affordable Rustic Italian near Greenwich Village

I am looking for an affordable rustic Italian charming restaurant in Greenwich Village or surrounding areas, obviously serving great food.

To give you an idea of price range- somewhere between Otto Pizzeria and Il Buco - hopefully somebody knows of a little gem where a party of 4 could conceivably eat and drink for under $300 total.

Multiple suggestions welcome!

I promise to post reviews post-chow.

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

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  1. Just about on the rustic side, but will fit your budget - Malatesta.

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    Malatesta
    649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

    4 Replies
    1. re: RCC

      strong second rec for malatesta -- i love this place. look for good pasta specials and the gnocchi are always delicious. it's not fancy, but authentic and relaxed. note that it's cash only, and depending on what night you're planning to go you should think about making a reservation (it's packed on friday and saturday nights, and pleasantly abuzz most other nights of the week).

      1. re: ellabella

        I'm sure I'm in the minority here, and I have only been to Malatesta once, but I was unimpressed. I thought the food, including the pasta and gnocchi, were nothing to write home about. And the service was kind of weird -- after we had been there perhaps an hour and a half (with a reservation) the waiter asked if we could clear out because others were waiting to be seated. It's the kind of cute Village place I wanted to love but the food and service made it just meh.

        1. re: City Kid

          You've got at least one other person who feels the same way. Weird service, very mediocre food. The gnocchi were decently done, but the sauce tasted like it could have come out a jar. No spice to the arrabiatta sauce. There was a pasta special with zucchini, prosciutto, and black olives that sounded good. However, when I asked about the olives, the waiter said he thought they came out of a can.

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          Malatesta
          649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

      2. re: RCC

        I third Malatesta. I've enjoyed the pastas there. One note of caution ... the one time we ordered a bottle of white wine during the summer months, the waiter brought it out and opened and while he showed the label to us (yes, it was what we ordered) he never gave any indication that it wasn't cold! I mean seriously, the waiter should have said "oh we don't have that bottle chilled yet" or some such thing. Instead he opened it and after he poured and we commented, he said "oh we'll just put it in an ice bucket". It did *not* do the trick. We made our displeasure known, they did nothing. We didn't go further with it because we were enjoying ourselves (though that waiter got a much lower tip than he otherwise would have).

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        Malatesta
        649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

      3. Morandi - not exactly little but quite good

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        Morandi
        211 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10014

        1. Wow thanks guys! Will definately check them out. Any thoughts on Enoteca Barbone or Crispo? Sort of look alright on website but hard to tell.

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          Crispo
          240 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

          3 Replies
          1. re: casiesse

            I would choose Barbone over Crispo; however, Barbone is deep into East Village so not sure if it satisfies your location requirements? Barbone IMHO has both better food (Crispo's flavors just seemed a bit flat) and also better atmosphere-this time of year there is a nice courtyard out back with tables.

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            Crispo
            240 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

            1. re: orthorunner

              Crispo is not rustic Italian, in my book; more nearly, it's heavily Italian-influenced urban American food, with some French influences, too. I like Crispo, though. I don't think I've been to Barbone, though, so I can't compare the two.

            2. re: casiesse

              Barbone is pretty cramped with irresponsible service. Food is good, but lean away from the entree side of the menu if you're going to brave it.

            3. Pepolino on W Broadway south of Canal

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              Pepolino
              281 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013

              1 Reply
              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                I second this. It happened to be across the street from our hotel and we wanted something simple and close. The fettucine al coniglio was to die for.

              2. I love Bianca in NoHo

                1. po on cornelia street

                  1. Lupa is another option.

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                    Lupa
                    170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: MMRuth

                      I like Lupa a lot, but I'm not sure it's rustic, either. It's hard to import the feel of a rustic trattoria to the busy streets of Manhattan. Though perhaps I'm being too literal-minded about that word.

                    2. Robert Sietsema recommends I Sodi.

                      Here is his review: http://www.villagevoice.com/2010-08-1...

                      Can anyone second this place?

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                      I Sodi
                      105 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: NewYorkNewHaven

                        Yes, I Sodi is one of our most consistent and dependable simple but delicious Italian food destinations.

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                        I Sodi
                        105 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014

                        1. re: DavyTheFatBoy

                          We really liked I Sodi and also like Il Buco, which is a bit out of the Village, but close.

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

                          I Sodi
                          105 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014

                        2. re: NewYorkNewHaven

                          I Sodi is a good recommendation. It is maybe a little bit worse than Malatesta for pasta, but a lot better for main courses and service.

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                          Malatesta
                          649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

                          I Sodi
                          105 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014

                        3. How about Malatesta's sister establishment, Piadina?

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                          Malatesta
                          649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

                          1. I know it's SoHo, but I really enjoy Aurora.

                            1. In addition to some of the recommendations already provided, I like Gradisca.

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                              Gradisca
                              126 W 13th St, New York, NY 10011

                              1. Maybe Piccolo Angolo would be a good choice? I definitely prefer the food to Malatesta, though it is more expensive, and has a different sort of ambience.

                                -----
                                Malatesta
                                649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

                                Piccolo Angolo
                                621 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

                                1. A note on Malatesta. I think it's a sweet spot to dine. We sat out on the sidewalk last October. I had the much touted gnocchi with gorganzola sauce and we split the lamb chops. It's definitely affordable but I think the food was good not great.

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                                  Malatesta
                                  649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

                                  1. A little late, and certainly not an authority on neighborhood Italian joints in NYC. With that said, we ate at Trattoria Pesce Pasta on Bleeker a couple of months ago.
                                    Affordable
                                    Rustic
                                    Italian
                                    We really liked this place, their range of menu items, ambiance, and service. Meal was good too.

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                                    Trattoria Pesce Pasta
                                    1562 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10128

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: porker

                                      Trattoria Pesce Pasta (the one on the UES) is my wife's and her friend's favorite go to italian.

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                                      Trattoria Pesce Pasta
                                      262 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                                    2. Where did you end up going?

                                      It occurs to me that the place I've been to in Manhattan that has felt most like a rural - or at least neighborhood - trattoria in Italy is Cacio e Vino, in the East Village. Note that I didn't say it was my favorite Italian restaurant (that would be Babbo, so far, with the Italian-influenced Scarpetta and Hearth in second and third place, but keep in mind that I haven't been to most of the upscale Italian favorites in Manhattan) or that it's my favorite standby when I want something thoroughly enjoyable that I can afford now and then (which would be Lupa), but it is a place that feels thoroughly Italian, from the welcome to the Italian-speaking staff who love and all knowledgeably recommend wine to the wood-fired pizza and schiacciata, etc., etc. I like the place very much when I'm in the mood, and I'm glad it's in my neighborhood.

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                                      Cacio e Vino
                                      80 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: Pan

                                        Pan, have you been to Po or Peasant?

                                        1. re: kathryn

                                          No, I haven't. Peasant's menu looks pretty expensive. Tell me about Po. What do you particularly like there?

                                          1. re: Pan

                                            Here's my meal at Po:
                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/730741

                                            I forgot to note that I actually took home half of my pasta for the next day and it was just as good heated up. Overall, I found the portions to be on the generous site.

                                            As for Peasant, you can order a number of things to share and I didn't find it that expensive overall. I think it was about $40 per person with a bunch of appetizers, pastas, and dessert. Perhaps it's cheaper if you don't get any of the meat dishes or wine.

                                            1. re: kathryn

                                              Thanks for the link to the Po report.

                                              When I go to Lupa, I normally share a couple of appetizers, then two pastas, and either one or two secondi, and one dessert - and one or two caraffini of wine. It costs about $125-130/2 people, including tax and a nice tip. I do that only about 3-4 times a year, and at least one of those times, I pay for only my meal. I think that kind of meal would cost quite a bit more at Peasant, would it not?

                                            2. re: Pan

                                              po made the best carbonara i've had in NYC