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Looking for reasonably-priced, toddler-friendly UWS Italian

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We are meeting an out-of-town, good-food-loving friend for dinner, and he has requested Italian food. The Upper West Side would be the ideal location, though West Midtown and Morningside Heights/West Harlem would be fine too. Our 14-month-old will be coming along, so it needs to be a place that is fine with a sometimes-too-loud and sometimes-Cheerio-throwing toddler in a highchair -- it will be on the early side (5pm), so that should help with this issue. My wife is a vegetarian, so at least a couple good veg entree options are needed. Reasonable prices would also be good -- nothing too fancy.

I saw the following recommendations on a previous similar thread:

Gennaro
Celeste
Bettola
Lisca
Cesca (but seems too pricey for this occasion)

Would any of the above work? Which would you most recommend? Any other ideas?

Thanks!

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  1. They'd all work except 'cesca - especially given the hour. We would frequent Celeste when we had our 1st at that hour. Food is great and very reasonable. Just note that they don't have anywhere to keep a stroller, so they fold them up and put them in the basement. Gennaro would work too. I was never a Bettola fan and have never been to Lisca.

    At celeste I'd highly recommend the house made pastas - especially the tagliettele with shrimp, cabbage and cheese. PIzzas are great too.

    Both places are cash only

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    Bettola
    412 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

    Lisca
    660 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025

    1 Reply
    1. re: harrison

      I've also seen the owner of Celeste store patrons' strollers/luggage/whatever in the back of his SUV, and he goes and gets it whenever you're ready to leave.

      I prefer the food at Lisca to that at Celeste, but either place would be fine with a toddler.

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      Lisca
      660 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025

    2. I think Celeste is a good choice at that hour but just a warning that I don't think I've ever seen a high chair in the restaurant, unless they only break them out at 5. It's just too small and crowded for that. I think the same may be true for Bettola....

      The food isn't great but if it's kid-friendly Italian you want you might want to look at Dean's pizza, which is around the corner from Celeste on 85th. It's a huge space and very kid friendly, high chairs and all.

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      Bettola
      412 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

      1. I second Gennaro. I recently recommended it to a chef friend visiting from out of town. She and her husband brought their 8 month and 4 year olds there, they loved it and went back several times before their trip was over.