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Where does a NY visitor find THE BEST Italian food?

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Dinero2277 Aug 25, 2010 10:07 AM

I am taking a girls trip with my 2 older cousins from the Midwest and I want to find the best Italian restaurant to take them to. Not the most expensive, but at least one of the best. Our budget is around $30 max for an entree. I've done some looking on here and I like the menus of Apizz and Peasant, but I'm wondering what else is out there. Also, which of the above mentioned do you think is best.

Thanks for the guidance in advance!

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Apizz
217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

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  1. k
    kathryn RE: Dinero2277 Aug 25, 2010 10:33 AM

    Scarpetta, Babbo, and Convivio all have $25-$30 entrees, so some of the higher end places are actually within your budget.

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    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

    1. g
      gutsofsteel RE: Dinero2277 Aug 25, 2010 10:36 AM

      Take a look at Maialino.

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      Maialino
      2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

      1. jenniebnyc RE: Dinero2277 Aug 25, 2010 10:46 PM

        check out Crispo.

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

        3 Replies
        1. re: jenniebnyc
          p
          Pan RE: jenniebnyc Aug 25, 2010 11:01 PM

          I like Crispo a lot, but I submit that it is not close to the best Italian restaurant in Manhattan. My meals at Babbo and Scarpetta have been in an entirely different category in terms of technique and delicious mixes of taste. Basically, the peaks are much higher at those two restaurants, although there are some dependably delicious dishes at Crispo. Comparing like price points, I prefer Lupa to Crispo, too, except for the fact that it is almost impossible to get a reservation at a decent time at Lupa, and showing up without one is very dicey.

          1. re: Pan
            jenniebnyc RE: Pan Aug 25, 2010 11:08 PM

            agreed. i based my rec on price point. and i prefer Crispo over Lupa. :)

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            Lupa
            170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

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

            1. re: jenniebnyc
              p
              Pan RE: jenniebnyc Aug 26, 2010 12:21 AM

              There might be another consideration: Lupa, I would argue, is really an Italian restaurant, and Crispo is a highly Italian-influenced American restaurant. For example, by far my favorite main there is the duck with endives, figs, etc., which is really not Italian. They also have the Brussels sprouts appetizer with slivered almonds and quite a strong taste of maple syrup, which I like as a dish but find doesn't really go with their more Italian-style dishes.

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              Lupa
              170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

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

        2. TrishUntrapped RE: Dinero2277 Aug 26, 2010 05:46 AM

          As a visitor to New York myself, I like to try things I can't get in my own backyard. So, I would rule out Crispo completely. It's a neighborhood joint with adequate to good cooking and a crappy crowded loud dining room.

          Peasant is very nice, warm atmosphere, solid cooking and may work for you. Although I haven't been to Peasant's sister Apizz, I like the menu better at Apizz, so it's up to you and your tastes.

          Last week we celebrated my birthday at Pepolino, which has absolutely wonderful Tuscan food and homemade pastas, but if you throw in a bottle of wine you'll spend $60 -$80 per person for the meal. Still, I found it to be worth it.

          Scarpetta is in a league of its own in my opinion. And a wonderful league at that. The cooking is more refined than most Italian restaurants. You definitely will be in for a special dining experience that you won't find in the midwest. Look at the menu and if the food sounds good to you, save your money, make a reservation (they have more time slots available by phone than on opentable), and be prepared for a revelation of tastes.

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          Apizz
          217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

          Pepolino
          281 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013

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

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