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Staying in Little Italy for business. Places to eat, some Italian, but what else?

My husband is going to be staying in Little Italy several times over the next month for some post production work with a commercial he is working on. He claims to not really like Italian food that much (we live in St. Louis and Italian food REALLY does suck here with one exception), although I am sure there would be Italian restaurants he would end up liking there. Likes ethnic food of all kinds. He will be there on business, working a lot so there isn't time for major foodie evenings, but he is in NYC-every meal could be wonderful if he knew where to head.

Any chowhounders have some favorites they would like to pass on?

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  1. Nyonya is malaysian restaurant next to Ferrerra's on Grand. English speaking waiters are most helpful. WD-50 is also nearby, but be sure you have time for tasting menu and can afford the price.

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    WD-50
    50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

    Nyonya
    199 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

    2 Replies
    1. re: hungry i

      V good choices, both actually within walking dist. Little Italy is infamous for it's tourist traps, but I would add: Il Cortile, Pellegrino's & Angelo's (all Italian; good honest food--some feel the last interior is bit "tacky"); Lombardi's (pizza), and La Esquina (Mexican--three distinct parts--the 24 hour taco stand, sit-down cafe, and subterraneann grotto. Check the menus on menupages.com to see it they fit your bill, and please let us know what you decide and how it all works out.

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      La Esquina
      106 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

      Il Cortile
      125 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013

      Pellegrino's
      138 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013

      1. re: hungry i

        WD-50 is on the Lower East Side and more of a 15-20 minute walk from Little Italy.

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        WD-50
        50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

      2. Il Cortile is a nice Italian Restaurant on Mulberry. The skylit garden room is inviting and the food is excellent.

        Il Cortile @ 125 Mulberry St # A, New York, NY 212 - 226 - 6060.
        http://ilcortile.com/

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        Il Cortile
        125 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013

        1. South China Garden is a few minutes walk, at 22 Elizabeth St. just below Canal. It's a very good Cantonese restaurant - you can search for beaucoup info about it on Chowhound (it used to be called Cantoon Garden).

          Peasant is also pretty close and has good Italian food. I can't say how it compares to the restaurants in the heart of Little Italy, because I haven't eaten in any of them. I find the guys standing outside trying to lure you in very off-putting.

          http://www.peasantnyc.com/reservation...

          2 Replies
          1. re: small h

            Peasant is much better than the 3-4 restaurants I've tried in Little Italy.

            1. re: kathryn

              I suspected as much. It's good to have you (and others) around to save me (and others) from expensive culinary mishaps!

          2. If your husband does not like Italian, but enjoys Asian food, particularly Chinese, tell him all he as to do is cross Canal Street and window shop for a nice place. I would recommend any of the following for an inexpensive meal:

            N.Y. Noodletown
            Big Wong
            Hsin Wong
            Hon Kong Station......http://www.hongkongstation.us/welcome...
            Won Ton Garden
            Amazing 66

            Soup Dumplings at Shanghai Cafe on Mott

            Cheap Eats Dumplings at:

            Prosperity Dumpling
            Tasty Dumpling
            Fried Dumpling

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            Amazing 66
            66 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

            Big Wong
            67 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

            Hsin Wong
            72 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

            1 Reply
            1. re: fourunder

              I would recommend Balaboosta, on Mulberry, just above Spring -- a few blocks up from what I suppose is "core" Little Italy. It is nominally Israeli-- but I would characterize the cuisine as basically upscale mediterranean, with excellent tapas-type appetizers, pastas, fish etc. I ate there the other day with a group of friends and everything (food, service, ambience) was superb. The "chicken under a brick" was especially delicious

            2. It's not actually bad to have Little Italy as your home base. If he gets out of Little Italy and walks to the LES (just go a few blocks east towards Bowery), Nolita, Soho (just a few blocks west and you'll hit Lafayette), or Chinatown (go south towards Canal), there's a LOT of great places in any of those 4 neighborhoods that surround Little Italy.

              Despana - a Spanish foods store with great sandwiches in back, would be good for lunches, not so much dinners
              Peasant - as mentioned above, they have a great wood burning oven, try the pizza, roasted meats, octopus in "purgatory," bocconcini
              Balthazar - as a solo diner, I'd tried to pop in and have some food at the bar, their raw bar is excellent if you like oysters and that sort of stuff
              Public - eclectic with some British influences, they also have a cool hidden wine bar behind the hostess stand called the Monday Room with more obscure wines and small bites, but it can get pricey
              Lombardi's and L'asso for pizza -- whole pies only for both, I think. Not the best pizza in town but worth it to have in your back pocket.
              DBGB - on Houston and Bowery - Daniel Boulud's beer, sausage, burger restaurant, great charcuterie, it's a bit further of a walk
              Pulino's - nominally a pizza place but I enjoyed the roasted dishes and appetizers much more, catacorner from DBGB
              Red Egg - for dim sum, ordered off the menu (no carts) but one of the better Manhattan Chinatown options
              Freemans - popular, tucked inside an alleyway, good drinks and American food

              In Chinatown, there's also Cantonese roast meat specialists like Big Wong and Great NY Noodletown. Noodletown is also open until 3am, which should be helpful.

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              Despana
              408 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

              Big Wong
              67 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

              The Monday Room
              210 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

              Red Egg
              202 Centre Street, New York, NY 10013

              DBGB
              299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

              Pulino's
              282 Bowery, New York, NY 10012