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Lupa V. Crispo V. Scarpetta

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Hi Hounds,
We will be visiting from Boston for several days in November. We are laying out a dining plan for 3 nights in town, but on our first night we'd like to do Italian. We don't want to go to a 'shmancy' place - we care mostly about delicious food and a fun and reasonably laid back atmosphere.

Currently debating between Lupa, Crispo and Scarpetta. Is there a strong leaning one way or the other? Is Lupa more of a tourist joint due to batali fame? What is the one thing that stands out at each place?

Thoughts appreciated.

Thanks!
David

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Lupa
170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

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

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

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  1. Most people on this board don't seem to be big fans of Lupa. Scarpetta usually seems to get the highest marks. I've never been to any of these but I have a reservation for Scarpetta in a couple of weeks. I can recommend Convivio, which I thought was excellent.

    -----
    Lupa
    170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

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

    Convivio
    45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

    1. Lupa is great for simple Roman fare. Scarpetta is also excellent but a bit 'schmancy'. Crispo can be good but it's more of a neighborhood joint IMO.

      Faves:

      Lupa - cacio e pepe, carbonara, Tuesday crispy duck special, all antipasti and salads, tartufo, panna cotta, spiced dates with mascarpone

      Scarpetta - bread basket, spaghetti with tomato and basil, duck and foie gras ravioli, polenta with truffled mushrooms

      Crispo - seared duck breast with figs, panna cotta

      Also seconding the Convivio recommendation. There are many standouts, including the tortelli di amatrice.

      -----
      Lupa
      170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

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

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

      1 Reply
      1. re: fm1963

        I second your descriptions and opinions of these restaurants. Scarpetta is a place that really cares about decor, it shows, and I found it really pleasant, but it is a place that definitely has an upscale feel.

        At Lupa, I feel that the tartufo is far and away the best dessert, though depending on what's flavoring it, the panna cotta might be good for a 2nd dessert (I usually just share the tartufo with my dining partner, though). Otherwise, my tastes very closely follow yours. I would add a recommendation for the gnocchi at Lupa and farrotto, when on the menu, and also for the pollo alla diavola.

        I couldn't agree more with you on the best secondo at Crispo. For dessert, the tasting of creme brulee and chocolate pot de creme is my favorite. For a primo, the butternut agnolotti with caramelized roasted chestnuts, sage, and parmigiano is my favorite.

        I've been to Crispo only once but did love both the ravioli and polenta that you mention.

        I'd rate the quality of the restaurants Scarpetta > Lupa > Crispo, but they're at different price points and all places where a good meal is likely. Scarpetta's peaks are much higher than the others'.

      2. Years ago, and that is many years ago, Lupa got our attention and many dinners often. Over the years all of us got there less often (among my friends, at least). Recently a bunch of us returned for a dinner. All of us underxhelmed. The food just hasn't kept up, or competitors have passed it by. The menu is smallish, most dishes are still over salted, they offer but one bread, and the dishes don't have the novelty or impact they once had. But, Lupa still has a great xine list and great salumi.

        Some dishes at Scarpetta are very good, most others are just Ok.

        For another option try Locanda Verde, in Tribeca. Terrific pastas. Good luck.

        -----
        Lupa
        170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

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

        Locanda Verde
        377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

        1. If you can get a rezzie at Scarpetta go for it. It's different and more exciting than Boston's North End, so it would be fun.

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

          1. I agree with the comment above that Convivio should not be overlooked, I think it is better than all 3 places mentioned. I also think Del Anima should be in there. I would take it over Lupa any day.

            -----
            Lupa
            170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

            Convivio
            45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

            1. Though I like Lupa and Crispo, if you don't mind spending the extra money, Scarpetta or Convivio would be my choice, with Convivio being the stronger one. SD26 is another of my favorites. Locanda Verde is very good but also noisy and rushed.

              4 Replies
              1. re: rrems

                Hi All - Thanks for your great comments. After checking out the menus we are holding resys at both convivio and SD26...my mouth is watering

                1. re: KingCarnivore

                  Just curious when people do this--are you planning to cancel the reservation that you do not plan to use? It makes me a little crazy when people say they are holding two bookings for the same time. I do not mean to be rude, but would like to hear your thinking on this..

                  1. re: erica

                    I think this is fairly common practice. I've been guilty of it. I always make sure to cancel one reservation at least a few days in advance.

                    1. re: erica

                      we are coming to NYC for a special weekend - its not like we can come a week later if we cant get into a restaurant we want to go to. yes, of course we'll cancel the one we don't use. We will cancel it at least 2 weeks in advance, I'm positive the spare table won't go to waste...