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6 visiting from SF in April for now seeking Italian restaurant advice

g
gceats Feb 3, 2011 08:54 PM

Some of us have been in NYC some not. We have scanned websites for menu, price etc but stuck. We are looking at the following for dinner one night. Will be here for a week

Apizz
Locanda Verde
Scarpetta
Maialino
Malatesta

Is apizz Italian, doesn't seem to get much review in CH under Italian restaurants. Hopefully some helpful criteria. Love great pasta dishes, as well as everything else but does one restaurant stand out over the others in that area. What are they primarily known for and also need a place where we can hear and talk, seems most restaurants these days are extremely LOUD. Last thing would be atmosphere decor something unpretentious whatever that might imply.Price wise are they similar if your ordering an app, pasta and wine. I know wine is a big variable haven't checked there wine list any one know if one stands out.

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Malatesta
649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

Apizz
217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

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

Locanda Verde
377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

Maialino
2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

  1. j
    julilouie Feb 3, 2011 09:36 PM

    Locanda Verde is a beautiful experience. And the wine selection is great.

    http://www.examiner.com/ny-in-new-yor...

    -----
    Locanda Verde
    377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

    1. r
      RGR Feb 4, 2011 04:58 AM

      Let me start by saying that regulars on this board know that insane noise is a huge issue with me, so much so that no matter how terrific a restaurant's food may be, if it has a deafening noise level, I shun it.

      Of those on your list, we have been to two: Scarpetta twice and Maialino many times. Scarpetta's noise is quite pleasant. Two not-to-be-missed signature dishes: polenta with wild mushrooms and spaghetti with tomato and basil.

      Scarpetta photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157622038539682/

      and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157622206527768/

      We have been to Maialino many times. It is a bit noisy, but the level is not so high that one can't carry on a conversation around the table. *The* thing to get is the eponymous maialino. If you get a lot of other dishes (which you should, including the excellent pastas), one maialino will probably suffice for six people. It's not on the regular menu, and they do run out of them, so when you make your reservation, advise them that you want it.

      Maialino photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157623676374010/

      Both Scarpetta and Maialino are extremely popular, so reservations go quickly. Both take reservations 28 weeks in advance of the day you wish to go.

      When it comes to pasta, Chef Michael White's are a standout. He has three restaurants. Marea opened two years ago and is fish and seafood-oriented. We've been there twice, and I was much more enamored with the pastas we had than with the fish.

      Marea photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157623170508583/

      and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157624329958502/

      Osteria Morini and Ai Fiori both opened within the past several months. We have not been to Morini yet, but I've heard it's really noisy at dinner, so we'll probably go at lunch when it's quieter.

      We just went ot Ai Fiori this past Saturday. It's fancier than the more rustic Morini but still has a relaxed feel, and the noise level is pleasant. The cuisine overall is what I would call "Frenchified Italian." But as usual, the pastas we had were outstanding!

      Ai Fiori photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157625968016066/

      http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

      5 Replies
      1. re: RGR
        g
        gceats Feb 4, 2011 07:44 PM

        Thanks RGR just looked at Falai very inexpensive menu know anything about it

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        Falai
        68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

        1. re: gceats
          r
          RGR Feb 5, 2011 06:36 AM

          We haven't been to Falai, but there have been positive posts from Hounds who have.

          http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

          1. re: gceats
            s
            scrittrice Feb 6, 2011 08:52 AM

            I love Falai, but it is pretty expensive, unless you're thinking of Caffe Falai or Panetteria Falai and not the "official" restaurant.

            -----
            Falai
            68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

            Caffe Falai
            265 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

            1. re: gceats
              financialdistrictresident Feb 7, 2011 12:30 PM

              Falai has 3 restaurants (2 casual, mentioned in scrittrice's post) and we are in the camp of those who really like Falai. This long thread should give you a feel for their food:

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/233792

              Falai's chef returned to Italy last year. SO has gone since he left.

              SO enjoyed Ciano and Manzo (Eataly). He went to Maialino when they first opened. I have not been to any of them yet.

              I went to Locande Verde for lunch when they first opened. It gets a lot of love on this Board, I'm not a fan. To be fair I only went once and for lunch.

              It has been awhile since we've been to Convivio and Lupa, not sure how they compare with the others.

              -----
              Falai
              68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

            2. re: RGR
              k
              kathryn Feb 5, 2011 02:18 PM

              I'm with RGR: Scarpetta and Maialino both have excellent service, a nice buzz without being deafening, and excellent food.

              Scarpetta's decor is more sleek & modern, whereas Maialino's decor is more rustic (but a refined rustic), homey, and cozy. Locanda Verde is also very pretty but crowded and cramped on most nights.

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

              Locanda Verde
              377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

              Maialino
              2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

            3. r
              rrems Feb 5, 2011 12:34 PM

              Of those on your list, I have been to LV and Scarpetta. LV has very good food but is very loud, and the service is rushed. Not very relaxing. Scarpetta is superior. I think I have read that Malatesta is very loud, but I'm not certain. Two places that have opened more recently that I have really enjoyed are Ciano and Rubirosa. Both have reasonable noise levels, Ciano is fancier and has more sophisticated dishes. The chef is Shea Gallante, formerly of Cru. Rubirosa is a casual red sauce place with wonderful thin-crust pizzas, and such dishes as rice balls, manicotti, chicken parm and cannoli elevated to a high level by chef Al DiMeglio, formerly of Olana and Osteria del Circo.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rrems
                g
                gceats Feb 5, 2011 12:43 PM

                Wow! almost over whelming a lot of places to choose from and that's just starting out with Italian restaurants. Again most important criteria is price level which Scarpetta is fine but would probably be at the top tier, being able to enjoy the experience without deafening noise and quality food. And decent atmosphere with decor, service etc. Checking out all the websites.

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

              2. steve h. Feb 5, 2011 06:10 PM

                San Francisco has outstanding Italian food. I'm a fan of Quince, Perbacco, Incanto and so many others. If I were to direct you to a similarly priced Italian restaurant in Manhattan it would be Babbo. Hands down. It's not loud, just good.

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                Babbo
                110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                Perbacco
                234 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10009

                12 Replies
                1. re: steve h.
                  c oliver Feb 6, 2011 08:34 AM

                  Agree. I still remember every bite we had. And every bite was great.

                  1. re: c oliver
                    g
                    gceats Feb 6, 2011 10:06 AM

                    Is Babbo more expensive than the other restaurants I had listed> I figured that it was. How does the bar differ from the dining room in price atmosphere and food?

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                    Babbo
                    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                    1. re: gceats
                      steve h. Feb 6, 2011 10:10 AM

                      Prices at Scarpetta and Babbo are comparable.

                      Dining at the bar is cramped and noisy. There are two seats at the bar nearest to the front door with their backs to the window. Those are the only bar seats I shoot for - a blissful island of calm and pasta. The full menu is served at the bar.

                      Try for a table either upstairs or downstairs. Save the bar for your second visit after you've had a chance to see and understand how things work. Reservations are required.

                      Don't worry, you will be back.

                      -----
                      Babbo
                      110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

                      1. re: gceats
                        c oliver Feb 6, 2011 12:24 PM

                        What they said :) Here's a sample menu from last year. Bob and I shared an antipasti, a primi and a secondi (no, they had NO problem with that), two apperitifs to start and a bottle of wine (sommelier was very helpful in advising us on a moderate price one). Before tip it was about $150 which, for what we got was a steal. I still remember we had the grilled octopus, the beef cheek ravioli and the sweetbreads (all still on the menu). But you DO know that you have to call at 7AM CA time one month to the day before you want to dine there, right? I got through in about 15 minutes. No sweat.

                        1. re: c oliver
                          steve h. Feb 6, 2011 12:30 PM

                          Time well spent.

                          1. re: steve h.
                            c oliver Feb 6, 2011 01:08 PM

                            Programmed the phone the night before, set the alarm for 645. For Bob's birthday, nothing is too much work :) Here we are at Babbo:

                            -----
                            Babbo
                            110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                             
                          2. re: c oliver
                            c oliver Feb 6, 2011 01:05 PM

                            Oops, forgot the menu:

                            http://www.babbonyc.com/menu2.html

                            1. re: c oliver
                              steve h. Feb 6, 2011 01:16 PM

                              nice.
                              I like Babbo - food/wine both conspire for a fun evening. It's not a cathedral of fine dining. Rather, it's a fun night out with really good food/really good wine. Getting a little boisterous is encouraged.
                              You and Bob have cracked the code. Well done.

                              -----
                              Babbo
                              110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                            2. re: c oliver
                              k
                              kathryn Feb 6, 2011 01:11 PM

                              That's one month to the numerical date. For example, had you called today at 10am ET, since it is February 6th, you could have booked a table for March 6th.

                              However, I believe Babbo only has a single table that will fit 6 people. The rest of the tables are smaller. Good luck.

                              -----
                              Babbo
                              110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                              1. re: kathryn
                                c oliver Feb 6, 2011 01:19 PM

                                Right about the date. I even hit an anomaly on that one. I wanted 12/22 and 11/22 was Thanksgiving and they weren't taking calls. But I found that out in advance and was told to call on the 23rd.

                                I believe you or someone pointed out recently the six person seating issue.

                        2. re: steve h.
                          r
                          RCC Feb 6, 2011 10:28 AM

                          +1 here on Babbo for the better food experience, especially if coming from SF. While the Scarpettas and the Locanda Verdes are good, there's something about them that make them similar to one another, while Babbo with its more rustic and regional styles is always a notch better. foodwise imho. Even if some don't like the the music at Babbo, which I and people that I've dined with have not found to intrude on the overall good experiences, the restaurant continue to provide the better take on good regional Italian style dishes. Mario may be glitzy and popular, but he knows regional Italian very well.

                          Besides, I also find some similarities between the Scarpettas and the LVs and the good places in SF that I used to frequent including the Delfino and A16.. Scarpettta and LV would be good if OP was looking for something similar to SF Italian. I'd add Peasant to the mix as this has the A16'ish feel to it.
                          Btw, after numerous meals at Maialino, I think that its ambiance, decor and food is below any of those that I've mentioned so far.

                          -----
                          Babbo
                          110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

                          Locanda Verde
                          377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

                          Maialino
                          2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                          1. re: RCC
                            steve h. Feb 6, 2011 10:48 AM

                            Good call on Peasant. Maybe add Spotted Pig (gnudi!) to the mix.

                            -----
                            Spotted Pig
                            314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

                        3. b
                          BLover33 Feb 6, 2011 01:31 PM

                          I agree with most here but would highly recommend Apizz. Food and ambience are both great. Location is a bit out of the way but worth it. Scarpetta great. Maialino great. Locanda Verde. good. Malatesta good but not worth it (food's average). I have been to SF many times and think you will enjoy these 4 choices My first being Scarpetta. I would add Il Bagatto for Pasta and prices are great. They are so authentic Italian. They have a wine bar next door with great wine and food. A Voce is another you can add to the list. Enjoy.

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

                          Apizz
                          217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

                          A Voce
                          41 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010

                          Il Bagatto
                          192 E 2nd St, New York, NY 10009

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

                          Locanda Verde
                          377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

                          Maialino
                          2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: BLover33
                            r
                            RGR Feb 6, 2011 09:53 PM

                            The o.p. mentions not wanting a place that's LOUD. If you're referring to A Voce Madison Ave., the noise level is VERY LOUD. I haven't been to A Voce in Time-Warner, but I've read that it isn't exactly quiet.

                            http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

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