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something like Babbo

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My father wants to take me to Babbo for my 35th birthday. They're "booked". Where do we go instead? Scarpetta? Locanda Verde? He's old school Italian suburban NJ guy. I'm progressive NYC pastry chef/ food lover. Where do we go to appeal to both of our tastes/senses?

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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

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  1. Check out this sorta related (but slightly more downscale) recent thread ... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/774358

    1. Locanda Verde likely, Though they get very crowded and the spot can get loud.

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      Locanda Verde
      377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

      1. I Coppi on 9th btw 1st/A. Was there again Friday night after a few years. Amazing homemade pappardelle al sugo d'agnello! And ask to sit in the garden...like being in Italy

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        I Coppi
        432 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009

        1. Scarpetta -- it's far better than Babbo in every way...

          Locanda Verde is a fun option too...

          -----
          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

          1 Reply
          1. re: Simon

            I'm with Simon, I prefer Scarpetta by far!

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

          2. How soon? Scarpetta and Locanda Verde are born excellent alternatives but also book up quickly.

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

            Locanda Verde
            377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

            1. Call Babbo the day before your birthday and inquire about cancellations. Otherwise, Scarpetta is a great alternative.

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

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

              1. Manzo at Eataly is a good second to Babbo. And if you can't get a reservation for the dining room, eating at the bar is a wonderful experience.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ttoommyy

                  By the way...I forgot to add that Manzo is another Battali/Bastianich restaurant, in case the OP did not know.

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                  Manzo
                  200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                2. All good choices, and I'll add Falai just to confuse matters further - it would certainly appeal to the pastry chef / food lover. It's mostly Florentine in terms of flavor profile, not quite as "pan-Italian" as the others - but the pastas are as good as any you'll find in this city, and Chef Falai began as a pastry chef, so you can represent for your career path.

                  My last write-up of them: http://bit.ly/g1NURU

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

                  1. Besides Babbo my fave italian spots are

                    Maialino, scarpetta, il mulino, marea, crispo, and ai Fiori is added to the list after a terrific dinner last night. Have only been to lv for breakfast which was also good.

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                    Babbo
                    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                    Il Mulino
                    86 W 3rd St, New York, NY 10012

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

                    Marea
                    240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                    Maialino
                    2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                    Ai Fiori
                    400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

                    1. So, apparently, every place I chose (Babbo, Del Posto, Daniel, Le Bernadin, Locanda Verde) was too "foodie" for my dad. I've since suggested Maialino, Gramercy Tavern, Gotham Bar and Grill, Veritas, and Aureole. Not loving the choices, but think they're happy mediums between my choices and what appeals to dad and his picky wife. Help! Suggestions on these places, at least? None are ideal, but... think they might be the best places to fit both of our choices.

                      -----
                      Gramercy Tavern
                      42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                      Del Posto
                      85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                      Veritas
                      43 East 20th St., New York, NY 10003

                      Aureole
                      135 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036

                      Gotham Bar and Grill
                      12 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003

                      Locanda Verde
                      377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

                      Maialino
                      2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                      17 Replies
                      1. re: marisac9

                        What did he think of Scarpetta?

                        If you still want Italian, Maialino is a fine choice.

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

                        Maialino
                        2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                        1. re: kathryn

                          I wholeheartedly second Mailalino.

                          1. re: ttoommyy

                            Maialino would be perfect.

                            -----
                            Maialino
                            2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                        2. re: marisac9

                          Wait a minute! I thought HE wanted to take you to Babbo. ?????

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

                          1. re: marisac9

                            Check out Hearth in the East Village then, it might fit what you are looking for. Marco Canora has a great background.
                            Perilla and Po in the Village which are signigicantly cheaper and not as big of a name, but still very good. I believe Batali was once involved at Po.
                            'Cesca on the UWS. Tom Valenti does terrific Italian here, his other, more American restaurant Ouest is one of my favorites in all of NYC.
                            Did you show your dad The Tavern Menu at Gramercy Tavern? The Tavern room doesn't take walk ins, but if you call them, they can tell you the usual wait for the night of the week you are looking (early in the week there is little to none).

                            And happy birthday!

                            -----
                            Perilla
                            9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

                            Po
                            31 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014

                            Hearth
                            403 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10009

                            Ouest
                            2315 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

                            'Cesca
                            164 W 75th St, New York, NY 10024

                            1. re: marisac9

                              I ate at Veritas for my birthday last year and it was wonderful and may satisfy both of you, assuming you don't go Italian. The food is simple, nothing too exotic, but prepared beautifully and great quality. The room too is comfortable and unpretentious. And then there is the wine ... The whole experience was great.

                              -----
                              Veritas
                              43 East 20th St., New York, NY 10003

                              1. re: marisac9

                                I'd go with Maialino, although you said your dad wanted "to take you out to Babbo for your birthday". Babbo is as "foodie" as it gets...

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

                                Maialino
                                2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                                1. re: TatyanaG

                                  He supposedly wanted to take me anywhere I wanted to go, but after checking out menus got scared off for being too "foodie". I've made a reservation at Veritas and Scarpetta. Still thinking about Maialino, too. Thank you so much for the suggestions and advice!

                                  -----
                                  Veritas
                                  43 East 20th St., New York, NY 10003

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

                                  Maialino
                                  2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                                  1. re: marisac9

                                    I've been to both Veritas and Scarpetta and both were lovely. Veritas has an older, sophisticated, quiet vibe. Scarpetta very happening, loud, great food, not pretentious. Have a great birthday!

                                    -----
                                    Veritas
                                    43 East 20th St., New York, NY 10003

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

                                    1. re: TatyanaG

                                      Yeah - think the final decision is for Veritas. It's been very difficult trying to please my NYC chef palate along with trying to accomodate my 68 year old suburban NJ dad and his picky wife. I think Veritas will be a great happy medium where we'll all be pleased. Thanks again for the assistance.

                                      -----
                                      Veritas
                                      43 East 20th St., New York, NY 10003

                                      1. re: marisac9

                                        Just for the record, with regard to the cuisine and ambiance, the "new" Veritas does not in any way resemble the Veritas which we patronized over the years with some regularity and which we loved.

                                        The food now doesn't hold the proverbial candle to Scott Bryan's superb New American or to Gregory Pugin's exquisite contemporary French.* During our two dinners since they re-opened, we've had some good dishes but a couple that were not so great. One, in fact, was quite awful. Desserts, however, are excellent. Service is fine and, of course, there is still that extraordinary wine list.

                                        As for the ambiance, the original decor was minimalist, sophisticated, and soothing. Now, the tablecloths are gone; the decor totally lacks sophistication and is a mishmashed design, i.e., unappealing to me; and the noise level is much higher due to the now hard-surfaced tables and the wine bottles stacked in floor-to-ceiling shelves.

                                        Veritas photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                        and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                        *Note: Bryan and Pugin are now cooking elsewhere: Bryan at Apiary and Pugin at the Las Vegas Le Cirque.

                                        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                        1. re: RGR

                                          The new chef is Sam Hazen from Tao correct?

                                          1. re: steakrules85

                                            Correct.

                                            http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                  2. re: TatyanaG

                                    'Babbo is as "foodie" as it gets'....?...LMAO...

                                    Babbo is as foodie as it gets if you're a tourist or, as Mario calls the people who go to his restaurants, "lemmings"...not begrudging the people from any place who happen to enjoy certain dishes there (the porcini at Babbo is delicious), but "as foodie as it gets", Babbo is not...it's a cold sucker-fleecing business...read "Heat" by Bill Buford and enjoy the stories of Batali yanking garbage out of the trash and telling kitchen staff to puree it into ravioli stuffing...

                                    imo, it's a sham restaurant and, having been to all his NY places more than once, i'll never return to any of them...

                                    Maialino, Scarpetta, and at least a dozen others will provide a more lovingly prepared dinner...

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

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

                                    Maialino
                                    2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                                    1. re: Simon

                                      Boy, are you misrepresenting the incident in Heat. Batali was angry that his staff was wasting food by throwing out perfectly edible stuff. That's why he took things out of the trash. It's not like he was reusing coffee grounds.

                                      1. re: Simon

                                        I just want to throw in a few good words for the Batali empire. I love all the restaurants. And, I say this all the time, I am not a fan of the man himself by any means. I just think the food at the Batali/Bastianich restaurants is always top notch.

                                        One man's meat...

                                        1. re: Simon

                                          FYI, all I meant by "foodie" was that the menu has many unusual items that you would not find in a typical Italian-American restaurant. I didn't mean to suggest that Babbo is the best NY has to offer. In fact, I am yet to have a stellar meal at any of his restaurants.

                                          P.S. I've been to Babbo and never wanted to go back: it didn't "blow my mind" in any way, it was too loud and service was plain obnoxious (A waiter expalined to someone in our party that "a branzino - is a flaky, mediterranean fish." It's become a standing joke for us to this day ;-)

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

                                    2. Babbo was great both times i was there. for alternatives i would check out Il Buco and Frankies Spuntino.

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

                                      Frankies 17 Spuntino
                                      17 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

                                      Il Buco
                                      47 Bond St., New York, NY 10012