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May 19, 2011 05:52 PM

Upscale italian, for saturday lunch, with a ten month old?

Is this possible? Am coming to New York with my wife and our ten month old daughter to celebrate my wife's 30th. My wife loves Italian - so can anyone suggest an excellent restaurant for lunch, where we would be comfortable with our baby?

Budget - up to $200 with wine.


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  1. Lupa

    170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

    1. John's on East 11th Street. Cash only. Go hungry. You won't be disappointed.

      John's of 12th Street
      302 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

      6 Replies
      1. re: unionsquareyes

        haven't been there in ages, so can't comment on specific dishes, but John's is not "upscale Italian" and not really a 30th bday kind of place, imo (at least not in the upscale sense that i think the OP wants)...

        but i'd be curious what dishes you like there, since i haven't been in years...

        1. re: Simon

          The thing is, "upscale italian" is really an inaccurate concept. Good italian food is peasant food, with fresh ingredients served with confidence. John's hits it right on the head. Although their wine list is just so-so, the food is formidable, honest food from a thoughtful, tried-and-true kitchen.

          1. re: unionsquareyes

            But it is not upscale, and upscale is what the OP wants.

            1. re: gutsofsteel

              A 45 minute wait with linens on the tables, candle light and formal table settings isn't exactly eating at a diner.

              1. re: unionsquareyes

                When it comes to determining which restaurants are "upscale," it is prices that are the ultimate deciding factor. John's does not have even one dish that costs more than $19.95. So, irrespective of how "formidable" *you* may think the food is, how long one has to wait for a table, or that there are white tablecloths and candlelight, John's is definitely NOT upscale.


            2. re: unionsquareyes

              I am sorry but I vehemently disagree that all good Italian is "peasant" food! I think that there would be a consensus, for example, if we want to speak of local eateries, that Michael White has a sure hand with pasta, but I doubt if one would characterize his signature pastas as fare from a peasant kitchen, just as one would not call his Italian alma mater a "peasant" restaurant.

              I also fail to see how one can judge a kitchen by the time one must wait for a table.

        2. Hard query! A lot of the upscale Italian places don't serve weekend lunch. And those that do (I think Ai Fiori does?) aren't really appropriate for a ten month old.

          I can think of two that are open on the weekends but they serve a brunch menu (Locanda Verde, Maialino) and they're light on the sort of pasta and cooked protein dishes I guess you are looking for.

          Maybe Osteria Morini or Po? I've only been for dinner, though, and never seen any young ones there.

          Is it possible to try to get a sitter or do an early dinner? When the weather is nice, I've definitely seen a stroller or two around 5:30pm at Scarpetta's outside tables.

          31 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014

          355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

          Locanda Verde
          377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

          2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

          Osteria Morini
          218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

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

          4 Replies
          1. re: kathryn

            Yep! I've been struggling to find somewhere that would be appropriate. I don't think she's too keen on the sitter idea, as that would kind of solve the whole issue. An early dinner may well be the way forward -I'll check out Scarpetta's as well.

            Thanks for your help!

            355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

            1. re: davehov

              Try Lincoln. I see kids at weekend lunches all the time, so I don't think that bringing your 10 month old daughter would be a problem. The staff is very accommodating, in my experience.

              During a recent Easter lunch at Ai Fiori, I saw several children as well. But check the menu, which to me seems more Continental than Italian, except for a few pasta dishes.

              142 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023

              1. re: davehov

                I don't think it's a very good idea to do the outdoors at Scarpetta thing since it's weather dependent and if it rains....

                Lincoln is a good suggestion. ABT's spring/summer ballet season has just started, and it always attracts families with young children. So, there are bound to be many having pre-performance lunch at Lincoln.

                Lincoln photos:


                1. re: RGR

                  Wow did that meal taste as good as it looked?

            2. Lupa for a nice weekend lunch.

              170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

              2 Replies
              1. re: RCC

                Tony Di Napoli's in Times Square...yummy real authentic italian experience.

                Tony's Di Napoli
                147 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

                1. re: FoodExpression

                  Tony DiNapoli is a red sauce Italian-American place, nothing authentic Italian about it, and food is not very good either.

              2. A Voce Columbus is nice. See NY Magazine review.

                A Voce
                10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019