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need italian restaurant for cadet's first non-military meal in NYC

a
alermar Aug 4, 2011 04:56 PM

We are coming into NYC labor day weekend. Dinner on Sat will be my son's first meal away from the military academy. He's a big hungry boy, and there will be 6 of us. We are looking for good, but not fancy Italian. I know he'll want spaghetti & meatballs and pizza. His foodie mom (me) wants to be satisfied as well. We will be driving into the city and probably will want to park the car, walk, wander through TimeSquare, etc. I think an average of $20 or less per entree might be a good price range. Thank you so much for your suggestions!

  1. d
    detroit1010 Aug 4, 2011 05:03 PM

    Last weekend, I had a terrific meal at Rubirosa. They've got pizza as well as entrees, both of which are great. My family is split between those with adventurous tastes (me) and those without, and we were all equally satisfied and impressed. The price may be a little higher than you stated but not by much - its certainly not an expensive restaurant by New York standards.

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    Rubirosa
    235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

    4 Replies
    1. re: detroit1010
      a
      alermar Aug 4, 2011 06:11 PM

      I checked the menu & it looks good, but no open reservations within 2.5 hours of 8:00 :(

      1. re: alermar
        d
        detroit1010 Aug 4, 2011 07:10 PM

        I'd recommend calling them, explain the situation, and see if they can do anything - it seems far enough in advance to me. Especially if you are flexible with the time, they may be able to fit you in.

        Another suggestion for delicious "red sauce" Italian is Tony DiNapoli. They don't have pizza there, but the standard American-Italian dishes (chicken parm, baked ziti) are delicious.

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

        1. re: detroit1010
          p
          pbjluver Aug 4, 2011 07:17 PM

          Not THIS Saturday...LABOR DAY SATURDAY

        2. re: alermar
          r
          rrems Aug 5, 2011 01:51 PM

          When I read your post, my first thought was Rubirosa. I've been there several times, love the pizzas, and the pastas and entrees are also delicious. For dessert, don't miss the cannoli. The times they list on Opentable are only the least desirable ones. That does not mean they are booked for other times. You just have to call. This far in advance, you should have no problem.

      2. e
        edwardspk Aug 5, 2011 09:23 AM

        I know I'll get flamed for this suggestion, but here it goes. Given the price point you're looking for and the "hungry boy" looking for red-sauce American-Italian, I would go for Carmines. It fits the price range and area you want to be in, the portions are HUGE family-style servings, and the food is actually not all that bad. Even I, a most jaded foodie, don't find it intolerable. And after all, it sounds like this meal really should be more about your son and what he likes. I promise he will not go away hungry from there, and you're budget won't have been blown.

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        Carmine's
        200 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

        1 Reply
        1. re: edwardspk
          Motosport Aug 5, 2011 09:34 AM

          Happy someone else suggested Carmine's. Your son will probably love it.

        2. f
          FoodMan88 Aug 5, 2011 09:37 AM

          Piccolo Angolo in the West Village. A little more than $20 but worth every penny. Actually, all of the pastas are below $20. Even a West Point Cadet won't leave hungry.

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          Piccolo Angolo
          621 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

          1 Reply
          1. re: FoodMan88
            s
            Simon Aug 6, 2011 09:28 AM

            Piccolo Angelo was my first thought too.

          2. a
            alermar Aug 5, 2011 10:43 AM

            Thank you so much -- these are all great suggestions. I know my red-sauce loving son will find much to enjoy. I, however, hate to be in NYC for even one evening and not eat something fabulous. Oh well, like edwardspk said, this meal isn't about me (DARN!)

            1. u
              Upperwestsider Aug 5, 2011 06:41 PM

              Agree with edwardspk and Motosport, but would add the uptown Carmine's, B'way @ 90th. A little less touristy, but still noisy and busy. Parking cheaper. www.carminesnyuc.com. Would add: Harry's Italian, 2 Gold Street, way on the other end of the island; big fav in the Fi Di because of the quality/price ratio. www.harrysitalian.com Can get v crowded in the evenings and the noise levels can be, uh, challenging. But the spirit and energy of the place is exciting. Please let us know what you choose and how it all works out.

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              Carmine's
              2450 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

              Harry's Italian
              2 Gold St, New York, NY 10038

              1. a
                alermar Aug 16, 2011 04:09 PM

                Well, after all that, my son has changed his mind about Italian. He has a craving for sushi! Go figure. Thank you so much for all of your help. I will file these suggestions away in case we have an extra NYC meal (or in case he changes his mind again). Oy -- sushi for 6 in NYC -- I may have to get a second job to pay for it!

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