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help me pick a dinner this friday. thx

So we maintain a list of favorite restaurants and places we want to try, but nothing that fits the bill is exciting me right now. Thus, I need your help. What I need: a place I can get a table for 4 around 8pm this Friday. 3 foodie-ish eaters, and one who will need more normal chicken/steak type options. i don't think the picky one would like indian/thai type places, and i don't particularly feel like doing italian unless it's frankie's sputino caliber or higher (for example if i had more notice i would have tried to make a reservation at scarpetta - from my want to try list). shorty32 might fit the bill, but they are on vacation (and didn't love them, but good enough to try again). also, don't want bar or communal seating. haven't been to abc kitchen, but i think that would be ideal. our fallback right now is sala 19. THANKS

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    1. hi...how long is Shorty's .32 on vacation?...i was planning on having lunch there tomorrow w/ an art dealer!...

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      Shorty's .32
      199 Prince St, New York, NY 10012

      1. Tocqueville is a good option - will consider. thanks

        not sure how long shortys is on vacation. didn't say in their voicemail as of yesterday

        if we do italian (some in the group would prefer it), deciding btwn sorella and cacio e vino - any strong preferences?

        4 Replies
        1. re: uncledunkel

          i've rec'd Cacio e Vino many times and people tend to be quite happy with it -- it's a solid choice for the kind of group you mentioned because they serve both straightforward pizzas as well as some authentic and less-common-in-NYC Sicilian dishes...it's a pretty casual place, w/ very nice service...have not heard of "Sorella" -- do you mean Sosa Borella?

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          Sosa Borella
          832 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10019

          Cacio e Vino
          80 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

          1. re: Simon

            Thanks. By any chance have you had the baccalla at cacio e vino, and at lupa? I loved it at lupa-first time I had it, and just saw it on the menu at cacio

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            Lupa
            170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

            1. re: uncledunkel

              i don't think i've had it there...Maialino has a wonderful fried version on their bar menu...

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              Maialino
              2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

            2. re: Simon

              Sorella:
              http://www.sorellanyc.com/

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              Sorella
              95 Allen St, New York, NY 10002

          2. If you are going the Italian route, you might want to consider Ciano. Superb cuisine, excellent service, and lovely ambiance. There is steak on the menu for the person who likes "normal' foods, but if s/he can find another in your party to share it, the chicken for two baked in a clay pot is sensational. A quick check of OpenTable shows reservations available for tomorrow evening.

            Note: We haven't been to Frankie's Sputino, but we have been to Scarpetta, and Ciano is, imo, most definitely it's equal. And unlike Scott Conant, who is now busy opening new restaurants and being a t.v. celebrity, Ciano's chef Shea Galante (formerly the e.c. of the now defunct Cru) is actually IN the kitchen.

            Ciano photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

            http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

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

            Ciano
            45 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

            3 Replies
            1. re: RGR

              Agree with Ciano 100%. In fact, I prefer it to Scarpetta. The quality is about the same, but I find the dishes more interesting, and the ambience warmer.

              1. re: rrems

                I totally agree with you about the ambiance being much warmer at Ciano than at Scarpetta. As for the food, the problem I have with Scarpetta is that the menu changes very little, which makes me less inclined to go again (we've been twice). We've been to Ciano four times, and the menu has had many different dishes each time. I think it's because Shea Galante's attention is entirely focused on his one restaurant, so he changes the menu seasonally while Conant is too busy with other things to bother making regular menu changes.

                http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                1. re: RGR

                  Absolutely right RGR, Scarpetta's menu hardly changes at all, so after a number of times we just got a little tired of it. Obviously this is not so much an issue for someone going for the first time, but it does make the food seem less inspired. Shea Gallante, as a "hands on" chef, makes a serious effort to keep his menu fresh and interesting, which is a big plus to me.

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

            2. I love Scarpetta. Pepolino flies under the radar, but serves very good homemade pasta and meat entrees. If something has wild boar in it...get it.

              http://www.pepolino.com/index.htm

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              Pepolino
              281 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013