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Jan 6, 2012 01:52 PM

It's my wife's 50th but she doesn't like Lamb's Brains

I've taken my wife to several great Italian restaurants in the city but she can never seem to find something on the menu that she would enjoy. She is more of a Veal Sorrento, Pasta Bolognese, Oso Buco, Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage kind of gal.
Where can we find a good place that serves this type of food? Price is no object.

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  1. I haven't been to Il Mulino but the menu might suit your wife. You can search the threads for comment.

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

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. If you're willing to go to Brooklyn, you might want to ask for some recommendations on the Outer Boroughs board.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Pan

          We split off some Brooklyn recommendations to the Other/Outer Boroughs board. You'll find them here: . Please post more Brooklyn recommendations to that thread; they're off-topic here.

        2. The menu at Scarpetta has plenty of approachable dishes. Check their menu.

          355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

          11 Replies
            1. re: kathryn

              I don't sense from Nunzio's description that Scarpetta, really good though it is, is what his wife is looking for. It sounds like she wants very good traditional Italian-American food. That's why I was thinking Outer Boroughs.

              Nunzio, you can help us a little. What are the names of some of the great Italian restaurants your wife hasn't enjoyed?

              1. re: Pan

                Christmas Eve we went to Osteria Morini and she hardly ate a thing.

                1. re: Nunzio

                  I haven't been there but have loved Michael White's cuisine elsewhere, most recently two exceptional dinners at Ai Fiori while he was Chef there.

                  Osteria Morini's menu looked straight-ahead to me at first, but I see that they aren't serving a straight tomato-based meat ragu, but one that includes chicken livers. Though you mentioned sausage, and they do have this on the menu on their site:

                  GRAMIGNA macaroni, pork sausage, tomato, cream, black pepper

                  And most of the meat secondi look pretty straight-ahead:

                  POLLETTO pan seared cornish hen, cippolini, mushroom, brussels sprouts 26
                  PETRONIANA crispy veal cutlet, prosciutto cotto, buttered spinach, parmigiano, truffle cream 28
                  BRACIOLA grilled duroc end-cut pork chop, fingerling potatoes, greens, olives 28
                  STRACOTTO sangiovese-braised beef short rib, potato, caramelized root vegetables 28
                  GRIGLIATA MISTA mixed grill of side pork, sausage, lamb, skirt steak 30

                  The sides also look straight-ahead:

                  INSALATA MISTA 10
                  WILD ARUGULA 12
                  ROASTED ACORN SQUASH 10

                  Does that look like the menu they were serving on the 24th? What made the menu a problem for your wife?

                  Osteria Morini
                  218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

                  1. re: Pan

                    I think the problem is she rather go to an Italian American Restaurant. Are there any good ones out there?

                    1. re: Nunzio

                      I agree. And I think your best bet is the Outer Boroughs board, though I will give you a Manhattan recommendation which some hounds probably won't like: John's of 12th St. It is not anywhere close to the level of Italian restaurant you obviously prefer, but it oozes character and history, and I've been there a few times and always had very helpful, friendly, gracious service. Not all of their food is better than OK, but it's honest food and a lot of it is tasty, real, and certainly generously portioned and a good value. They have some decent wines (by my standards, anyway), and I would recommend getting recommendations of food from your waiter - we did that last time and were steered very well. I've never had anything less than a pleasant experience there, so far. It's not a fancy place for a special occasion, but a lot of birthday dinners happen there, and it's really old-school (well over 100 years old now).

                      But if you want something more upscale, I know that in the past, Queen on Court St. in Downtown Brooklyn has been recommended, and they have both Italian-American classics and upscale Italian food. They cost more than John's but still quite a bit less than a place like Osteria Morini. Maybe that would be the perfect place for the two of you, but inquire on the Outer Boroughs board and see whether it's kept up its quality.

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

                      1. re: Pan

                        I second John's if she'd prefer Italian-American. It has an old-school (but not cheesy) atmosphere and does the Italian-American staples well. I remember liking their garlic bread and shrimp Parmesan.

                        1. re: Pan

                          The food is good at Queen but don't think the atmosphere is nice enough for a 50th bday.

                          1. re: missmasala

                            It's fancier than John's of 12th St. Do you have another suggestion?

                            1. re: Pan

                              fancier perhaps, but less charming than john's? I find the decor and atmosphere at Queen to be fairly tasteless/uninspiring. (though the conversations one can overhear are pretty amusing.) Just saying I wouldn't travel from Manhattan for it.
                              I don't, unfortunately, have another suggestion. And it's true the food is good at Queen, so if that's the only consideration, it might work.

                        2. re: Nunzio

                          Picolo Angelo, on Hudson off Jane. Full menu of all the favorites for the missus while you will be more than fine with the quality of the kitchen. Moderate price, relatively loud place, boisterous owner.

                          Piccolo Angolo
                          621 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

              2. Second Scarpetta, and add Da Silvano. I haven't been to Crispo, but many recommend it, and Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe & Sausage is right there on the menu.


                240 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

                Da Silvano
                260 6th Ave, New York, NY 10014

                355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014