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Babbo substitute for 50th birthday

Hi! It's my mom's 50th birthday in March and I want to do a surprise family dinner in Manhattan for 8 people. She loves Italian food and has said before that she really wants to visit Babbo, but they only do reservations for maximum 6 people. Any recommendations on a a similar/delicious restaurant that would be suitably festive for a birthday celebration? Not super casual but otherwise open to any suggestions in the <$70/person range! We'll have some kids in our group so nothing too bar-focused either. Thanks!

110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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  1. reserve a table in the bar section at del posto. not babbo but in the same family! some like it better because staff is nicer & food can be equal to if not better for some

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

    3 Replies
    1. re: cubanat

      They eliminated dinner in the bar section of Del Posto a while ago.

      1. re: kathryn

        AWFUL news! that was the best deal in town! can you still eat in the bar area? just apps?

    2. Have you been to L'artusi? They do small events there all the time, though it would probably be more economical to order a la carte. I enjoy their pasta even more so than the pasta at Babbo. They have delicious crudo, vedura, and pasta. We normally fill up on the first half of the menu and don't get a chance to order the pesce or carne section. We have not been disappointed when we ventured to the second half of the menu. The beef carpaccio, roasted mushrooms, and spaghetti are a must.

      228 West 10th Street, New York, NY 10014

      1. how about porsena?

        21 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003

        1. How about Scarpetta or Lincoln? Can't go wrong with the food at either, and I'd you order carefully it fits your price range.

          355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

          142 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023

          1. How about Locanda Verde? http://locandaverdenyc.com/

            Delicious food in a fun, casual atmosphere with a little star power as well!

            Locanda Verde
            377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

            1. Scarpetta or Locanda Verde sound great! We may go with the former because there are two vegetarians in our party (one of whom is me, so bias haha) and it has an entire Vegetariano menu. Thanks for the suggestions!

              1. Here are 2 of my favorite Italian Restaurants which I like as much as Babbo.
                Both of these restaurants are in your budget and VERY special.

                Excellent Italian
                1561 2nd Avenue (at 81st Street)
                New York City
                Tel: (212) 744-1100
                HIGHLY RECOMMEND (Reservations suggested)

                AL DI LA
                248 Fifth Avenue
                Park Slope, Brooklyn
                Tel: (718) 783-4565
                EXCELLENT - Exquisite Creative Italian Foods from Venice.
                Accept Reservations for 6 or more people
                HIGHLY RECOMMEND - worth the trip to Brooklyn just to eat in this
                extraordinary restaurant.

                1561 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

                1. Il Buco Vineria, although they just got reviewed and it might be tough to get in...

                  Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria
                  53 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012