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Italian Dining

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I will be in NYC for two days in early March. First trip in a long time - used to be in Manhattan 3 to4 times a year. Looking for a great Italian meal. Search revealed no recent discussions. I love Lupa - both the ambiance and the food. I also enjoyed Peasant and Frank on 2nd Ave. Inoteca is also an old favorite, but looking for something less hectic to relax with my date. Never been to Babbo, which may be more expensive than I want to spend. Also never been to Frankie restaurants, but don't see much recommendation of them in previous posts and wonder why not. Not looking for 4 star dining, and want to be welcome in jeans. Probably will want to go on Sunday night. Thanks for any ideas!

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Lupa
170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

Babbo
110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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  1. When exactly are you coming into town? March 3-4? How much are you looking to spend before tax/tip?

    There's very few Italian restaurants in Manhattan these days that wouldn't be OK with you in jeans (maybe you'd feel out of place at Del Posto or Ciano, or Marea?).

    Lots of the upscale ones are doing "upscale rustic," and don't have a formal dress code (at least officially).

    Early March means it's probably too late to try to reserve at Babbo, Scarpetta, Locanda Verde, Maialino. Those would be my recommendations if you love inoteca, Lupa, and Peasant. But these are all pretty popular and may be fully committed already for the nights you are here, or only have very early or very late times left.

    For something akin to Babbo but less expensive, look into L'Artusi and Dell'anima, run by two ex-Babbo employees. They are also excellent and easier to reserve at than Babbo.

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

    Dell'Anima
    38 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10003

    L'Artusi
    228 West 10th Street, New York, NY 10014

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

    3 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks for your prompt response. In Manhattan 3/10-3/11.

      1. re: cappy315

        Try Manzo in Eataly. It's very informal, the food is as good as Babbo, and reservations are a lot easier.

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        Manzo
        200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

        1. re: peter j

          I second the Manzo recommendation. My girlfriend and I were in NYC this weekend, visited Eataly around 830PM, saw the menu and had a table at 9PM. Everything we had was fresh and delicious (carpaccio, steak tartare, gnocchi and ravioli), excellent service as well. Nice surprise.

    2. Cappy, you have been to some spots, several are my favorites too. A new one I tried and really like was Osteria Morini, but I wouldn't call it less hectic.

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      Osteria Morini
      218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

      1 Reply
      1. re: VinoEd

        Only went to Osteria Morini once - the squash filled pasta was awful, with the squeeze bottle squirt of "Balsamic glaze" and a most un-appetizing color. I forget what my wife tried, but leaving 2/3 of our meals on the plate didn't raise on the slightest interest from the staff. Knowing at that point that we'd only be there once, we both ordered desert, and frankly I can't recall what it was.

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        Osteria Morini
        218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

      2. Maialino fits your criteria and it is wonderful.

        http://www.maialinonyc.com/

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        Maialino
        2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010