Italian Restaurant Advice For My Birthday!!!
So my birthday is coming up and I'm trying to do an italian restaurant in Manhattan. I've narrowed it down to some places and I was curious which of them has the best food and atmosphere or if anyone could give me a ranking or analysis that'd be great.
http://crisporestaurant.com/food/ - crispo
http://www.restaurantpassion.com/exte... - pepolino
http://lavagnanyc.com/menu/specials/ - lavagna
http://www.biassanot.com/ - da andrea
its only four people. The rest of my family isn't as adventurous as me so I wanted to keep the restaurants tamer. I've been to Ciano and really enjoyed it but am looking for somewhere I haven't been. I got approval from my family for the restaurants I picked based on what they'd eat so I kind of want to stay with one of those that I listed but i appreciate the rec!!!
I have not been to Lavagna or Supper. The others are all good, so I would go with whichever one has the menu that appeals to you most.
Though I agree with Spiritchaser regarding Ciano, be aware it is considerably more expensive than these.
I'm a huge fan of Supper, but it can be a hassle to get a table on the weekend, as they don't take reservations. They have a tiny wine bar next door, but it's often packed. If you don't mind waiting, though, I don't think you can go wrong there. Very reasonably priced, as well. The Caesar salad, spaghetti al limone, and risotto are awesome.
I also really liked Crispo, though I've only been there once. The ambiance was a little weird (we were seated in the atrium-type portion of the restaurant during the winter) and the place was quite loud, but I thought the food was good. Had a really great super-Tuscan wine there as well, though I can't recall the name.
Agree with the above that Lupa is great for pasta, but leaves something to be desired with regard to entrees.
From your list I've only been to Lupa and Da Andrea. I like both but prefer Lupa. You say, "The rest of my family isn't as adventurous as me so I wanted to keep the restaurants tamer." That said, either Lupa or Da Andrea would be fine, with Da Andrea being the "tamer" of the two, in my opinion.
I prefer da Andrea over crispo and lupa. I have never been to the other 3, you don't say what type of dishes you like. I'm curious why you didn't o morini,,babbo, al fiord, il mulino, da silvano
I've been to Lupa, Crispo, Lavagna (not recently) and Supper, from that list. To me, Supper is a good everyday restaurant, not a special birthday celebration place. Lavagna, from what I remember, had only a few really good dishes, like the radiatore pasta with sausage (if I remember correctly), and everything else was just OK, though they had a good wine list. I wouldn't choose them, but if you do, reserve the table that overlooks the garden.
So that leaves Lupa and Crispo. I like both places. My feeling is, if you can get reservations at Lupa at a reasonable hour, especially in the back room, which is quieter (if that's what you want), go. If you go on Tuesday, get the duck. On other days, I've really liked their peppery pollo arrosto. I do agree that the highlights are appetizers and pasta, but I have not had the bad luck with mains that others have. And I love their tartuffo for dessert. They have a very good and fairly-priced wine list and a good list of grappa, too.
Crispo is also very good, but tends to be loud, and sometimes very loud. If that's what you want, it is a celebratory atmosphere, and they have a garden that's covered and heated, which you can reserve a table in. If you go to Crispo, they also have many good appetizers, good pasta, and there, too, I really like the duck. Their best dessert by far is the tasting of pot au creme and creme brulee. They also have a good wine list, though I may have had somewhat better luck at Lupa.
When you make a decision, let us know, and we can recommend specific items to order.
It is. Other recommendations from their menu:
Risotto Balls “Arancini”
Also, get the zucchini flowers if they're on the specials menu, and the artichoke, which is a "regular special."
Caramelized Cauliflower, Currants & Pine Nuts
Basically, get a selection of a few things that strike your fancy. I don't remember whether I like the bresaola best or what, but it's all good.
Yes, the carbonara is good, but my favorite is:
Butternut Tortelloni, Pumpkin Seed Brown Butter, Sage & Parmigiano
I also like the pastas with mushrooms and the Fettucine & Duck Bolognese, Parmigiano, but I usually don't get the latter because I get duck for my secondo.
Gotta go with Crisp Duck Breast, Fig, Brussel Sprouts, Port Wine Reduction, unless you don't like duck. It's by far the best secondo I've had there. I'd probably rate the hanger steak in 2nd place; it's very good.
All of them are good.
Tasting of Crème Brûlée & Chocolate Pot de Crème is by far the best dessert you can get there, but you won't go wrong with any other dessert. For example, the panna cotta is always good, and the berries with mascarpone are also very pleasant. I find flourless chocolate cake kind of boring, but they do a good one, and their gelati and sorbetti are also fine. Or you can always have a drink in lieu of dessert.
I finally tried Lavagna, and I would not hesitate to recommend it. In another post I made some other recommendations including Da Andrea. Lavagna's pasta with sausage and peas in a creamy spicy tomato sauce is excellent. It is similar to the Ennio sauce at Ennio and Michael's and the Contadina pasta at Da Silvano. The whole striped bass for 2, was amazing. they presented it flaming and then brought tit back in the kitchen to filet it and portion it for two. it is served with spinach and grape tomatoes. The skin was perfectly flavored and crisp. This is a great dish. The octopus carpaccio was good. The atmosphere, although loud, was very pleasant. The service was excellent and friendly. There was no wait to get in. I like this place better than Lupa and Crispo.
I want to revise my previous comments about Lavagna. I went there as part of a party of 6 on Thursday night, and we had a very good meal and good wine. I wish the pasta with sausage and peas were a little less sweet, but except for the panna cotta (way too gelatinous!), everything was very good. Their chocolate mousse dessert is made with a cooked mousse, with excellent dark chocolate, and I definitely recommend it.
I am sure your birthday has passed but I have been curious about Nannies, and have loved the food at Rossini's on 38th both claim Northern Italian Cuisine.
"Nanni's on 46th and Lex. One of the first Northern Italian restaurants in NY. Still very good with friendly service. I usually just go with the specials. You can't go wrong."quote from this: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/304054
I do have to say that Franks on 2nd just up from Moonstruck Diner around 5th street is exceptional. So many people have claimed Franks is their favorite. I love their food too.
I don't mean to hijack this post, although it is over a month old, but everyone on here seems to know the answers to what I am looking for.
I am taking my wife out for her birthday on Saturday with some family members and she wants Italian.. It is late notice so my initial choices of Lupa, Osteria Morini and Ciano are booked. I am a huge fan of Crispo, Le Zie, Da Andrea and Bianca so my wife want to go someplace new. I have never tried Basta Pasta but it looks interesting. Has anyone eaten there and knows how it compares to my other favorites? Are there any other Italian restaurants similar that I might be missing? (larger menu, below 14th street, great pasta,etc) Thanks everyone, it has been awhile since I have been here and have always received the best recs.
Ok, I ended up at Basta Pasta since I could not get a reservation for a party of 6 on late notice. It was a disappointment. We sat for 10 minutes before even getting a menu and it was 30 minutes before we had our drink order taken, Bread arrived around the same time but no plates or olive oil, that took another 10 minutes. They have the waiters handling too many tasks. Even with the poor service, it would not have mattered if the food was great.
The food was not bad, it was just not memorable. Within a few hours no one could remember what they had ordered, nothing really stood out. Everything was just bland. It was also expensive, our bill for a party of 6 was almost $400.00 and we did not order any wine. A similar meal at Le Zie or Da Andrea, possibly even Crispo, would have cost a lot less and been a much better overall experience, both food and service. I was hoping to like this place but this will fall under the "one and done" category for us.