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Jul 9, 2012 06:16 AM

Little Italy, outdoor dining Sat night with young adults (20's) who enjoy Good food and ambiance.

Any recommendtions, a long time since we have eaten there but being Italian like the vibe in ittle Italy, Really want outdoor dining not too serious place. Thanks

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  1. For good food and ambiance, look further afield...

    1. "Good food" and "Little Italy" generally don't appear in the same sentence. It's essentially two blocks of Olive Gardens at this point.

      You have a couple decent "true" Italian places nearby - Osteria Morini (Emilia-Romagna), Caffe Falai (Florentine) - and a couple of Italian-American ones: Rubirosa & Torrisi Italian Specialties. I think only CF of the four has outdoor seating.

      But if your heart is set on Little Italy... any one place is as good (or bad, depending how you look at it) as any other at this point. Might as well choose at random. Il Cortile used to be better than most, but from what I've heard over the last few years they've gone seriously downhill.

      1. Have dinner elsewhere, go get gelato in Little Italy (maybe La Cremeria?), and then walk around after dinner to take in the ambiance.

        1. Saturday we walked by Barolo in Soho. They have a very nice outdoor garden for dining. We've never been to dinner there. I am sure some Chow Hounders can chime in with a review.
          Another place we saw was La Pera on Thompson St. Interesting Mediteranean menu and outdoor garden space. Have not been there either.
          Both are close to Little Italy.

          13 Replies
          1. re: Motosport

            thanks I will look into it! I am remembering the Little Italy of old.

            1. re: cpine

              Personally, I don't think all of Little Italy is "bad". It's not the fine Italian dining you may find elsewhere. You'll find several restaurants with sidewalk tables. If you are looking for the sidewalk table experience go for it. If you are looking for a more subdued outdoor dining experience check out my SOHO recs.
              Il Cortile in Little Italy has good food and a courtyard garden out back. I can't remember if it is "open air" or not.
              Don't forget to let us know how it all works out.

              1. re: Motosport

                Thanks, there have been some really wonderful recommedations just outside of Little Italy but the menus are not what the teens will look for! To try another time with a different group. I let you know how I make out.

                1. re: cpine

                  If you are looking for basic red sauce and melted cheese any one of those sidewalk places will work. Look at the menu and grab an empty sidewalk table. The teens will have a blast!!
                  After dinner walk around a bit and try another place for pastry and espresso. Get your fill of Little Italy and people watching.

                  1. re: cpine

                    Are they teenagers (like 15, 16, 17) or people in their 20s? Your post is a little confusing.

                    1. re: cpine

                      But you said they appreciate good food and ambiance . . . .

                      1. re: Sneakeater

                        They do like good food guess I should have said "not fussy"

                        1. re: cpine

                          The problem that we're all trying to tell you about is that they're not going to find good food or good atmosphere in Little Italy. It IS a problem.

                          There's plenty of good unfussy Italian in New York. In fact, right now, I personally would say there's a glut.

                          But none of it's in Little Italy.

                          1. re: Sneakeater

                            thanks for your input! really appreciate it.

                            1. re: cpine

                              Look, I'm sorry. I know we must be coming across as pushy and snobbish.

                              I think the problem many of us have is that it just kills us for people to visit New York, of all places, and have bad food. It's so easy not to.

                              Sorry again.

                              1. re: cpine

                                Read the very helpful link posted by Simon above:

                                You can listen to all the LOCAL posters here or stick to your guns and expose young palates to a crappy meal in a pretty disgusting area. Choice is yours. Not like anyone has a vested interest besides you.

                                FWIW, try nearby Rubirosa.

                                1. re: thegforceny

                                  a variety of non-Little-Italy options downtown that might be fun:

                                  -- Rubirosa
                                  -- Malatesta
                                  -- Cacio e Vino
                                  -- Picolo Angolo
                                  -- Osteria Morini
                                  -- Peasant

                                  One of those should do the trick :) Hope you have a fun meal and please report back...