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Italian Dinner in Manhattan

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Hello,

I'm looking for a good Italian restaurant in Manhattan for a couple of vegetarian (egg is fine) friends. I have come down to following options. Please help me narrow down to one, neither from the below list or anything else that I haven't considered so far. Our budget (without alcohol) is less than $50 a person.

Scarpetta - http://www.scottconant.com/restaurant...
ai fiori - http://www.aifiorinyc.com/
locanda verde - http://locandaverdenyc.com/

Thanks a lot!

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  1. How many friends? How formal / casual to you want the dinner to be? Also do you already have a reservation?

    Ai Fiori feels little more formal to me, LV is more casual (and crowded/loud), whereas Scarpetta I feel to be in between.

    I'd choose Scarpetta simply because it has a specifically vegetarian menu and some of the best dishes are vegetarian. Ai Fiori might end up being too expensive.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn

      Love the foos at Ai Fiori (and GF is a vegetarian) but it does seem to skew a bit "formal" at times almost corporate, additionally I don't think you would do well there with your budget.

    2. Thanks a lot for the recommendations.

      We're fine with casual or little formal dressing. Even my first preference was Scarpetta, but we are not getting any reservation for this Friday. Scarpetta do accept walk-ins, I'm guessing it would be a long wait on a Friday evening? What if we try going there around 7pm?

      Thanks again

      8 Replies
      1. re: qwerty1120

        I doubt it would be *that* bad. However, if the actual wait time sounds ridiculous, have a backup in the area. Perhaps Crispo would work?

        1. re: LeahBaila

          I feel Crispo isn't in the same league, do you disagree?

          1. re: qwerty1120

            100%. But if you're going w/o reservations - and then feel as though the wait is too long - don't you need a nearby backup?

            1. re: LeahBaila

              I agree. It's like when you're hoping the hot jock in HS will ask you to the prom and it doesn't happen. So you wind up going with the cute MOR guy and have a good time anyway.

              1. re: ttoommyy

                Lolololol! Bingo.

                1. re: ttoommyy

                  hahahha.. GET IT!!

                2. re: LeahBaila

                  Crispo could have a wait on a Friday night, too.

            2. re: qwerty1120

              Just be aware that Scarpetta's bread basket includes the addictive stromboli which contains pancetta.

            3. About that budget: How many courses of what kind do you think you all will be eating?