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Your Top 5 Italian Restaurants Below 50th Street?

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Your Top 5 Italian Restaurants Below 50th Street?

Thank you in advance.

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  1. Scarpetta
    Ciano
    Maialino
    Piccolo Angelo
    Torrisi

    Depends what you're looking for, though, as certain of those places are quite different from the others in terms of pricing, formality and style of cooking...

    1. In order of preference:
      Del Posto
      Perla
      dell'anima
      Scarpetta
      'inoteca

      12 Replies
      1. re: thegforceny

        Price friendly fabulous food Crispos at 14th.

        1. re: arepo

          I find Crispo's food ham-fisted and the space crazy loud. The times I've frequented it was full of loud, overly raucous people, of the type usually travelling via a B or T.

          1. re: thegforceny

            Just piling on because this is probably the first time I've ever read anything on this board about Crispo that I agreed with.

            1. re: Sneakeater

              What is ham -fisted? We have reservations for Sat. night, should I cancel?

              1. re: tgseaver

                Lacks finesse. Sacrifices top ingredients and sophistication for excess which certain people think means 'delicious": tons of oil, cheese, frying, salt, cream, butter.

                1. re: thegforceny

                  Didn't know what "ham-fisted" is until now. But completely agree. But, I'll be blunt ... Crispo is jsut OK , but not that good.

                2. re: tgseaver

                  I'll be there Saturday night too. I simply love the way they do food. It is a loud, noisy place but well worth every penny because it is not over the top -- it is reasonable and really good Italian food. It is not an upscale dining venue. It is more for a youthful crowd (not that I am!!)
                  If you decide not to cancel, try their Hanger steak and brussel sprouts. Yum!

                  1. re: arepo

                    I'm going! Sounds like this is just what we are looking for,thanks.

                    1. re: tgseaver

                      Went there once, enjoyed the food, have not been back but look forward to the opportunity.

                      1. re: tgseaver

                        I'll probably be sitting in that middle room that holds six people, across from the kitchen. If you feel like it, stick your head in and say hi and tell me how you liked it.
                        (expect noise, it is a happening kind of place)

                        1. re: arepo

                          Went last night and loved it! So I guess I am ham-fisted lover lol.

                          1. re: tgseaver

                            Yippee! I am glad you saw what I saw in the place despite some off-putting comments.
                            Good Italian food with a decent "sticker price" doesn't come around that often in NY so grab it, says I, despite the noise factor.

          2. Del Posto
            Perla
            Manzo
            Babbo
            Scarpetta

            1. If you don't need the glitz:
              DaCiro
              I Trulli
              and Marcony all rock our world for nice neighborhood restaurants.

              1. Babbo
                Da Andrea
                Bar Pitti
                Da Silvano
                Osteria Morini

                2 Replies
                1. re: foodwhisperer

                  There's Da Andrea again. Have to try it. Any recs there?

                  1. re: NYJewboy

                    Tigelle, pappardelle with sausage and truffle oil

                2. Perla
                  Osterini Morini
                  Maialino
                  Torrisi
                  Del Posto

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: mla19

                    I'll jump on here with a question: For a special birthday, looking for more upscale/refined but delicious would you choose Del Posto or Scarpetta and why?

                    1. re: plafield

                      To me Scarpetta is more innovative.

                      1. re: arepo

                        I never understood why innovation was a virtue. Different can be terrible too, you know. I guess I am a traditional type of guy.

                      2. re: plafield

                        Of the two, I've only been to Del Posto and can only speak to that restaurant. For "upscale/refined" you can't do much better than Del Posto. Absolutely beautiful space with wonderful service. You get what you pay for. I've been to Del Posto 5 or six times: for dinner, for the prix fixe lunch and for Easter afternoon dinner. Each time I have been blown away by the food. I am not putting down Scarpetta at all, as I have not been there. It is on my short list though and hope to get there soon.

                    2. I don't think I've seen any mention of Ai Fiori so far. That's my favorite to date. Scarpetta is also excellent and I liked my one trip to Babbo but it was a few years ago.

                      I like Crispo fine as a mid-priced Italian restaurant that's dependable and has some decent wine and good grappas, but it is not in a comparable category. I go there now and then to enjoy myself with friends or relatives, but I wouldn't go there for a really special occasion. Similarly, I like Inoteca as a place to go to (usually late at night) for a good snack or meal with my girlfriend, before or after hitting some bars on the Lower East Side. I could imagine going there for someone's birthday, but their food, while nearly always quite good, does not have the level of complexity or the "wow" factor a great dish at a place like Ai Fiori or Scarpetta has.

                      There are restaurants that are excellent for what they are. I don't have the money to eat out at expensive restaurants every day, even if I wanted to (and I don't think I'd want to). But there's a reason they are more expensive, in these cases.

                      1. 50th seems like a very arbitrary street to choose, but for me, in no order:
                        Hearth
                        Dell'anima
                        Locanda Verde
                        Torrisi
                        so many, Ill flip a coin and say Rubirosa?

                        1. A Voce
                          Ai Fiori
                          Ciano
                          Maialino

                          1. Del Posto
                            Manzo
                            Lupa
                            Cipriani Downtown

                            1. SD26 is missing from the lists, as usual.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Wilfrid

                                Good point, love thier salumi and cheese selections

                              2. In no particular order:

                                Otto
                                Manzo
                                Maialino
                                Del Posto
                                'inoteca

                                1. I Sodi
                                  Bar Pitti
                                  Inoteca
                                  Pizza Roma
                                  Babbo

                                  1. Locanda verde, Torrisi Italian Specialties , Perla, Del Posto, Scarpetta.

                                    1. Scarpetta
                                      Del posto
                                      Marea (rule break worthy - just a few blocks)
                                      Da Andrea
                                      Rubirosa (not in the same league as the others but we had a fun dinner there)

                                      Between del posto and Scarpetta I'd choose Scarpetta as well

                                      1. Yesterday I went with some friends for brunch at the newly opened Giovanni Rana restaurant at Chelsea Market.

                                        We had one of the most delicious authentic, simple, true italian meals of the last few months.

                                        We shared a few appetizers and then we ordered the pumpkin ravioli, the ravioli al brasato and the cappelletti al prosciutto. They were all perfect and just really good.
                                        The desserts were even better, a simple tiramisu and a trio of panna cottas, both amazing.

                                        I know it sounds like an advertisement and I can't comment about the secondi (meats, fish, etc) but I honestly just found my new place for an authentic, reasonably priced, good italian fix.

                                        PS they carry what I personally think is the best prosecco from italy: Valdo. Give it a try.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: alepenazzi

                                          Sounds interesting, Although I am not a fan of prosecco, I surely am a fan of authentic italian food, in a "below midtown" area. Thanks.