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Neighborhood-y italian restaurant - West Village

Hi,
Can anyone recommend a cozy neighborhood-y italian restaurant in the west village for my husband and I for a birthday dinner?

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  1. Malatesta—not fancy but very good and low-key.

    If you want a step up, you could go to Perla, but it's just so-so to me.

    1 Reply
      1. re: Sneakeater

        I love Del Anima at their best, but they are quite expensive in relation to the tiny portions they give. Also, they are a bit hit or miss. I have had spectacular meals there, and some that were merely good. Same dishes each time.

        1. Less cozy, more fancy, but by no means stuffy--L'Artusi

            1. re: alepenazzi

              Now Lupa is super consistent. The dishes (gnochi and saltimbocca for example) that I love there are always spot on fantastic.

              1. re: NYJewboy

                and the pastas like cacio e pepe or amatriciana are 100% authentic and delicious...

                1. re: NYJewboy

                  Super consistent? The last few times I was there, I found it increasingly salty, to the point that it became somewhat unpleasant and I haven't been back since then.

                  1. re: Pan

                    Not that it's worth arguing about, but I, too, have found Lupa to have gotten pretty inconsistent over the last few years.

                    1. re: Sneakeater

                      It might depends on the palate as well..
                      What is salty for someone can be normal for someone else, especially in the roman cuisine which is considered one of the more "salty" cuisines among all the italian regions.
                      Northern italian cuisine it's usually a little more bland in flavors, while southern has a different kind of saltiness and spiciness.

                      1. re: alepenazzi

                        Yeah, but I used to love Lupa. They were less salty then. So this is an apples-to-apples comparison, especially as I'm in many cases talking about the changing taste of the same menu item.

                        And for the record, I have enjoyed Roman food very much in Rome and haven't found it disturbingly salty at all, though admittedly, I've spent more time in Tuscany and Umbria than Rome.

                    2. re: Pan

                      That is not really surprising, considering that I order a very limited range of things, usually the same each time. I feel that they really have those down. The saltimbocca is always salty, and it works well to me (but with any good red wine I pay for that the next day). The gnocchi are always superb. Like clouds in your mouth.

                      1. re: NYJewboy

                        I just went to Lupa (for the first time) last week, and didn't find any of the dishes I had very salty. And I'm usually not a fan of salty food. I might have to go back soon and see if it changes over a few visits.