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Ciano, Osteria Morini, Scarpetta??

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Looking for a really good restaurant with amazing pasta. Celebrating my birthday and am in the mood for some comfort food. The problem is that my husband hates spending a fortune and leaving hungry. For example, I took him to Nomad because I was blown away by the crabmeat and meyer lemon pasta dish. I had to beckon the waiter for more bread to fill him up. Tasting menu's aren't his thing unless it's somewhere like Grammercy Tavern, which he always enjoys. So while it's my birthday, I would feel uncomfortable if he wasn't satisfied. I have read about so many good restaurants here such is A Voce, Al Fiore, Lincoln, Ciano, Osteria Morini, Marea, Scarpetta, Del Posto. I would like an appetizer and pasta dish. I don't necessarily need a secondi, if the pasta is substanial enough. Scarpetta is known for their bread basket so I felt that was a safe bet, however Osteria Morini's creamy pasta dishes appeal to me more.

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  1. I was at Osteria recently so my vote goes there. I ordered ravioli with chestnuts, seafood stew and acorn squash side which I really liked. Definitely moderate portion, but rich and really good, esp. the pastas.

    I'm similar to you, I rarely order secondi or entrees and usually stick to a pasta dish but there was a person the table over that had the seafood dish so I wound up ordering two mains, lol. My cousin did the same, she had gnocchi and a lamb dish.

    You'll def. be fine w. an app and pasta dish. Your husband might need a dessert though.

    I haven't been to Ciano or Scarpetta.

    1. Skip Morini. It's extremely loud and crowded (unless you like that). Food is good but not great. Food at Scarpetta and Ciano is better. Ciano's pastas are good-sized appetizer portions, not main-course size. The chicken for 2 is a very special dish. I prefer Ciano over Scarpetta, but they are both excellent.

      1. I love the pasta at Ciano. The Cortecce with Baby Octopus, Pancetta, Fennel and Garlic Bread Crumbs couldn't be homier or more satisfying -- it's one of my favorite pasta dishes in NYC. My other favorite thing there are the contorni. You can fashion a wonderful meal just choosing among the antipasti, pastas, and contorni.

        1. I would prefer a quieter atmosphere. Didn't realize Osteria Morini was loud. My husband has a hearing problem and it's hard for him to hear in loud places. But damn, the pasta dishes sound great. Between Ciano and Scarpetta so far your comments favor Ciano. Now it seems it's between Ciano and OM.

          1 Reply
          1. re: scanmike

            I agree with Dave, the cortecce with octopus at Ciano is outstanding. I've been to OM twice but have not been back in a long time. The noise is deafening and the food is just not that special. I found some of the cream sauces on the pastas to be gooey and overpowering.

          2. Scarpetta is definitely a safe bet if he wants to be able to fill up. Get a drink at the bar and have some of their freshly made potato chips with herbs. They will gladly refill your bread basket for you, and the dipping sauces are also excellent. Some of the appetizers like the polenta and short ribs are very filling. I like the skylight and modern decor. See if you can request a corner table on the banquette so you can sit at 90 degrees to each other. I have done an appetizer, pasta, and no secondi there and left satisfied. So if he's a big eater, the chips, bread basket, and a full 3-4 courses should be good.

            Osteria Morini is definitely too loud and cramped for a birthday.

            1. Just to make it more complicated I am going to give my "vote" to A Voce (Madison location) and Ai Fiori. Since this is a birthday with your husband I would give the ambiance edge to A Voce (love Ai Fiori's food but the space reads too corporate for my tastes). We have never (each) had more than an app, entree/pasta, shared side at A Voce and I have always left full. Ai Fiori "suggests" 3 courses and I left stuffed the first time I tried their suggestion. FYI - really really like Ciano also but the service has always been "weird" and uneven.

              1. Which location for A Voce? Madison Avenue at 28th would be more convenient.

                1 Reply
                1. re: scanmike

                  Absolutely Madison Ave (as mentioned in my orignal post). The Columbus just doesn't have the same "feel" to it.