Little Italy restaurant recommendation
Visiting from New Zealand and need recommendation for authentic Italian in little Italy - thanks
Little Italy is VERY touristy. Many of the restaurants aren't worth your time.
Also it's not where one goes for authentic regional Italian.
Are you looking for Italian-American food? That's likely what you've seen on TV and in the movies.
Try Rubirosa or Parm. Or walk through and eat somewhere else on the Bowery or in Nolita.
Overall, Little Italy is a very touristy spot and most of the restaurants there cater to that. As a result, most are not very good.
Having said that, I did attend a work related dinner at La Mela about a month ago. It is not "authentic" Italian, more Italian-American (chicken parm, spaghetti bolognese, antipasti) and the wine was so-so. The food was OK, not spectacular, but certainly edible. We did manage to have a very good time, though the cheap wine may have had much to do with that.
If you are visiting and really want to spend time there, you could do much worse and pay a lot more. But if it's just the food you are after, Kathryn's suggestions are spot on.