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Where Do Italians Eat in NYC

As our obsession with Italy has reached another level, I'm just curious where and what do Italians like to eat when visiting NYC. Do you focus on what you know and love, or do you try cuisines not available back home. Please be specific as to the places you've liked

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  1. I have a friend from Florence , Italy and when he visits, he wants a dirty water hot dog and a big soft pretzel, eaten in the street.
    He then usually wants to go to Katz's delicatessen!

    4 Replies
    1. re: PHREDDY

      Hahaha, when my friend came from milan i asked what he wanted to eat and his reply was anything BUT italian!

        1. re: Ttrockwood

          That may be due to the fact that what is called Italian food in the US is not necessarily what it is in Italy. When my wife and I toured Rome and the Amalfi Coast in 2010, food in restaurants was excellent, but plates were not overloaded with pasta. Pizza was thin crust in Rome which is the way it was in Chicago in the 1950s before there were corporate pizza shop chains.

          1. re: ChiliDude

            you are confusing italian food with old school italian-american food.

      1. Ziggy,

        I think that's a really hard question to answer. Italy is a large country, with a wide-ranging cuisine from North to South, to everywhere in between. Factor that with diversity of people in Italy, and each person's individual preferences and idiosyncrasies with respect to food -- and especially with respect to food while traveling.

        Some, like PHREDDY's friend, may just want good old NYC fare like a dirty water dog, or maybe something Katz, or whatever.

        Others might like to see what the fuss high-end American-style Italian is all about and might visit Babbo or Del Posto or whatever.

        Then there are those who probably will want to find just good food at an appropriate price point based on their personal budget -- whether that's Le Bernardin or Totto.

        I just think it's a really hard question to ask, and I'm not so sure that Italians would necessarily want to eat "Italian food" anymore (or less) than any other foreign visitor to NYC.

        7 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          Fair enough. Makes total sense. But curiosity still prevails. Just something I thought about while shaving ;)

          Yes, Italy is big and each region has its own thing but there are some common elements, one of which is that food is so much more of a way of life and so much more important to Italians than Americans. While talking to a waiter at Mercato (going again tonight) one time I was surprised to hear how popular it is with Italians, to the point where they try to employ only Italian speaking waiters. I suppose I'm answering my own question a little.

          Plus it wouldn't hurt to know what Italians think of our Italian food and which places they prefer. Shouldn't be so hard ;)

          1. re: Ziggy41

            Just something I thought about while shaving ...
            __________________

            You should consider growing a beard. :-)

            In all seriousness, when I entertain Hong Kong and mainland Chinese guests in NYC (and the Outer Boroughs), they look for one of two things: (1) cheap food or (2) American fast food. And these folks come from all demographic stripes -- wealthy, young old, educated, etc.

            I mean think about it this way, Ziggy, I have no idea what your nationality is, but let's assume you are "American" and you were to visit Italy, would you want to at "American" restaurants (whatever that may mean)?

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Actually many Italian tourists do seek out Italian restaurants abroad, then complain that the pasta was overcooked or whatever. However, they tend to be the Italians one doesn't ask for restaurant recommendations anywhere, incuding Italy. I took the OP's question to refer to Italian residents of Manhattan who need the occasional fix of tastes of home, which is perfectly reasonable, or a hangout to approximate the role of a "sottocasa" (trattoria near your home where they know your likes and dislikes better than your own mother does). That's a reasonable question.

              1. re: mbfant

                The OP clearly states in his OP that "I'm just curious where and what do Italians like to eat when visiting NYC.." Note the word "visiting." That would be an odd way to refer to residents of NYC. I don't think it is an unreasonable question at all. Obviously any answer isn't going to be definitive and needs a whole lot of caveats (but so would answering a question about Italian residents of NYC).

                I have eaten in Italian restaurants with many Italians in NYC (their choice) who have marvelous tastebuds (we don't eat where the pasta is overcooked) and I have often found their restaurant recommendations for Italy to be terrific.

                1. re: mbfant

                  Kinda like Americans who go to Italy and complain that they can't get a good burger and fries?

                  1. re: Ulyyf

                    Kinda like my Midwestern friends who don't want my homemade (NY style) food but insisted on going to Pizza Hut and Applebees? I tried not to argue too much but we didn't accompany either. They said they were homesick.

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  This is a rather unfair comment.

                  American food has a warped and tarnished history that is rather short at that, shorter than the more than 2000 year history of Chinese food, or of Italian food.

                  Of course, the natives prior to the Europeans may qualify as the real American cuisine.

                  So, to compare an American traveller overseas to a Asian or European here, is rather odd, and unfair.

                  I have known Americans in Europe and Asia that for reasons I could not understand, craved American chain store fast food, and would bolt to the nearest outlet whenever they could.

                  Scary.

            2. My most recent visitors from Italy found Keste http://kestepizzeria.com/ on their own while walking around the city and loved it. They were really happy to find what they considered authentic Italian pizza here in New York.

              Is that the kind of info you're looking for, Ziggy41?

              1. Where Italians eat is irrelevant to whether the restaurant is any good. You will find tons of Italians at Olive Garden and many Chinese at the Chinese buffets that are in every shopping center. Don't assume that Italians whether from Italy or not know any better then you what Italian rest. are good.

                2 Replies
                1. re: shoeman

                  i agree with this. most tourist/visitors aren't foodie. and they want something (anything) that reminds them of their home food, even if it's a horrible version.

                  for example, most chinese folks go to chinese restaurants even of questionable quality while traveling, just for a taste "chinese" white rice. that desperation grows even more the longer the vacation. assuming they aren't hardcore chinese travelers and bring their rice cookers with them =)

                2. Maybe put up a post on the italy board asking for their favorites in nyc?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                    The Italy board is all about tourists asking for recs in Italy. Anything else gets chased off.

                    I come from NY but have lived in Italy about 35 years.I never used to want to eat Italian in New York and every time friends dragged me someplace it was awful. I am waiting for someone to drag me to Babbo, but so far I haven't been. But I do go to Maialino pretty much every trip to NY and I love it. My Italian husband likes it very much too, but tends not to order the really Roman dishes on the menu. He will often argue points with the chef (too much water in the spinach was one), but they do a very good job.

                    Sant'Ambroeus is very good, certainly the best cappuccino, by which I mean not only good in itself but practically the only drinkable cappuccino, I have ever had outside Italy. I've never had a meal there, but I would be optimistic. It has a nice milanese vibe.

                    There are inherent contradictions in style between the NY restaurant and the Italian trattoria that make the trattoria experience practically impossible to duplicate, though if anyone has done it (not counting those serving Italian-American food), I would love to know.

                    1. re: mbfant

                      Your husband argues about watery spinach with the chef? Does he storm the kitchen and demand a word?

                      1. re: Jerseygirl111

                        He doesn't argue. He points out. But, even though he means it, it's all done in a spirit of respect and simpatia.

                  2. If you go to the Tripadvisor website and pull down the language menu to choose Italian then you can go to the forums that Italians use and see which NYC restaurants they ate at and reviewed.

                    Presently Colicchio & Sons is the most popular Manhattan restaurant among Italian travelers posting on TripAdvisor

                    http://www.tripadvisor.it/Restaurants...

                    Juliana's Pizza is the most popular in Brooklyn

                    http://www.tripadvisor.it/Restaurants...

                    Louie & Ernie's pizza is most popular in the Bronx

                    http://www.tripadvisor.it/Restaurants...

                    Beso (tapas) in Staten Island

                    http://www.tripadvisor.it/Restaurants...

                    Il Bambino in Astoria

                    http://www.tripadvisor.it/Restaurants...

                    Magna (Italian) in Flushing

                    http://www.tripadvisor.it/Restaurants...

                    And while the Jamaican restaurant The Door gets the top nod from Italians visiting Jamaica Queens the next 3 most popular and recommended by Italians for Jamaica are all Italian restaurants or pizzerie

                    http://www.tripadvisor.it/Restaurants...

                    As is often the case with TripAdvisor reviews the popularity of these restaurants may have a lot to do with their proximity to popular hotels and attractions. There are many other cuisines represented than Italian in the Top 10 for each borough but there is still a lot of enthusiasm for eating at Italian inspired restaurants in NYC.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: barberinibee

                      Either that or those restaurants are paying people or PR agencies to post in Italian.

                      Happens every day...

                    2. My 2 cents as an Italian who lives in NY since 5 years now who has dozens of friends that come visiting every year..

                      I would divide the italian tourists in two big categories, those (often over 50yo) that are not used to experiment different cultures and cuisines and the "new" generation who eats sushi or thai in Italy as well and is "ready" to try something new.

                      For the former I always made them happy by bringing them to one of the "Felice"'s, Felidia, Del Posto if they want some fancy dining, Giovanni Rana for casual dining and Numero 28 or Kestè for pizza. (If they want to see and be seen Bar Pitti and Cipriani is an other classic destination but I personally try to avoid them as much as I can)

                      With the latter we usually hit at least one Asian spot like EN Japanese Brasserie or 15 East for the high end and 456 or Joe's Shanghai in Chinatown for the low end.
                      Then if they fancy Indian I went a few times to some restaurant off curry hill and queens but friends were always more happy when we went to Tamarind Tribeca (I guess the majority of us italians is not ready for authentic indian yet).
                      A lot of friends love Greek cuisine like Stamatis or Kyklades in Astoria (maybe more expats then tourists though..).
                      And then the NY classics like burgers (B&B, Rare, Shake Shack, Minetta, Spotted Pig, Tom&Colicchio) or steaks (Peter Luger, Keens, Club A), etc..

                      Anyway, as always, it's down to their budget.. A vacation in NY is never cheap and many tourists from Italy would rather save some money and eat fast food then staying one or two day less in the city..

                      PS No italian in NY will ever be really happy with his coffee or cappuccino (a part from the Nespresso coffee bar, as many are used to have it at home).

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: alepenazzi

                        Is there anyplace to get a cafe latte like it is made in Italy?

                          1. re: littlecmad

                            I had a really good cappuccino at Sant'Ambroeus. I would guess they could do a caffè latte.

                            1. re: mbfant

                              Sant'Ambroeus, yes, for everything caffe. And the ambience.

                              1. re: mbfant

                                What is so good about the cappuccino?

                                1. re: Peter Cuce

                                  Cappuccino in the US always strikes me as too strong and bitter and the milk frothy but not frothy-plus-creamy. The couple of cappuccini I've had at S. Ambroeus have been flavorful without that burnt/bitter taste and the milk creamy. Also, the proportion of coffee to milk was just right. It was exactly like what I expect a good cappuccino to be in Italy.

                                  1. re: mbfant

                                    Once you have a creamier less foamy cap, it will just taste right. You realize that 99% of the people making them weren't trained to do it, and apparently most people ordering them either don't know better or have come to accept they can't get a proper one.

                                  2. re: Peter Cuce

                                    I like kortatas. They have less milk than the cappuccino. Always ordered my cappuccinos like that, and a friend found out they are kortatas.

                                    That is cortado.

                                    (that is not my book in the photo, some phantom coffee drinker set it there...it may have been Mao)

                                     
                              1. I dont know on which CH board I read this but someone (could have been barberinibee on the Italian board) once said that in the US one who appreciates good food is considered a "Foodie", while in Italy you just have to be over 10. Well maybe not in those words but something like that.

                                There's a world of difference between the avg American visiting Italy, or an Italian visiting NYC. Its almost painful to see Americans in Italy complain that they are tired of pasta and pizza and want a good burger, not realizing that its so much more than pasta and pizza. But on the other hand it seems perfectly normal to me to see Italians here eat what we call "Italian Food".

                                And yes I suppose some will not care and opt for the Olive gardens but something tells me those people dont read Chowhound. This thread is more about the rest of them. Some good answers so far

                                22 Replies
                                1. re: Ziggy41

                                  I think you asked a perfectly reasonable question but this being chowhound you were unfortuantely met with some negative responses. In general I think people in Italy are more focused on food than they are in the US hence they are less likely to settle for crap. Even traveling around Italy its pretty easy to find good food whatever region you are in.

                                  When my relatives come to NYC they want Chinese food and sushi. It is much better than the stuff they have over there. I would say they tend to shy away from Italian food in NYC. For the most part I do too. They own a couple of restaurants which I have worked in the kitchens for 2 summers.

                                  1. re: Ziggy41

                                    I'm not impressed with the average Italian restaurant in Italy. You really have to know someone who knows someone who knows a place to get good stuff.

                                    Or have make friends with people who have aunts and grandmothers and wangle an invite. That's when you get the really good stuff.

                                    1. re: vikingkaj

                                      Are you sure about this? I never "knew" anybody in restaurants I went to in Italy but I never had problems finding good meals..
                                      Especially comparing them to the "average" restaurants here in the US...

                                      1. re: vikingkaj

                                        Oh wow. Apparently there's no good food on planet earth

                                        1. re: MVNYC

                                          If you walk in off of the street in say Rome or Milan to the average Italian restaurant you don't get particularly good food. Average pasta that could be barilla from the jar and cotteleta di maiali.

                                          If you have a colleague that works for your Italian distributor and they take to you this little place that does not even have signage in Trastevere serving unidentified pig parts you will get one of the most amazing meals on the planet.

                                          Just sayin.

                                          1. re: vikingkaj

                                            "If you walk in off of the street in say Rome or Milan to the average Italian restaurant you don't get particularly good food. Average pasta that could be barilla from the jar and cotteleta di maiali."

                                            I don't think I have ever experienced what you describe. Are you talking about the restaurants that cater to tourists with the menu in 7 languages? Or just you average trattoria? If the latter, like I said, I have never experienced what you describe the 7 times I have been to Italy (5 of those times in Rome).

                                            Also, there are many very good restaurants that don't serve "unidentified pig parts" but are quite good. Too many people think that if you go to Italy, you have to eat in the most out of the way, hidden places that serve offal and the like. This is just not true at all.

                                              1. re: alepenazzi

                                                Well I disagree. I've seen at lot of bad Italian food in big Italian cities. Just like there is a lot of bad food in NYC. If you don't know where you are going, and just walk in off the street, you get lot's of mediocre.

                                                By the way, if I wanted to eat in Italy, I would go to Bologna. Emilia-Romagna has the best food in Italy.

                                                And then there is Sicilian food, but that's not completely Italian.

                                                1. re: vikingkaj

                                                  All the more reason to visit Sicily!

                                                  1. re: coll

                                                    Lots of reasons to visit Sicily...

                                                  2. re: vikingkaj

                                                    Maybe it's because I am competent in Basic Italian but I've found it hard to find bad Italian restaurants outside of touristy areas. I've been there over a dozen times to visit family.

                                                    1. re: vikingkaj

                                                      This is kind of off-topic, as this discussion is about New York, but while I agree with your first point, I find the second ridiculous, and it contradicts the first. Many on the Italy board would disagree with your statement that E-R has "the best food in Italy". There is plenty of mediocrity in Bologna. There is great food all over Italy if one chooses carefully, and "best" is a matter of personal taste.

                                                      1. re: vikingkaj

                                                        Over 20 meals in Italy this past year - One bad one.
                                                        Have you tried venturing out of central rome, touristy areas, etc? Looking forward to the answers in 3 weeks.

                                                        1. re: vikingkaj

                                                          vikingkaj I don't know your knowledge of Italy but saying that Emilia-Romagna has the best food in italy it's like saying that Tribeca has the best food in Manhattan...

                                                          There are so many simple and good restaurant all around the country that the only truly bad ones are the ones the cater to the tourists.
                                                          Of course I'm not talking about michelin stars level restaurants, we're talking about authentic every day trattorie with fresh, simple food and fresh ingredients.

                                                          Sicilian food is absolutely italian, I'd say food from alto adige. a few border towns in friuli and valle d'aosta it's not completely italian but I wouldn't say it about sicily..

                                                          1. re: alepenazzi

                                                            I agree with Alepenazzi about great Italian food all over Italy.
                                                            On behalf of vikingkaj, Emilia-Romagna has the reputation of being the "best". They say the lasagna there is the best, but I've had what I thought was the best lasagna in Venezia.
                                                            Also, Sicilians might agree, that the food in Sicily is not Italian, They would say their food is "Sicilian", The food in Sicily is amazing. From seafood, to eggplants to pistachios.
                                                            Most of the honey in Italy comes from Sicily I was told. Also, you will never have a Cannolo as good as one from Sicily.
                                                            Tribeca has the best food in Manhattan ( lol just kidding) but that's where I eat most often

                                                            1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                              I feel I should get my two centesimi in before the moderators notice that this subthread isn't about Manhattan.

                                                              Emilia-Romagna's reputation as having the best food in Italy is based on a few basic foods that are, indeed, candidates for best-in-universe: parmigiano-reggiano cheese, prosciutto di Parma, mortadella (the original bologna), and handmade egg pasta. Aceto balsamico tradizionale di Modena could go on the list too, but its importance in the national scheme of things is negligible (yes, really, you can live without it and hardly anybody outside its own area used to even know it existed till about twenty-five years ago, maybe thirty). The region is not known for its wines, though it produces some good ones. Many Italians think its food is way too rich, but it is very good. Think ragù di carne (bolognese), lasagne verdi, tortelli di zucca, passatelli in brodo, and more, but not a lot more. It is certainly not the most varied cuisine in Italy, and most Italians have never heard of Marcella Hazan, a native of Romagna (specifically Cesenatico, a coastal town nowhere near Parma), who first brought the region to the attention of Americans in a big way.

                                                              Sicily has a very varied and sophisticated cuisine that is at least as "Italian" as any other regions (and don't get me started on the fallacies of simplistically dividing the food of Italy into 20 convenient regional packages). Yes, there are remote eastern influences, but not just in Sicily, and they are remote. And, as Alpenazzi says, the foreign influences along the northern borders are far stronger.

                                                              As to general quality of restaurants, which, I think, is where this all began, not every Italian is quite as exigent as we like to think, and in a bad economy, it's easier for a restaurant to save money by lowering the food standards than by laying off a waiter. One still has to pay some attention when choosing a place to eat. Also, I had my eyes open when I first went to the Metro mega-wholesale supermarket in Rome (where I live) and saw all those insalate di mare in plastic packages and jarred sauces (including carbonara!). I do think the general standard is still higher in Italy than most places, and I do not think one part of Italy can be singled out as "best" or "most Italian" or anything.

                                                              1. re: mbfant

                                                                Sicily, especially according to Sicilians, is a whole 'nother country not unlike Texas in the US.

                                                                As has been noted, the average Sicilian would insist that their food is Sicilian, not Italian.

                                                                They also serve a lot of things that you don't find elsewhere in Italy.

                                                                Saying you like Italian food is so incorrect because every Italian region is different. And each region has good food and people take a lot more care in preparing this than the average American, especially at home on the weekend.

                                                                On the other hand if you asked the average Italian foodie where they would most like to go eat for the weekend it would be Bologna or Parma without question.

                                                                Black & White Truffles, Balsamico Modena, Parmagiano Reggiano, Parma Prosciutto, Tortellini, Ragu Bolognese. The hits go on and on.

                                                                Emilia Romagna is the food that makes Italy famous.

                                                                Finally, I stand by my statement that there are a lot of average restaurants in Italy, especially in the touristy places. If you want to find the good stuff you have to know somebody.

                                                                1. re: vikingkaj

                                                                  Of course Sicilians would identify their food as Sicilian. I identify my food as largely Roman. It doesn't mean Romans don't see themselves as Italian. Food-conscious Italians believe that there is no one, single Italian cuisine, but that all the many cuisines that go into making the Italian mosaic do have much in common with one another.

                                                                  Nor do I believe Italian foodies would choose Emilia-Romagna as their dream destination, though anyone in his right mind would welcome a weekend there. I tend to think they would choose Piedmont, not least for the wines.

                                                                  And every part of Italy has dishes you don't find in other parts of Italy.

                                                                  1. re: mbfant

                                                                    Every italian would probably tell you his dream destination for food in Italy is the region he grew up in.
                                                                    At least that's what I say... and I'm from Veneto... ;-)

                                                                    1. re: mbfant

                                                                      "And every part of Italy has dishes you don't find in other parts of Italy"

                                                                      Exactly. Plus we're speaking of Italians in America. They're more than happy to tell you the differences in regions and dishes without getting dismissive beyond some playfulness. Italians are like any other immigrant group, they hope to taste the soul of their country even if it's not spot on regionally. It's not as if we're talking about communities like what you see in Brighton Beach, eating off menus that are a mish mosh of Russian, Czech, Ukranian, Hungarian, Austrian, etc. It's all Italian.

                                                                    2. re: vikingkaj

                                                                      Viking: I'm curious about all of the alleged ingredients that are found in Sicily but nowhere else in Italy. Offhand, the spleen of cow that features in visteddi is the only one I can think of and even that is surely found elsewhere….we even have it in NY.

                                                                      I know very few people in Italy but I cannot remember a truly terrible meal there, in what must be about 25 visits covering many different regions by now. But then, I rarely just choose a restaurant by random. Oddly enough, I have had a few pretty bad meals in France, though.

                                                                      1. re: erica

                                                                        I'm thinking of some of the seafood I've had in Sicily which is different from the rest of Italy. It may travel, but its not the same.

                                                                        Also, I find Sicilians use a number of spices that have more in common with Tunis than Milan, especially in stews and soups.

                                                                        Finally, the bread,especially including stuffed breads and pastries, are different from the rest of Italy.

                                                                        Lots of lemon and oranges in sauces, to a greater degree than elsewhere. And really good olive oil with a more robust taste to it.

                                                                        It doesn't mean that the ingredients aren't available in other parts of Italy, but that they are not normally made or used like they are in Sicily.

                                                2. I live in Italy about 3 months a year and work entirely with Italians. Most of them when they come here avoid Italian food, except for the very top end like the old San Domenico or the new Marea. They all complain that Babbo and similar muck things up too much--i.e. use too many ingrediants. They all seem to love seafood as done in good Cantonese restaurants (steamed with scallions and ginger)--I use to take the Pollinis to the Nice Restaurant almost every day. They also all seem to love xiao long bao and similar dumpling/buns such as at Shanghai cafe or 456, or even dimsum. Oriental Garden has been succesful with Italians both for fish and dimsum.

                                                  40 Replies
                                                  1. re: swannee

                                                    I'm getting the feeling that Chinese food in Italy isn't particularly good.

                                                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                      Bob, from mine and my relatives experiences Chinese is pretty bad in Italy. I remember one place in Rome that was good but that was after a full summer not having any Chinese at all so perhaps my view was skewed.

                                                      Now after reading these boards I will make my relatives fly to the San Gabriel valley for Chinese when they come over for New Years.

                                                      1. re: MVNYC

                                                        Off topic but of some interest, I've found the Chinese food in Paris to be pretty good. The Thai food there was excellent - tweaked for French palates but very good in its own right.

                                                        1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                          Off topic as well but I've also been fortunate enough to live in they Czech Republic for a time and I was fascinated by the Czech Chinese food clearly altered for the Czech palate. The Vietnamese food was surprisingly authentic though.

                                                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                            With France's history in SE Asia it's not surprising that the food would be found there.

                                                        2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                          I sort of look forward to the day when I feel like Chinese food in Italy ;)

                                                            1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                              Not that I ever went to it, but there was one Chinese Restaurant in Rome that always had a line to get in. It was supposed to be the best Chinese restaurant in Rome....but who knows. I noticed that there is very little other international cuisine in Italy as most of the Italians we met think their own cuisine is the best. And yes, they would probably think most of the Italian food in NY is crap except maybe some high end Mario Batali type place.

                                                            2. re: swannee

                                                              -- yes, the Italian expats i've met in NYC generally dislike the Batali places (as do i)

                                                              1. re: Simon

                                                                I actually enjoyed them quite a lot, and the group of italians I usually go out with like them as well.
                                                                We all like Lupa (being many times both as a group and with family), followed by Del Posto, or Felidia for a midtown working lunch..
                                                                PS It's not italian but I'm a big fan of Casa Mono... I think their cinco cebollas foie gras is amazing.

                                                                1. re: Simon

                                                                  Why not? I ask in all innocence, because I have never been to any of them.

                                                                  1. re: mbfant

                                                                    People either love or hate the Batalit restaurants. I am a lover of them all. I really can't take the guy himself, but I think the restaurants (most of which are co-owned with the Bastianich family) are wonderful. It's just one of those love 'em or hate 'em situations that divides people on this board. I grew tired of arguing about it long ago so now I just say my peace and quietly walk away. :)

                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                      Italian food in italy (in addition to the excellence of ingredients and usually reliable cooking) is notable to me as an American for its moderation - not so much food on the plate, not so much fat, not so many garnishes.

                                                                      My sense is that Batali and similar places amp the food up in a way that many italians may not appreciate.

                                                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                                                        I have to disagree, jen. Lupa is a favorite of mine and I can say the portion sizes are very much like what I've had in Italy, and the same is true for garnishes and fat. We had dinner at Lupa shortly after returning from our recent trip to Italy, and though we had a lot of great food in Italy, I found the pasta dish I had at Lupa (tripe agnolotti) better than almost all the pastas I had in Italy. I think Batali strives for authenticity, and succeeds.

                                                                        1. re: rrems

                                                                          Reading that, it sticks out that you found Lupa better. It sounds like that could mean your sensibilities are more in tuned with what Batali serves, where Italians probably don't want improved or what many Americans would find to be better, they want the same as what they'd get in Italy

                                                                          1. re: sugartoof

                                                                            Really? Did you read the first part of my post?.

                                                                            "the portion sizes are very much like what I've had in Italy, and the same is true for garnishes and fat".

                                                                            My point was that most everything about the restaurant is very similar to restaurants in Italy, and that the quality of the food is not inferior. The fact that I found one pasta dish superior does not indicate that I prefer some kind of Americanized Italian food, it just means he can make a damn good plate of pasta that I'm sure any restaurant in Italy would be proud to serve. It IS possible to produce food here that compares with what is served in Italy and I can't imagine Italians not liking that.

                                                                            So, other than looking for something to attack, what is your point?

                                                                        2. re: jen kalb

                                                                          Italian food varies greatly in Italy. Aside from differences in different regions, within the same town, there are good restaurants and bad ones. Some use fresher ingredients than others. Some put more food on the plate than others. I think it is too general to say "Italian food in Italy ,in addition to the excellence of ingredients and usually reliable cooking,,," I've had amazing meals in Italy, and some really bad ones.
                                                                          That being said, the better Italian meals I've had in Italy were far better than what I've had here. That includes Batali and Michael White restaurants.

                                                                          1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                            You and sugartoof are missing the point. jen kalb speculated (has she been to a Batali restaurant?) that:

                                                                            "My sense is that Batali and similar places amp the food up in a way that many italians may not appreciate."

                                                                            I was pointing out that this is exactly what he does NOT do. I added my experience regarding the quality of a particular dish in a Batali restaurant, on which opinions may differ, but one cannot deny that portion sizes, garnishes, and fat are not "amped up" as in many other Italian restaurants here.

                                                                            1. re: rrems

                                                                              +1 to what rrems is saying. Batali's places are far from "Americanized" in any way. Many people I've dined with at Babbo have been quite surprised at how simple some of the dishes are, in fact. And the dishes at Lupa are -very- straightforward. They're not "cheffy" (in a creative sense) at all.

                                                                              But of course, not all Italian cuisine is simple and rustic. That's a common misconception. Florence is, as many a historian will point out (and many a Frenchman will deny) the actual birthplace of Haute Cuisine - the personal chefs of Catherine de Medici brought the style with them to France when she was wed to Henry. Hell, Canard à l'Orange and "French" Onion Soup are originally Tuscan dishes.

                                                                              And there are significant regional differences - a restaurant serving the cuisine of Trentino is going to be just as alien to a Sicilian as an Italian-American "red sauce" joint.

                                                                              There will, of course, always be a camp of people who believe that any food is inherently better when eaten in its homeland - witness every single thread about any Asian cusine / restaurant on Chowhound.

                                                                              As others have pointed out, there are bad Italian restaurants in Italy as well. And some of those bad places are very popular with the locals.

                                                                              Which brings up an important point: an Italian is -just- as capable of having bad taste as an American. I would also say that I'd be -less- likely to trust the opinion of someone who, when visiting a foreign land, seeks out food that tastes "just like home" as that suggests someone with an incurious and uninteresting palate. It's no different, to my mind, than asking for New American restaurant tips from the tourist who looks for the nearest McDonald's when they get off the plane. They're just looking for a taste of home, too, after all...

                                                                              1. re: rrems

                                                                                rrems: "I was pointing out that this is exactly what he does NOT do."

                                                                                Depends on which Batali place, or even the specific dish you order. He's got a large empire, and he dabbles in a lot of styles. These menus can represent a TGIF Fridays approach, which "amps up" things in and of itself.

                                                                                Like I said, he's gunning for an American sensibility, and he's clearly informed by his days in California, thinking ingredients driven rather than creating faithful reproductions of regional dishes. It can mean the sizing of the ricotta gnoochi, or the size/amount of shaved tuna flakes on a spaghetti are off in really notable ways. If a random Italian stopped me in the street and asked where they can get food like back in Liguria, I wouldn't feel safe sending them to Lupa or really any Batali spot, without strict guidelines. Being tuned in to the audience that took a vacation, or lived abroad for a year, and wants to revisit that taste while in NY is a very different thing than what's drawing in Italians to the other places getting mentioned in this thread - because that thing isn't always about what we try and focus on at CH, which is the food.

                                                                                1. re: sugartoof

                                                                                  You still don't get it. I gave an example of one Batali restaurant. I have been to Lupa, Babbo, and Otto (not crazy about Otto). He may have other places that are as you describe, but the comment I was responding to was referring (without first-hand knowledge, I think) to the entire Batali empire.

                                                                                  I was not commenting on anything other than food, which was again what the post I was responding to was about.

                                                                                  1. re: sugartoof

                                                                                    "If a random Italian stopped me in the street and asked where they can get food like back in Liguria, I wouldn't feel safe sending them to Lupa"

                                                                                    Well, I wouldn't either because Lupa is Roman. It's right in the name, "Lupa Osteria Romana"

                                                                                  2. re: rrems

                                                                                    I think you missed my point. My point was that jen kalb made it sound like all food in Italy is great. It isn't. I didn't comment on size or "amped up-ness " of Batali's food. In fact I happen to like Babbo quite a bit. I do not like Otto at all. However, I have not had any Batali dishes that rival the best dishes I;ve had in Italy.
                                                                                    If you missed your point again. I apologize.

                                                                                    1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                                      for the record not that it matters, I was not claiming above that Italian food in italy was "better" than in NY but only that there could be differences of style (I said moderation but I could have fixed on other similar points) that some Italians might not prefer.

                                                                                      1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                                        Sorry, foodwhisperer. I was mainly responding to sugartoof, and did not read your post carefully. I don't disagree with you.

                                                                                  3. re: jen kalb

                                                                                    I do not find the food at Batali/Bastianich restaurants to be overly "amped up" in any way. In fact, I enjoy a lot of them for the pure fact that the dishes they serve are somewhat similar to dishes I've had in Italy. That said, I do not think I have ever gone to an Italian restaurant in NYC that serves anything as basic as a trattoria in Italy would serve. That is just not the American style of service. Unless a restaurant was catering to ex-pat Italians living here and Italian tourists, I doubt it would survive in NYC serving food plated and prepared as it is in Italy. But we must keep in mind that this is the US, not Italy. I find many of our Italian restaurants to be just the right mix, with the Batali/Bastianich restaurants be very high on my list. And as another poster pointed out, in the end it is all personal preference. These types of Italian restaurants work for my palate and my desires.

                                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                      I agree, and as an Italian I don't find Batali's restaurant to be an amped up american version of an italian trattoria.
                                                                                      I find Lupa to be pretty authentic, a place where I would easily bring my parents when they come visit or any friend to give him a taste of roman cuisine.
                                                                                      I'm not saying it's better than a great restaurant in Roma, but it's definitely better than the average italian restaurant in the US. Way better..

                                                                                      There are some little places run by italians that tries to do things the way they did in italy, like Da Marcella or Bianca, but being NY it's tough to survive and to get the best ingredients on a budget (the good thing about Batali's restaurant is that thanks to their popularity they don't take shortcuts when it comes to buy the right ingredients, if they say guanciale, it's guanciale, not some kind of bacon sold as guanciale, for example).

                                                                            2. re: swannee

                                                                              Babbo, and most of the Batali empire, is crap.

                                                                              Overdone, overpriced and not at all authentic, it is stockbroker power food with an Italian accent.

                                                                              Batali is such a swindle because he knows what is good. He and the boyfriend just head over to Italy to get it.

                                                                              I'll bet he doesn't even like to eat in his own restaurant when he has time off.

                                                                              1. re: vikingkaj

                                                                                While I agree Babbo is not the best I think of Del Posto as one of the best italian restaurants I've been to, outside of Italy.

                                                                                1. re: vikingkaj

                                                                                  "stockbroker power food" - ?

                                                                                  I get the feeling you've never actually been to Babbo.
                                                                                  Pricewise, they are decidedly in the casual midrange of NYC restaurants.

                                                                                  As to your claims to know what's "authentic" - well, sorry, but not all Italian food is exactly the way your Nonna made it.

                                                                                  1. re: sgordon

                                                                                    "As to your claims to know what's "authentic" - well, sorry, but not all Italian food is exactly the way your Nonna made it.'

                                                                                    I agree.

                                                                                    I've fought the Batali wars here on CH all too often to argue with others. I'll just say that while I am not a fan of the man himself, I have enjoyed myself at every one of his restaurants I've been too and frequent one here in NYC at least once a month. I have been to Italy about 7 or so times in the last 10 years. I don't claim to know every region's cuisine inside and out, but I have had enough meals in Italy from north to south to know the Batali/Bastianich empire's restaurants serve an Italian-based cuisine that adheres to the philosophy of Italian cooking. Their restaurants here in the US are of course going to interpret this philosophy through North American "eyes" and that is what is presented at their restaurants; some like it, some don't. That's fine. I love the food and I often recommend his restaurants to people looking for good quality, near-to-authentic Italian food.

                                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                      There was a good bit on the notion of "authenticity" on a recent episode of Bourdain's show - essentially dismissing the idea that it even exists. Like, if you go to Thailand and have a larb in one town, it's not going to be the same the next town (or even the next block) over. But a lot of people get the first version of something the tried that they liked (or at least the first version they tried in its ancestral homeland) imprinted in their mind as the "authentic" version. See: every thread about Pho, ever.

                                                                                      As I've said before, if you only want to eat "authentic" cuisine, feel free to only consume edibles you've foraged yourself, and small game you've killed with rocks and sticks cooked over an open fire.

                                                                                      1. re: sgordon

                                                                                        That's a pretty hyperbolic, or perhaps immature debunking of "authenticity" as a concept, that they tossed off on Bourdain's show. Regional and tribal traditions don't offset the basic nature of a cuisines construct, which are either the actual article, replicated authentically or not. It's very simple. Cultural traditions exist, and let's hope we're sophisticated enough to handle the complexities and contradictions inherent in different regions without suggesting the only way to be truly authentic to those details is to erase them all and play with rocks.

                                                                                        1. re: sugartoof

                                                                                          True, but it gets complicated when you move away from the cuisine's home territory. Given the difference in ingredients available here, it's arguable that Red Sauce Italian-American, long derided as "inauthentic", is more "authentic" than American restaurants that try to replicate Italian regional food that can't really be cooked here because the precise ingredients can't be obtained. That's why an Americanized Italian restaurant like Babbo -- applying Italian concepts and techniques to local ingredients -- may be more "authentic" than, say, a "Roman" restaurant that doesn't serve Pajata.

                                                                                          1. re: Sneakeater

                                                                                            My wife lived in both Milan and Rome for many years and says the same thing about Babbo. The techniques are spot-on and as you said, using those techniques with the best ingredients available is Italian in itself. I don't love everything about Babbo but I do not find it Americanized.
                                                                                            JeremyEG
                                                                                            HomeCookLocavore.com

                                                                                            1. re: Sneakeater

                                                                                              "That's why an Americanized Italian restaurant like Babbo -- applying Italian concepts and techniques to local ingredients -- may be more "authentic""

                                                                                              Agree with the general idea, but not sure that works in Babbo's favor. Most all cuisines originated by using local ingredients (or making a major statement by using imported ones), so I'm not sure sourcing local is enough as a philosophy. You can't say "well I'm staying faithful to how they would have done it in the old country if they had these ingredients instead". It gets too into make believe, whereas, the idea is to put up a good effort, and approximation, and avoid flavors that you wouldn't find. Even when the ingredient is available, it has to still be right. I was just discussing on the SF board how much of the basil being used there has no basil characteristics. That's pretty crippling for a lot of styles of food.

                                                                                    2. re: vikingkaj

                                                                                      I hate to disagree on knocking Mario, who is obviously a great publicist, but Babbo has quite a few wonderful simple dishes (bavette with cardoons comes to mind) that are absolutely delicious and "authentic Italian" - which to me means excellent ingredients, and usually not more than about seven of them, including the salt and pepper...

                                                                                      1. re: DavyTheFatBoy

                                                                                        Well, Batali is from the last generation who got on TV because they had a good restaurant, as opposed to today's crop who get a restaurant because they were good TV.

                                                                                        1. re: sgordon

                                                                                          "Well, Batali is from the last generation who got on TV because they had a good restaurant, as opposed to today's crop who get a restaurant because they were good TV."

                                                                                          That is quite an insightful way to put it! Bravo!

                                                                                  2. Just from some obvious observations, I don't think a day goes by when Eataly isn't packed with Italians.

                                                                                    Keste has been mentioned, but it's really true, overhearing Italian speaking tables is pretty much the norm there.

                                                                                    When I've asked recent Sicilian transplants they tend to mention Cacio e Vino for a taste of home, which is a pretty under the radar spot in the EV, and I think it's the kinda place you're hoping this thread delivers on.

                                                                                    NY has long had establishments that really survive off a rotating door of international transplants - they're not always the best places, so much as a place that offers a certain dish, or more likely, a place where someone knows the owner, or feels a sense of community.

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: sugartoof

                                                                                      -- i second the Cacio e Vino idea...i once met a group of Sicilians (expats living in NYC) there who said it's their fav place...

                                                                                      1. re: Simon

                                                                                        Thirding this, my Sicilian family likes Cacio e Vino.

                                                                                      2. re: sugartoof

                                                                                        I also see tons of Italians at Eataly -- it adds to the ambiance!

                                                                                        1. re: chompchomp

                                                                                          And Eataly is a chain in Italy I believe? Not quite like McDonalds though ;-)

                                                                                      3. They all eat at Bar Pitti to say ciao to Gio

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: AubWah

                                                                                          Da Silvano gets it's share of Italians who want to go to an "upscale" or "pricier" Italian restaurant. maybe to say ciao to Silvano. San Domenico ( now Marea) always had many Italian visitors.
                                                                                          My Italian friends like Bar Pitti.

                                                                                        2. I have a close friend who is an Italian expatriate, and she gets very excited to eat in restaurants that are owned by Italians. I personally keep kosher and she is very kind to go to kosher restaurants with me, so our scope is a bit narrower, but she did give her stamp of approval to Rafaello pizza, a new kosher restaurant on 46th street owned by someone who also owns a restaurant in Rome.

                                                                                          1. my native italian friend recommended gigino though i haven't been there yet...

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: MarieLuncheonette

                                                                                              I would strongly recommend not to go there.. I had a pretty bad meal last summer...

                                                                                              1. re: MarieLuncheonette

                                                                                                Gigino was once known to be one of the few true Tuscan restaurants. The one in Tribeca is far better than the one at the battery. The beet pasta being my favorite dish they offer. Osso Bucco second favorite.

                                                                                              2. The last couple times I was out with a friend of mine who's a noted Italian chef, we went to Momofuku Ssam and Mighty Quinn's. He loves them both.

                                                                                                For Italian food in NYC, from what he's said to me he seems to like Batali's places over Michael White's. But he doesn't really eat out Italian much since, y'know, he can make his own pretty well.

                                                                                                He likes some Asian food, but not their noodles. I think ramen come off a bit "odd" for him, they don't quite read right.

                                                                                                1. Every Italian I know that comes here and stays for a few weeks or months or longer, always eats in Italian restaurants. True, they also want to try Katz's, they want to try Japanese restaurants. But they always try some Italian restaurants. I have friends from Bari, Venice ( area), Sicily and Ischia. They all at some point want some pasta, or rice balls, or just some grilled branzino, at some point. Throw in pizza too. I have been to Frankie's with them, Ennio and Michael's ( closed), Enoteca, Rubirosa, Peppolino, Bar Pitti,Crispo, Da Silvano, and Marea with them.
                                                                                                  For that matter, every Asian person I know that comes here, wants Asian food of sorts. Even though it doesn't compare with back home. But yes they may want to try a hot dog, steak, hamburger, or fancy French restaurant too.

                                                                                                  1. my friends from torino and milan go eat here with all their italian friends. they told me the food is more typical of the type of stuff you'd eat at home and that your mom or grandma would cook vs anything fancy. i had some drinks (but didn't eat) with them last weekend, the staff is all italian
                                                                                                    http://www.yelp.com/biz/via-della-pac...

                                                                                                    i will caveat this with i have no idea whether they have good taste or not as i haven't eaten with them much and just because they are italian doesn't mean they have good taste

                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Lau

                                                                                                      Not a big fan of Via della Pace, it's perfect for drinks and to have fun, the owner is really nice and you can easily spend an entire night at the bar, but I wouldn't go there for the food..

                                                                                                      1. re: alepenazzi

                                                                                                        yah i caveat'd it bc ive never eaten there and it didnt look amazing, but thats what they like...could also be that they're friends with the owner and staff and everyone is actually italian there

                                                                                                        1. re: Lau

                                                                                                          I think that's really common in NY. If they can go somewhere, get Al dente pasta, or a regional dish they miss, get friendly with the staff, give patronage to someone from their region, and speak the language - that's what they're after first and foremost.

                                                                                                          You see the same thing with Japanese, Russians, Sardinians, Basque, Israelis, French, Germans...well, just about every group you can think of.

                                                                                                          1. re: Lau

                                                                                                            Lau, I like your caveat because it is so true that just because people are from a specific country doesn't mean they have good taste. In this case Italian, but it is true of every country. Well, maybe not France, all French people think they have good taste.. haha j/k

                                                                                                            1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                                                              all people are the same and some will have good taste and others wont, just the way it is....although taste is subjective so you could argue anyone's taste is technically good bc they enjoy what they eat

                                                                                                      2. Italian friends introduced us to Pepolino, owned by two delightful men who trained together in Florence at Cibreo, when it was still good. Delicious, authentic Florentine food in a completely untouristic part of Manhattan, West Broadway in Tribeca. Reasonable wine list.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. Hi Ziggy! reposting from TripAdvisor:
                                                                                                          after we cross the Alps or cross any of the seas surrounding us, no more pizzas, tiramisu, espressos or pasta! I'm sure Italian food in NYC is excellent but our time in NYC is limited and we'd like to have other kinds of food that we really can't have at home; in Italy foreign food restaurants really suck.
                                                                                                          If Eataly is half as good as it is over here, il Pesce restaurant would be in my list (and if they have fresh tuna, I'd have that). As you write, Italian food is not only pasta or pizza so I would probably look for a place in NY that has other less known dishes like tripe tuscan or roman style, spleen sandwiches (a sicilian specialty - they actually have it at Ferdinando's focacceria in Brooklyn), or any place where they don't use cream in the Carbonara. From your posts, Scarpetta and Costata look like the places I would go to if I lived in NYC and got tired of all the other foods.
                                                                                                          The thing with Italians is they like to complain about everything so I think they unconsciously go to these Italian restaurants in foreign countries, where they know they're not getting real Italian food, so they always end up complaining (national sport): "the pasta was over-cooked, the Carbonara had bacon instead of guanciale, the espresso tasted like dirty water, my mom cooks this better, etc. etc".
                                                                                                          Personally, I prefer some Chinatown dim sum, Guelaguetza tacos, any food truck or burger stand than eating at Giovanni Rana's (I buy Giovanni Rana's fresh pasta at home for emergency meals, but it is no restaurant food).

                                                                                                          1. I love Cacio e Vino! It's my favorite Sicilian restaurant in Manhattan. When my friends from Italy come to NYC to visit us , we go there and they love it too!

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: stellastar2013

                                                                                                              i've never been there, i'll have to check it out. I love the food in Sicily. Cacio e Vino's menu seemed very Sicilian. Although no regular dishes with pistachios, but the dessert has them.
                                                                                                              I like that say say cannolo instead of cannoli. Most people here in U.S. including Italian Americans think one cannolo is a cannoli.

                                                                                                            2. I would take an Italian to Al Di La or Saraghina:

                                                                                                              http://www.saraghinabrooklyn.com/

                                                                                                              http://www.aldilatrattoria.com/

                                                                                                              Good food prepared simply with a touch of home style.

                                                                                                              Hard not to like these places.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: vikingkaj

                                                                                                                I went to this place on friday, Risotteria Melotti, and we were the only ones speaking english in the whole place, patrons and staff included. It was also great risotto. Gaia Cafe has a very Italian feel, between Gaia and her friends.

                                                                                                                1. I took my visiting friends from Rimini and Milano to Tertulia last weekend and they loved it. They wanted "anything but Italian" food and Tertulia did the trick perfectly.

                                                                                                                  1. At home! My wife of 54 years is of Italian descent. Why should we go to eat at an Italian restaurant when we eat the same food at home?

                                                                                                                    I miei antenati non erano italiani. Basta basta con la pasta!

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: ChiliDude

                                                                                                                      "At home! My wife of 54 years is of Italian descent. Why should we go to eat at an Italian restaurant when we eat the same food at home?"

                                                                                                                      People in Italy cook Italian food at home, but they go out to eat frequently... in Italy... where the restaurants mostly serve... Italian food.

                                                                                                                    2. They go to Bensonhurst....not manhattan.

                                                                                                                      Many Italian restaurants in Little Italy are managed and or staffed with Albanians. This is not a bad thing. It is good. You can eat there and talk with them and find out where the best Albanian places are for cevapi.

                                                                                                                      But these are the settled to some extent, Italians. Others may eat other places.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                                                        I would not assume the people you identify as "Italians from Italy" in the Bensonhurst restaurants are visitors to NY from Italy - by and large they are first or possibly second generation immigrants from southern italy either living in that shrinking community or visiting from SI or NJ to shop or visit. I imagine 18th Ave would be pretty far for a homesick Italian tourist to travel for their taste of home.

                                                                                                                        1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                          I had stated about the Bensonhurst Italians "But these are the settled to some extent, Italians. Others may eat other places."

                                                                                                                          So, thank you for further clarifying my idea, historically.

                                                                                                                      2. When my sister visits with her family from Milan, it's always Grand Sichuan. And they generally order off of the Chinese American menu (but share the other dishes that rest of us insist on). They don't want anything "Italian." My favorite moment was watching my brother in law explain to his younger brother "In America they eat the meatballs WITH the spaghetti."

                                                                                                                        1. Hi guys, I'm italian, I come to NY twice per year, i'm so lucky to have a small condo on Renwick St. and Spring St. and I just want to put my list of place where I usually like to go to dine:

                                                                                                                          - Malatesta (many newyorkers don't know there's an italian joint there...)
                                                                                                                          - Corsino
                                                                                                                          - Sushi Mambo
                                                                                                                          - Ushiwakamaru
                                                                                                                          - Bar Pitti
                                                                                                                          - Extra Virgin
                                                                                                                          - Spotted Pig
                                                                                                                          - Rosemary
                                                                                                                          - Taim
                                                                                                                          - Del Posto
                                                                                                                          - Kestè
                                                                                                                          - Osteria Morini
                                                                                                                          - Azul Bistro and before Novecento
                                                                                                                          - Peter Luger
                                                                                                                          - Corner Bistro
                                                                                                                          - Cafè Minerva for incredible cappuccino
                                                                                                                          - Locanda Verde

                                                                                                                          That's my goto list... What do you think?
                                                                                                                          As you can see, italians LOVE italian food... that's all folks!! ;)

                                                                                                                          PS: I live in Venice, if someone of you come here why don't we go to have a spritz or prosecco together?

                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: maxinvenice

                                                                                                                            That's a nice invitation, wish I could hop over there right now!

                                                                                                                            1. re: maxinvenice

                                                                                                                              Nice list indeed Max. I will be about 90 minutes away from you in November

                                                                                                                              Anything good to eat in Bologna ;)

                                                                                                                              1. re: maxinvenice

                                                                                                                                curious, do any of the italian restaurants on your list particularly remind you of home in ambiance or cuisine?

                                                                                                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                  In my experience I think @Malatesta and Kestè I feel like I'm in Italy...
                                                                                                                                  Malatesta meatballs w red sauce (that we call polpette al sugo) are terrific!!
                                                                                                                                  Seems like my grandma is in the kitchen!!!
                                                                                                                                  And if you know an italian guy in his 30s or 40s and you'll ask him who's the best chef in the world, the answer will be the same for all... GRANDMA!!!!

                                                                                                                              2. I don't know if this is a quirky thing, but I run into Italians (mostly businessmen) at SushiAnn all the time in midtown.

                                                                                                                                I assume they're going for better sushi than they can get at home, while staying in a convenient location near their hotels. They sit at the sushi bar and chat it up.

                                                                                                                                1. About a decade ago, my Italian professor recommended Gnocco on E. 10th St - I've been going there (and enjoying it) ever since. It used to be that most of the staff was from Italy... not sure if that's the case anymore.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: nyc_to_ma

                                                                                                                                    I haven't been there for quite a while, but I remember they had one spectacular dessert - a budino di castagne - and good carpaccio and carpaccio di tonno. I don't remember any pasta very well, but I probably got one with mushrooms because I like mushrooms. Their pizza was good except the one time there was some problem with their oven and the one they gave us was misshapen (it still tasted pretty good, though).

                                                                                                                                    What have you been liking there?

                                                                                                                                  2. Aurther Ave in the Bronx. My Favorite is
                                                                                                                                    Enzo's of Aurther Avenue but there are a dozen or so that are all very good.
                                                                                                                                    Enzo's - 2339 Arthur Ave, New York, NY 10458
                                                                                                                                    (718) 733-4455

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bbdcnyc

                                                                                                                                      Recent transplants are visiting Arthur Ave? I always thought it was an Italian American thing.