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Best Italian in midtown east or upper east side?

Need to pay back a favor and take a buddy out to some steller food. Thinking italian. Unfortunately, I don't know which of these places in this particular neighborhood is great!

I'm looking for the best FOOD - that's it. Tomato sauce that doesn't have water pooling on the sides - made fresh over hours with a healthy dollop of olive oil!

Thank you

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    1. re: Lacrosse_Gastronomic

      Have you been recently?

      I haven't been since Morini first opened late last year and it was, to put it nicely, a bit awkward.

      And I say that being a big White fan.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        What was awkward about it? It's been great all 4 times I been there this year.

        1. re: UES Mayor

          I've also had great experiences at Ristorante Morini during my two visits recently. I particularly enjoyed the foie gras and rabbit terrine with figs and the duck confit ravioli. The service was polished and friendly.

          Ipsedixit - I don't think it's fair to publicly judge a restaurant based on one visit right when it first opened. The staff was obviously still working out the kinks.

          1. re: Lacrosse_Gastronomic

            I wasn't publicly judging it.

            If I was, it would be a lot more judgmental.

    2. Il Gattopardo on 54th Street

        1. re: alepenazzi

          I agree. Can't go wrong with Felidia. You can even do an olive oil tasting!

        2. Primola, if you can stand their snootiness; pretty good food, though.
          (I'm guessing they woke up one morning and decided the Rao's model was something to emulate.)

          1. Felidia and Ristorante Morini are both excellent suggestions.