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Best Italian in midtown east or upper east side?

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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. Ristorante Morini

    4 Replies
    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. Felidia!!

        1 Reply
        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.

            1. Uva offers some pretty good Italian. Not as fancy as Felidia or Ristorante Morini, but dishes are still solid.

              1. UVA is a great Italian spot in UES with great wine selection.Their gnocchis are to die for..

                1. I love sfoglia. pastas are fantastic.