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Best restaurant in Little Italy?

Old May 4th, 2016, 11:35 AM
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Best restaurant in Little Italy?

I know there's plenty but if I'm looking for the true NY restaurant with good food and fun atmosphere. Any recommendations?
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Old May 4th, 2016, 11:39 AM
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What do you mean by fun atmosphere?

I would not recommend Little Italy, as the restaurants are no longer what they once were. And there really is no Little Italy in Manhattan, as much of it has been swallowed by Chinatown. There are two good Italian food markets, one wine shop, and a clutch of restaurants patronized only by tourists. Locals would not normally go there to eat unless a visitor insisted.

A nearby exception would be Rubirosa; you need to book in advance, not just show up and expect to be seated.

Do you want an Italian restaurant? What is your budget?
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Old May 4th, 2016, 11:58 AM
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Really only one: Parm. There are also a few tourist-trip restaurants down there still, though most of them have closed. No one has gone to Little Italy for food in some decades now; it's strictly for tourists other than this place, which replaced "Torrisi Italian Specialties". This restaurant tries to recreate the traditional red-sauce Italian-American food in a modern way. That's what the Torrisi brothers have tried to do with their Major Food Group restaurants.
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Old May 4th, 2016, 12:24 PM
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>

Thinking Doug means "tourist-trAp" restos, and there are those.

Really, Little Italy was a dead zone for Italian restos (and I'm guessing that's the point of the post, you're not seeking the best Cantonese in Little Italy, right?) when I last kept a permanent address in NYC, and that was during the early Giuliani days.
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Old May 4th, 2016, 01:48 PM
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I agree with Doug Parm is good but noisy and crowded.

Much better than Ferrari's for pastries is Veniero's but avoid weekend nights if you can.
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Old May 4th, 2016, 01:55 PM
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GipsyLady… you should have come to NYC 50 years ago -
(I was here so understand the images you have in mind.)
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Old May 4th, 2016, 03:03 PM
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I tend to agree with [ekscrunchy] BUT if you still want to do it just to get the NYC experience I'd suggest La Mela (http://www.lamelarestaurant.com/). I dont think any of the food in little Italy is truly "authentic" anymore (I go to Italy once a year) but the portions are huge, the staff is amazing, and the atmosphere is super fun.

If you need other suggestions, you can find a map of all my top nyc places on Traverse - just follow me. http://www.traversemobile.co/
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Old May 4th, 2016, 04:07 PM
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For better traditional red sauce Italian you might consider Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.

For good italian in Manhattan there are a bunch of places (NOT in little italy) but they are frequently either regional Italian or else more real Italian food rather than Italian-American (which is mostly really adapted from Sicilian or basic southern Italian).
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Old May 4th, 2016, 05:35 PM
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If you are interested in a red sauce joint, you do not have to go to the Bronx. John's on East 11 st.
http://johnsof12thstreet.com/

or Lanza
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Old May 5th, 2016, 11:28 AM
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Joh's sounds good. It's been there a long time.

There's always Carmines, best with at least two people. More than one location.

Or Arturo's on Houston Street in West Village.


http://www.nycgo.com/venues/arturos-...zza-restaurant

http://www.carminesnyc.com/menus/
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Old May 5th, 2016, 12:18 PM
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Have you been to Nica Trattoria on UES? I just found it last week. Super cute, very authentic Italian on upper east (which says a lot). The owner barely speaks english and is so confident his Gnocchi is the 'fluffiest' around that he provides diners with a seat belt when they order it just so they don't "float away on air".

http://nymag.com/listings/restaurant/nica-trattoria/
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Old May 5th, 2016, 02:27 PM
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You ought to read your links more carefully before posting them.

Did you eat there and if so, what did you have and what were your impressions?
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Old May 5th, 2016, 03:11 PM
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BTW, John's on 12th Street has added Vegan to their awning because right next door is a popular veggie spot.

Do not let that deter you.
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Old May 5th, 2016, 04:47 PM
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What is meant by the term "red sauce"? Marinara, bolognese etc? I judge the quality of any Italian restaurant by the second of those, and so far all of the recs look yummy imo. But who has the best meat sauce in NYC? (I mean including braciole etc)? It's what I grew up with and we've found it at only a tiny handful of restaurants over the years, at least in the U.S.
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Old May 5th, 2016, 04:59 PM
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Is "red sauce" what Italians call "sughi di pomodoro" or "tomato sauce"?

This particular food snobbery has annoyed me for years.
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Old May 5th, 2016, 05:10 PM
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Red Sauce to a New Yorker is marinara, cooked long and low with little added to it.

"Revel in New York’s Italian Red Sauce
The Italians may have invented tomato sauce, but New York City made it a mob movie star, with red sauce joints starring in films from The Godfather to Goodfellas. We’re talking old-school spots where the marinara abundantly covers any pasta and parmigiana dish. "

http://www.newyork.com/articles/rest...riences-15865/

and:
"For awhile now, there's been something about "red-sauce" that inspires scorn from the foodie elite. A Wikipedist says the term is pejorative, and that the mom-and-pop image of these restaurants is a cliche. Italian-American food has been maligned in this city since at least the 1980s, according to Anthony Bourdain, who writes, "We were almost made to feel bad about any secret appetites we might retain for spaghetti and meatballs" once the gourmets took over."

http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com...ce-joints.html
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Old May 5th, 2016, 05:18 PM
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And lest red sauce be confused with "gravy!"

Gravy, served on Sunday for dinner at mid afternoon, contained meat. Could be sausage, pork chops, ground meat combo of beef, veal and pork.

And then there's the fact that gravy was served over macaroni, not pasta. But that's another thread.
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Old May 5th, 2016, 05:40 PM
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Ah good, I was right! A pseudo-culinary-sophisticate term!
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Old May 5th, 2016, 05:45 PM
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Tomorrow night I am playing poker with some buddies who I have known over 20 years. Most are Italian, one was born in Trieste. I grew up in a Jewish-Italian neighborhood and I would rather get into a knife fight than in the middle of the argument, "Is it sauce or gravy?"
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Old May 5th, 2016, 05:52 PM
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LOL, same here re: neighborhood and the fight.
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