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Little Italy/Arthur Ave Restaurant Recommendations


GaijinGirl
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Okay - My mother in law's birthday is coming up - it'll be me, my husband, his brother and sister and law, and Mom.

Any recommendations for a very nice restaurant? I'd prefer Little Italy, but would welcome Arthur Avenue suggestions as well.

A million thanx!

-Janet (GG) (It's Italian - it's out of my league!!!)

Mochi, Foi Thong and Rojak - what more can a girl want from life?

http://www.frombruneiandbeyond.com

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The East Village, as Pan suggests, is also a good alternative to Little Italy or Arthur Avenue. Babbo and Otto and Lupa are the three that are the heavy hitters there, all owned by the Batali/Bastianich restaurant group.

With Arthur Avenue, however, you have the advantage of other Italian things to do besides eat dinner at Robertos. The Arthur Avenue Retail Market is a great thing to do with family. Little Italy in Manhattan is really Chinatown now.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Actually, I'd say that Babbo, Lupa, and Otto are all in the West Village, but in a way, they're in a sort of middle area, as the heart of the (West) Village is really around 6th and 7th Avs. I do consider Washington Square part of the Village, not the East Village, though.

In any case, though, there are also good choices further east. It all depends on how much you want to spend, what kind of ambiance you want, etc.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I shouldn't be "set" on Little Italy OR Arthur Avenue - better quality, I imagine, should be the goal. (Shoulda realized that Little Italty was way too touristy at this point. ) So West and East Village are definitely options. (Looking at my old threads, I notice that I actually asked this back in May, too. That time, we ended up going to a place on Arthur Avenue. My mother in law liked it, but I found it blah. I think it was called Marias....?)

As for price - medium. Not nose bleed high, but better than a storefront. Specifically, I'm thinking $30 or so per person....

(Course, I'd go to Sripraphai, but that's just me. This is my mother in law's day...gotta remember that!!!!

:biggrin: )

Mochi, Foi Thong and Rojak - what more can a girl want from life?

http://www.frombruneiandbeyond.com

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For $30/person, consider Bianca, Col Legno, and Cacio e Pepe (there are eGullet threads about all of them but I'm too lazy to look for them now :raz:). All three serve good, honest food and have a pleasant, sedate ambiance.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I had the most amazing osso bucco with polenta the last time we were there. I usually prefer the fresh tomato/eggplant fusilli en cartoccio (a frequent special) over the seafood (menu) version (when sealed in, the seafood sometimes gets slightly overcooked). However, I also love their fish. They are happy to split a pasta or risotto, so you could have it as an appetizer or pasta course and go with a protein based main. I particularly like to do this with the cauliflower farfalle (towards the top of the pasta list on the menu). One time they had these amazing wild boar chops. The only types of dishes I find skimpy are the veal scallopini dishes, but Jason likes them. Oh, and there's this appetizer with broccoli rabe and beans and I think sausage, that's really good. Roberto's is the only place I've ever liked broccoli rabe (usually I hate it), I don't know what he does to make it good, but it is.

We usually don't bother with dessert there, and instead walk over to the Arthur Avenue Cafe (2329 Arthur Avenue) instead. Or, better yet, get some cannoli at Madonia Bakery before heading over to Roberto's and eat them at home. They have the most amazing cannoli. Once again, usually I don't like cannoli, but Madonia's are addictive.

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Reporting back:

Robertos is a very classy restaurant. I can't say that I came out with a "frothing at the mouth, got to go back this instant" impression. But it was nice, and I think that everyone at the dinner enjoyed themselves.

I, myself, ordered the Bucatini a modo mio - I love chewy, thick pasta (love Korean buckwheat pasta), so it worked for me. One nice thing - it was just the right size of entree. Not too little, and not so much that I left uncomfortably stuffed. Honestly? The highlights of my meal were sundried tomatoes in the appetizer, and the grappa I ordered for dessert. (Had never had it, and enjoyed the taste, which was somewhat reminiscent of undiluted absinthe.) My husband had a lamb special, which came with some sort of seafood cake on the side, which was very nice. My brother in law had a chicken dish which was delicious, as was my sister in laws grilled swordfish.

Thanks for the info....! --Janet (GG)

Mochi, Foi Thong and Rojak - what more can a girl want from life?

http://www.frombruneiandbeyond.com

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