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THE BEST: Low-priced Italian restaurant, Manhattan


phaelon56
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(Ooops, sorry.  I missed the "in Manhattan."  Forget Rocco's and DiFara.)

A conundrum - the title says Manhattan, but the topic post reads best in NYC. As far as I know Brooklyn is still part of NYC. Staten Island attempted to secede a few years ago, but that's because we're the most southern of all boroughs. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and I'm still with you guys. Anyway, I don't look good in gray.

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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without including the red sauce pasta mills in Little Italy there are any number of places one can make this happen..

Peppe Rosso and the related joints offers salads and pastas all within your price point.. i rpefer the rigatoni with vodka sauce, but even the grilled chicken dishes are sub $13.. not much ambience, but they've got a few of them south of 14th street and i've never had a meal that was less than adequate..

lamarca on 22nd and 3rd, is only open mon - fri from noon to 10, and offers a few apps for $6 each and a nice selection of pastas for $10 at lunch, $12 at dinner, and some specials each day (chicken parm, shrimp sauce, etc.) for $12/$14..

Le Zie, on 7th Avenue in Chelsea, has a great menu of Venetian tapas, plus salads, apps and pastas that are all in your stated range.. great food and some of the more unique findings in this price point..

I eat pasta at Lupa as a main all the time, having been frustrated with the mains on too many occasions.. the girlfriend and i frequently split a salad, each have a pasta, and throw in a vegetable side or antipasti and are rather happy for ~$60 with a shared quartino of wine that's not the standard merlot/chianti/pinot noir choice offered for $7 a glass at most similar places..

Otto belongs on this listing, salads are served in portions for two at around $9 each, pizza and pastas close to the range indicated, much higher quality than many red sauce joints..

Max (not Max's) in the East Village is fine, the spread for the bread they include is nice, but the food has never made up for the attitude dished out by the staff..

I've not been to John's of 12th Street, and am too lazy to pull up the menupages link right now, but i'd supposed one could dine there for about the costs elicited above..

Lil Frankie's is a much better option than Max or Il Bagatto.. choice of pizzas or a few types of spaghetti.. Supper, also in the East Village, has a nice menu and meets the pricing criteria..

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I don't think Bianca runs more than $25 per person - especially if you stick with one of the under $25 bottles of wine offered.  Pastas are in the $9 - $12 range...very similar pricing to Celeste.[...]

I've never been to Celeste. I don't think I've ever paid less than $30/person for dinner at Bianca, but that may have been because I had pasta plus a salad or ordered a pasta special, not to mention the times I had a primo and then a secondo.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Not sure if it qualifies price-wise (they're not on menu pages) but I'm surprised no-one's mentioned Bar Pitti on 6th Avenue. I've always enjoyed eating there and they have enough sidewalk space for a pleasant outdoor experience in the summer.

My favorite though, would be Po on Cornelia. Long after Batali left I think this place continues to stand on its own merits. And while it may be at the top end of cheap I've never had a better spaghetti alla vongole in New York. Theirs is flecked with a tiny dice of pancetta and chili. It's $12.

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I've got a soft spot for Frank in the East Village (2nd Ave at 5th St). Teeny tiny, and gets overrun with crowds to be sure, but it's great food at great prices. At least, it was the last few times I've been, which I'll admit has been a year or more.

Christopher

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If you ate strategically, I think that Bellavitae near Washington Square off MacDougal is superb. It might be likened to Lupa, but has a more tapas style routine going. Some very fine pastas are available, including a great cacio e pepe. Some of the antipasti, like the gnocco with proscuitto are amazing (also try the tiny meatballs, polpettine) Soup with pasta is delicious, with a full, ripe homemade broth, as is the tagliata di mazo (which exceeds the price limit, perhaps).

This is one of my favorite Italian restaurants in general. Maybe it's worth starting another threat on it, in fact, if people are interested!

Edited by ckkgourmet (log)
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Not sure if it qualifies price-wise (they're not on menu pages) but I'm surprised no-one's mentioned Bar Pitti on 6th Avenue. I've always enjoyed eating there and they have enough sidewalk space for a pleasant outdoor experience in the summer.

My favorite though, would be Po on Cornelia. Long after Batali left I think this place continues to stand on its own merits. And while it may be at the top end of cheap I've never had a better spaghetti alla vongole in New York. Theirs is flecked with a tiny dice of pancetta and chili. It's $12.

Bar Pitti certainly gets my vote. It really delivers with excellent eggplant parm and a really good pappardelle dish ( alla fiesolana) with cream and bacon. They also have a great caprese (in season) and wonderful carpaccio. My only beef is it can be mobbed on sunday afternoons, and rude with tourists...they prefer their celebrity regulars. My favorite at any price point. Their veal milanese is also very good (when they have it )

I've got a soft spot for Frank in the East Village (2nd Ave at 5th St).  Teeny tiny, and gets overrun with crowds to be sure, but it's great food at great prices.  At least, it was the last few times I've been, which I'll admit has been a year or more.

Christopher

I find Frank to be far to salty, just like Max. Perhaps it's an east village thing but I find alot of the restaurants are going with the "red red" sauce thing, and selling the often-dry meatballs hard. This food really only tastes good if you've been drinking copious amounts of swill (also available. ugh, and they're all cash only...

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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  • 5 months later...
Il Corallo Trattoria on Prince Street is pretty solid, and I've never spent more than $25/person on a full meal (wine, dessert and coffee included).

What about Regional (Broadway and 98th)?

I am always a big fan of Il Corallo up until yesterday.

Leave the gun, take the canoli

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I can't believe no one has yet mentioned Don Peppe's in South Ozone Park. Pretty much the restaurant that Carmines was modeled after.

Was just there and four people had a lot of food (salad, pasta, veal parm and Chicken Scarp) for somewhere in the neighborhood of $75.

Sure, the wine sucks and it is cash only but the Southern Italian food is very good.

"These pretzels are making me thirsty." --Kramer

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Love Bellavitae, (and Po) but I don't think I've ever had a really inexpensive meal there. It's very easy to get carried away, at least for me.

I frequently crave the tagliatelle al ragu at Piadina on 10th between 5th and 6th Aves. It's the only thing I ever order there other than salad and I think it's $12. There's a waiter there who actually greets me as "Tagliatelle." I've been called much worse.

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...  But on the low end I would nominate the newly re-opened Foccaciaria, which not inhabits a mexican restaurant on 1st avenue, between 12th and 13th I believe.  And of course its twin cousin in Brooklyn, Joe's of Avenue U.

Josh

Can you tell me any thing else about this place? I've been a big fan of Joe' of Avenue U's since my early days at Lincoln High :)

Peter: You're a spy

Harry: I'm not a spy, I'm a shepherd

Peter: Ah! You're a shepherd's pie!

- The Goons

live well, laugh often, love much

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I guess I'll let the secret out: Barbone on ave B. Pretty solid and lightly invented multi-region italian. Best linguini with clams in the country. really. The entire menu is good and they ave a very nice backyard. Not terribly cheap, or expensive...just right.

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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Otto gets my vote.

Great and well-priced Italian wine-list.

stick to pastas, meats, contorini and gelato.  Very well-priced.

(personally, I like some of the pizzas but no one else does...)

I've had many great and very inexpensive Saturday lunches at the bar at Otto while my two year old naps away. Pasta, not pizza.

Edited by ned (log)

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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  • 7 months later...

Definitely Via Emilia, no hesitation--

Fresh housemade pasta, particularly tasty tortelloni di zucca for $12. They could easily charge $21. Great attentive service, and beats the pants off of most the E. Village camp (Frank, Supper, Frutti di Mare).

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  • 7 months later...

by "cheap" I mean places with apps hovering around $10 (often with snacks for less) and entrees and primi in the $12-25 range.

NY is blessed with a plethora of them:

Lupa

Otto (if you order right...and with the best wine list of any of them)

Dell'Amina

Barbuto

Aurora SoHo

Il Posto Accanto

Bellavitae

Crispo.

the enoteca at Del Posto

on this list, I'd take Lupa first.

my guess is that Barcaro belongs here but I haven't been.

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