Italian near marlboro

HI all,
I know it’s probably somewhere in here, but it’s really too hard for me to search carefully.
We went to Scarpetta in Manhattan last week, and it was utterly fantastic.
Is there anything near Marlbo that would be approaching quality of that? The basic spaghetti with tomato/basil was incredible, the cacio e pepe ravioli just melted in your mouth, and the halibut, and the duck, and the risotto. mmmmm… and the espresso budino dessert was also absolutely amazin. A great meal… So, I’m looking for something similar quality somewhere near by.
Any suggestions? (Even if just simply fantastic pasta, that would be considered a “win” for me).


La Lupa may be the closest you might get

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We went several times to the original Scarpetta years ago when it was located on West 14th St. Scott Conant was the executive chef. (He may have been a co-owner.) His food was superb. That Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce you had became famous as his signature because of its simplicity and incredible deliciousness. The recipe was on the website. I made it exactly as written and it turned out great. Chef Conant severed his relationship with Scarpetta in 2014, after which the restaurant went from just that one location (which eventually closed) to several outposts in the US and abroad. It opened in the St. James Hotel in 2018. Though it’s close to our apartment, we’ve never tried Scarpetta there. Based on your experience, it appears whoever is in charge of the kitchen is serving high quality cuisine.

As to what you are looking for, I highly recommend Il Nido, in Marlboro. The stellar cuisine far, far surpasses what is found in all other Italian restaurants in our area. Do a search for the Il Nido thread on this board.

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My friends have gone to (terrible name) Nettie’s House of Spaghetti a few times recently and are RAVING about the pasta. I haven’t been but I’m 100% certain it’s not going to be the same atmosphere.

Thanks for these suggestions
For tonight (Tuesday) Il Nido won’t work as they are closed
LaLupa doesn’t work because there isn’t enough on the menu for my wife who won’t eat meat or shellfish out
And Nettie’s is also closed on Tuesday. For another time I suppose.
Any opinions on Feast? (Old bridge, I think next to Costco?)

I’m very high on Solo in Freehold who is the father of the boys who owns LaLupa a bit fancier is very good is La Cippolina. Just around the corner from each other

We have been to Nettie’s twice, the first time in 2019 just Mr. R. and me, and the second time with three other HOs in Feb 2020, a couple of weeks before the lockdown. While the food, including the pastas, is well-prepared and tasty, it does not measure up to Il Nido’s exceptional cuisine, including their many phenomenal pastas. Also, you are correct that Nettie’s atmospherics are far from Il Nido’s comfort and elegance.

All that said, it’s not a bad idea for @rikk to try both.

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I like Il Nido over La Lupa. Both great food ! I enjoyed Il Nido more regarding food and table comfort.
Felt La Lupa was a little dark, a little loud and a little more crowded (seating wise). Could be that I’m old and grumpy though.

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La Lupa and Il Nido are very different restaurants, both in my opinion serving very good food. If the La Lupa menu does not have sufficient offerings for your wife, then its a non-starter, but my wife and I usually get a couple of apps, a pizza and a pasta. In my experience, the kitchen is accommodating. The space is loud, the seating tight, and there’s usually a fun vibe. Il Nido is a much more formal restaurant and, IMO, quite a bit pricier when you factor in alcohol (La Lupa is BYO). I had a recent meal at Il Nido that was fantastic. Enjoy!


If we were doing indoor restaurant dining, I would not go to La Lupa no matter how good the food may be because loud noise levels are a total no-no for me.

In addition to the major differences in ambiance, the fact that La Lupa serves pizza says to me that it is not in the same category as Il Nido because upscale Italian restaurants do not serve pizza. Il Nido’s prices are in line with those in NYC restaurants of the same high caliber. Interesting that La Lupa does not have prices on their on-line menu which, imo, is inexcusable. No way, then, for me to compare prices to Il Nido. I do agree that La Lupa being a BYO will make it cost less to dine there for those who drink wine.

Glad to hear your recent meal (I presume it was dinner) at Il Nido was “fantastic.”

Fortunately for us, Il Nido continues to have several outdoor tables, so we can still dine there when the weather is conducive. As I posted on the Il Nido thread, we had lunch there several weeks ago on an unseasonably warm day. (We’ve also done lunch take-out.) Tomorrow it will be warm enough into the evening for us to have dinner there for the first time since last October.


@RGR Always great to hear your thoughts. While the pizza at Lu Lupa may be a “negative” for an upscale Italian restaurant**, I can assure you that it is some of the best pizza I’ve had, particularly the clam pie (doesn’t help @rikk whose wife doesn’t eat shellfish at restaurants). And speaking of clams, should you and Mr. RGR enjoy clams, my recent meal at Il Nido included the “charred clams” on the starter menu. It’s an absolute must if that’s your thing.

**As I’ve come to know your restaurant likes and dislikes over many years on this and other food boards, you are absolutely correct that La Lupa is not the restaurant for you.

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Yes, when it comes to restaurants, you know me well. But to be clear, I have no problem with La Lupa serving pizza, only that I think it puts the restaurant at a more casual level than Il Nido. La Lupa’s menu is actually very appealing to me, and I would especially jump at the chance to order the scottadito because I adore lamb. My sole objection to dining indoors there would be the noise level. (While I’m not keen on tight seating, I could tolerate it.)

Thanks for the suggestion about the clams at Il Nido! I don’t eat raw clams though Mr. R. sometimes does. But since they’re charred, maybe we’ll have them.

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