Hi, everyone! I’m really way overdue to post some updates on my eating experiences in Manhattan, and I’ll do that in another post, but for this one, I’d like your opinions on the best Italian restaurants with excellent non-carby options (e.g., secondi and perhaps some apps and contorni, not pastas) in the moderate and moderately expensive categories. Not Marea, I think, as I wasn’t thrilled with them either time I went (though it was a while ago) and preferred Ai Fiori. This is for a sort of extended birthday meal. In the moderate category, I’ve been to Crispo a lot but don’t want to return for this (not special enough), and I like Otto but I have other occasions to go there.
Via Carota is the place I wanted to try on my last visit in late Aug, that my friends love. Waitlist only, and I guess you should add your name mid afternoon on Friday for dinner. Or aim for lunch or an early or late dinner on a weeknight.
I stopped by Via Carota around 5:45 pm on a Friday and there was already an estimate of a 2.5 h wait.
We went to Lupa instead (reservations available on Opentable) and had a delicious but very carb heavy pasta tasting. I would return to Lupo to try the non-carb dishes.
Edit: realize you were very familiar with Lupa back when you were posting on the old site
Have you tried Feroce in Chelsea?
I’m turned off that it’s run by a hospitality group (has that hospitality group formula
look inside) and located in a Moxy hotel (part of Marriott), but a little intrigued by the chef.
I have not tried Feroce. Ai Fiori is also in a hotel, and we liked it, though it’s really expensive. Yes, I’ve been to Lupa many times but at a certain point, they got really salty, and I decided I prefer Otto. We wouldn’t be going on Friday (Valentine’s Day - my brother’s here only for the week). I’m not sure whether it’s practical to show up hours before we eat and get on a waiting list. Maybe. And thanks for your suggestions!
I’ve not been to any of these, but I’ve heard and read good things about all three. Rezdora and Don Angie don’t have much availability, though.
Altro Paradiso’s photos have caught my eye on IG, but I haven’t tried it yet.
I will have to try Otto on a future visit.
For drinks, my friend and I enjoyed Bar Pisellino, across the street from Via Carota, and run by the same people.
Hope you have a good birthday dinner, wherever you decide to go!
Ps for another Italian spot located in a hotel, Leonelli Bakery is a neat spot for a snack. It’s in the Evelyn Hotel off 5th Ave in the mid 20s. I picked up some focaccia, cookies and granola before heading to LaGuardia.
I haven’t tried Leonelli Taberna, suppose that is another Italian resto you could consider, also located in the same hotel. Has a nicer atmosphere than the Moxy, imo.
Altro Paradiso is good. Not inexpensive, but good. They don’t get nearly as much press as other less-good places.
I did think their pastas were excellent - not a knock on the secondi, but my recollection is I wanted to go back when I was eating pasta.
When is this for? Reservations may be an issue for many of these.
Carbone has good secondi - the prices are high, but the portions are for sharing.
I like L’Artusi. Try to walk in early and sit at the bar while you wait for a table - if you can’t get a rez.
Dell’Anima was another favorite, but they moved to what can only be described as a high end food court, so there’s that to consider.
Would be helpful to know where you’ve already been and have counted out, aside from Crispo and Otto (Marea and Ai Fiori are not in the price range you’re looking for).
We had a very nice meal at Lincoln Ristorante a few years ago, with solid secondo choices, and if I recall correctly, the ability to choose a meat antipasto rather than a pasta for your first course in the prix fixe.
Thanks a lot for all your recommendations! I’ve been to some of these places before some time ago (Lincoln, L’Artusi, Felidia), but not others. I’m sure I’ll have a chance to use this information at some point. Tonight, my brother spontaneously took me for a delicious meal at Gramercy Tavern, so that’s the celebration dinner. I’ll write up a report when I have a chance.
I’m happy you started this thread