Manhattan Italian

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, or maybe just too familiar), and I like Otto but I have other occasions to go there.

I read the Osteria Morini thread with interest. I liked the food there when I went a few years ago, but truth be told, I had pasta, and I’m on a low-carb diet now. Maialino was suggested as another option. I haven’t been there, but my brother thought it was sort of merely good, as I remember, when he went there a few years ago, and since he’d be taking me to dinner, I would want to suggest someplace he’ll fully enjoy, too. Morandi was also mentioned. I’m not sure I’ve been there. Is it a place worth going for a celebration? Their menu looks interesting to me.

How about Portale in Chelsea? On my list of new places to try.

Recently dined at Scarpetta, didn’t enjoy their outlet in Beverly Hills but pleasantly surprised with the one here. Nice main dining room and attentive service; good for a b’day treat.

Another one on my to-try list

1 Like

How about Del Posto or Carbone? Also, have heard good things about Don Angie. Their veal dish is supposed to be very good although the place may not be as “special” in terms of vibe. Esca is also supposed to be very good these days. A lot of seafood options there. Please report back.

Don Angie is quite good. More of a casual, neighborhood (albeit on more expensive side) type place. Plates lean more American-Italian I think.

Keen to try Carbone too especially after my recent excellent meal at the Grill.

Thank you for your recommendations. They may be of use to me in the future. 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.

1 Like

Seconding don angie! I loved the lasagna rolls.

1 Like

I do well at Del Posto when I’m low carbing. The biggest challenge is to avoid the complimentary bread and that whipped cream thing they bring you with it. Say no to the bread and you are good. I find the crudo and composed salads on the antipasto list to be among the strongest items on the menu. Low carb there. Then I’ll get a fish dish for my main and skip the pasta (and sadly skip the dessert since I think Del Posto has the best pastry program in New York). However, you may only be able to put a low carb meal together at the bar where I always eat since it is so pleasant and where you can order whatever you want. I think in the main dining room, you are stuck with a pasta course.

I’m a big fan of Il Buco Alimentari. The place is really cute, and their dishes are so refreshingly unique the combinations of elements you get. I think it stands out really well the city, among all the red sauce checkerbox tablecloth type places and upscale refined Italian.

If you’re willing to leave Manhattan, I really do like Frankies Sputino.

I kept your non-pasta condition in mind, and should say that my meals at both have been almost completely devoid of pasta. A simple white bean and escarole soup was a standout at Frankies. I lost track of all the crazy combinations of things served at Il Buco (by the way, they have two restaurants on the same street).