Piccola Cucina Estiatorio is a good place to have some excellent Sicilian food whenever you catch yourself taking things too seriously, or if you want to embarrass someone on their birthday. The staff at this cramped little Italian restaurant in Soho flicker the lights, bang pots and pans, and sing for about three consecutive minutes whenever they feel like it (and especially if it’s someone’s birthday). Mostly everyone in the dark room shares big plates of fried or grilled seafood before moving onto personal pans of pasta. And at only $26, the lobster pasta is something to celebrate. It comes with spicy red sauce, huge chunks of meat, and it never seems to end.
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Houseman is a fantastic neighborhood restaurant in a neighborhood you probably don’t spend much time in.
Broome Street Bar
Broome Street Bar is a classic, no-frills bar in Soho with a good beer list and enough space to actually enjoy yourself.
A few years in, Soho’s The Dutch is better than it was when it first opened. These days, it might even be underrated.
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Popina is a tiny, casual restaurant on the Brooklyn waterfront. The food is a mix of Southern and Italian, and they do some great chicken and pasta.
The Pizza Parlor
The Pizza Parlor on Staten Island is a classic pizzeria with a great Grandma-style pie.
Bar Fortuna is the semi-hidden cocktail bar above Casa Apicii, and it’s a great place to impress someone before or after dinner.
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This West Village Italian spot is starting to feel just a tad dated - but the food is as good as ever. Try it for a special dinner, and order pasta.
Carbone is red sauce Italian restaurant theater, and it’s a show you shouldn’t miss. This is one of New York City’s absolute best restaurants.
The only thing that is keeping Rubriosa from being one of NYC’s classic Italian restaurants is time. Let’s eat vodka sauce pizza while we wait.
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