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Italian restaurants for people unfamiliar with Italian food?

John's of 12th in East Village. See my other post above. :)

Mar 26, 2013
argylesweater in Manhattan

Italian restaurants for people unfamiliar with Italian food?

Thanks everyone for all the replies! I needed recs for this past Sunday, and we ended up at John's of 12th St, which seemed to work out. Safe enough menu, not too price-y, easy location for everyone. The tricky thing I've found about entertaining people from India is that they are used to eating food with so many spices mixed in that they find the more subtle flavors of Euro/western cuisine a little boring. The palate is completely different, so it can be hard to meet their expectations (whatever those happen to be).

I hadn't expected such a response and it was really interesting to read the thoughtful considerations on what an intro Italian restaurant should be. There are great recommendations in here, and I'll have to keep some of these in mind for myself and for another time. Thanks again!

Mar 26, 2013
argylesweater in Manhattan

Italian restaurants for people unfamiliar with Italian food?

It wasn't a family, it was a group of computer programmers in their mid-20's. I don't think they would have minded the hustle of Otto, they may have enjoyed it! We didn't end up there, but thanks @plf515 for the recommendation! Will keep in mind for the future.

Mar 26, 2013
argylesweater in Manhattan

Italian restaurants for people unfamiliar with Italian food?

This weekend I'm hosting some people who all recently moved to the US from India and don't have a lot of experience with Italian food, but are very keen to eat at an Italian restaurant while they are in town. One of them "heard that the Olive Garden in Times Square is very good" [he didn't know it's a chain in every pocket of America]. I can't let the Olive Garden happen, so where can I take them for similar low-to-moderate prices, vegetarian options, and a positive, flavorful experience? I know Little Italy is tourist-y, but it may appeal to them on that level and be more bearable than Times Square for me. Or somewhere else in lower Manhattan would be fine. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!

Mar 22, 2013
argylesweater in Manhattan