Much like the Oracle, HipGuide answers visitors' tough questions here.

Favourite Italian in New York
Q:We're coming to New York in November and wondering what your favorite Italian restaurant is. Should we do the Little Italy thing or is that over-rated? My friend told me that they try to grab you on the street!! That sounds terrifying!! It seems that it's either that or we'd have to spend $$$$$$ on a place we've seen on TV?? Is that worth it? If the chef is fat, does that mean he loves food or is that about the butter and cream we'll have to eat?????

-- "Grana P. from Brighton, UK"

A:Hi Grana

I don't happen to like either end of the spectrum -- neither "big" dining - Italian food from chefs who aren't even in their kitchens any more nor do I like being yanked off the street myself (I can't even do the scrum that is sample sales) so I'm with you.

Hands down, I'd suggest Emporio. It is nearish existing Little Italy - it's the old Little Italy, what we now call Nolita, and absolutely stupendous. You'll love the thin crust pizzas, the scrumptious wines, the hand- made pastas, the cheeses, the salumi. See my review but I can't say enough about this place. I'm casting my unequivocal vote: it's my favourite Italian spot in NY.

p.s. I can't speak to the weights of chefs, though your email made me laugh. I happen to believe in the kind of moderation you see in Mediterranean eating so lots of small portions of everything.

~The QB

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