Long time reader, first time poster. I have some friends visiting me but am having a hard time coming up with some dinner restaurants that will suit everyone. They're both recent college grads so money is on the tighter side, but they fortunately *do* have jobs, so eating every meal ordering at a counter in Chinatown isn't necessary (in fact, would prefer not to do this at all). Most of the spots I can think of are either of the self-serve or $30 entree varieties, but I'd like some places where they can get a good meal and fill up for maybe $25 per person (including tax and tip, either no alcohol or one beer), but is still a full service restaurant with some atmosphere.
For the record, it will only be three or four of us (no large groups), no type of food is off limits (although I'm having a harder time coming up with non-Asian options), and would prefer downtown, especially E Village, W Village, LES. Something that seems especially tough is decent Italian...Rubirosa? Otto? Parm?...