I'll be in the Newark area during the week of X-mas and plan on visiting Manhatten. My Mother-in-law loves to visit the city during the holiday with my wife and I. Being Italian, they love to shop in Little Italy and look forward to enjoying a nice lunch. However, it seems the chow-hound consensus is that there are much better Italian places to dine in the city.
Here's our criteria: a reasonable ($10-15 entrée) place we can go in jeans with a nice ambiance and good food. We're "red-sauce" kind of people and enjoy standard, simple pasta/chicken/veal dishes with good bread and nice anti-pasta. A bonus would be a location not too far from Little Italy to minimize travel.
Bonus meal - if we get a second day, they enjoy a pizza/salad visit. This would be a place with great pizza that can provide a salad to match on the side.
Do you have any suggestions?