I live on the UES, so disappointment with many here is to be expected. Work in Midtown. Can go downtown if it's truly a destination-worthy place.
So far, re Italian, have only loved Babbo, Lupa, Erminia. Others I found 80% as good, such as Il Menestrello, Via Emilia, Da Silvano; and others a sad below average/ waste of a meal: Becco, Quattro Gatti, Grotto di Mare, Uva, Bellavitae..... Vivolo and it's offsprings I like for their convenient locations to me and decently good fare. But most others were at a very bland level, with simple dishes I could easily make at home 3x as well in just 30 mins. But I do like to eat out, as rarely have the time to shop, cook, clean up, etc.
Any price, and though prefer Midtown/ UES, will travel! Also prefer not too formal or sceney, but that is less impt than finding the BEST Italian!!
Extremely eager for other ideas!! Tired of wasting precious meals on simply average fare!!!
Still need to try Jovia, Cacio e Pepe... Il Munello, Campanile, and da Andrea were also good last time I was there, yet nothing mind-bogglingly stellar.