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In the spring, we went to NYC to do some a cappella work.

It was wonderful.

We love New York, and wish super duper hard that we could live there and eat at fabulous restaurants all the time.

In the meantime, though, we enjoy our yearly trips.

While we were there, we met some Greenville friends who live in New Jersey.  Jay and Dan went to high school together, and once we had happy hour that involved many tales of drunken nudity (don’t ask), we went to this gem for dinner – Da Andrea Ristorante in Greenwich village.

This place.  Glory.  We loved it.  The atmosphere is casual, but the food is AMAZING.  We all tried different things, and everything was really wonderful!  And, don’t mistake “casual” for “not nice.”  The restaurant was beautifully decorated, but with a feeling of comfort – the food was the star of the show, not any pretentious extras.

Jay claims that he had the best food – pesto risotto with seafood.  I’m obsessed with anything risotto related, as you can see here, here, and here, and I’ll give him this one – the risotto was INCREDIBLE.

In addition to that, we had sweetbreads, pasta with homemade sausage in marinara, and ravioli.  I had the sausage pasta, and it was incredible.  There is such a difference with homemade pasta and sausage, isn’t there?

The best thing about this place (after the perfect food, duh) was the affordability.  All the entrees were under $20, and the house wine served in carafes was delicious minus a hefty bottle price!  In big cities, it’s easy to pay $50/person for a great meal, and we came nowhere close to that and felt like we’d gotten a huge bargain.  For the quality of the food, I’d have paid more any day!

The service was great, but this place filled up quickly!  We were headed to a comedy show, so we arrived a little before 7 and our reservation was ready for us.  30 minutes later would have been a different story, so definitely plan to come off-peak hours!

Try this place out, guys.  Off the beaten path, affordable, and in a great part of the city.  You’ll adore it as much as we did.

We can’t wait to go back!

Da Andrea on Urbanspoon

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