Seems like I am on a strange and lucky roll recently. If you read my posting on the Chess Shop, you know how I just happened to pick the optimum day with the original owner playing chess outside and the current owner inside. And then the story of running into a renowned harmonica virtuoso, Will Galison, just hanging out in the park.
Tratoria Spagehtto at 232 Bleecker and Carmine Street is in one of the mostly highest traffic and touristy areas in the city. Certainly not the little hideaway tucked in on a quiet sidestreet. So one might be inclined to avoid it - I certainly did for most of my time living in the city. But I finally gave it a try and find the food to be very good Italian fare - a number of my friends now go there regularly and we all like it. The prices are inexpensive and the ambiance is extremely nice, particularly given the price range. There is also outdoor seating.
So as I sat one night, I found myself eavesdropping on two gentlemen who have very heavy Italian accents. I get the sense that they may be neighborhood residents, so I think this is a good opportunity to get an opinion from locals, to use as background for this posting. I ask if they live in the neighborhood. By now you have guessed - I have accidentally bumped into the owner, Donato DiSaverio. He was friendly and charming. He spoke of his restaurant, where he was born in Italy etc. I learned that he has a factory in Queens and makes all his own pasta for the restaurant.
It is the perfect place to take a group of people with different tastes - you can never go wrong with Italian :)