Plates & Pints: BabboIn a city replete with Italian options, Mario Batali's Greenwich Village eatery still stands above the rest

An Italian restaurant in New York City isn’t exactly a novel idea. Walking around the sundry neighborhoods of the five boroughs, one can trip and fall over one ristorante and land right in another cucina. So what is it that separates one eatery from another? It comes down to quality – of ingredients, preparation, ambiance, and service. And Mario Batali’s Babbo offers all of these in spades.

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Plates & Pints: The Fat RadishClassic British cuisine gets a delectable makeover at this cozy Lower East Side joint

WHILE LIVING IN LONDON a few years ago, I discovered that virtually all of the stereotypes I had heard about the United Kingdom were true: it rains all the time, Britons have bad teeth, and their food sucks.

As both Paul Krugman and NPR have elucidated, the current cuisine was standardized during the Victorian era, when early urbanization and industrialization forced Londoners to eat canned goods, preserved meats, and root vegetables that store well. The culinary bastards that emerged from that period include lard-rich meat pasties, gravy-laden steaks and bangers, and unimaginative, oily fish and chips, sometimes served with a sad afterthought of mushy peas.

That’s why I was intrigued to discover The Fat Radish, a British-influenced eatery in New York City’s Lower East Side. Opened in October 2010, the restaurant is a spin-off of Silkstone, a premium event planning and catering company, and the brainchild of Ben Towill, Phil Winser, and Executive Chef Nicholas Wilber. With curiosity and high expectations, a friend and I decided to check it out.

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Plates & Pints: SauceFrank Prisinzano's latest Lower East Side eatery is a carnivore's paradise

“Plates & Pintsis a new restaurant and bar review column here on Handlebar. Our team of gourmets and gourmands will make your mouth water by introducing you to all the fine establishments and delectable delicacies you need to try.

AFTER WATCHING THE eye-opening documentary Food Inc. last Monday, I decided to drastically lower my daily intake of meat. It was a big step for a young man from Texas, a state where steak is king and a man’s masculinity is questioned if he doesn’t order a double-patty Whataburger. For six days I delicately placed one sad slice of turkey in my brown bag sandwiches; I heaped lettuce and sprouts on top of thick Portobello mushroom burgers.

But by Sunday my meat-craving hormones had kicked in and—in lieu of Tracy Jordan’s Meat Machine—I walked to Sauce, Frank Prisinzano’s new restaurant in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

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