La Carbonara

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La Carbonara
West Village
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If chef Giuliano Matarese ran the front of the house the way he runs his kitchen, this affordable Italian spot would be a real hit. His wine-braised short ribs were fall-apart tender, and the namesake carbonara was awesomely creamy and stippled with pancetta. Even the affogato al caffe (amaretto cookies layered with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, and drowned in a shot of espresso) was a simple, satisfying triumph. But the dreadful service—a harried, forgetful waitress; an oblivious GM chatting on his cell phone at the bar—turned our visit into a tragicomedy of errors. Mend the staffing gaffes, and we’ll be back for more.
Venue name: La Carbonara
Address: 202 W 14th St
New York

Cross street: between Seventh and Eighth Aves
Opening hours: Mon–Wed, Sun 11am–11pm; Thu, Fri noon–midnight; Sat 11am–midnight
Transport: Subway: A, C, E, 1, 2, 3 to 14th St; L to Eighth Ave
Price: Average main course: $12. AmEx, MC, V
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