Arrividerci Manganaro’s, Buon Giorno Overpriced Tavola
The Manganaro’s faithful, while most likely lamenting their Bourdain-praised red sauce served with a 20th-century New York attitude, can at least rest easy that their old digs are still Italian and not in an Olive Garden way. Still, Midtown Lunch laments the introduction of out-of-price-range fare in general, doubly so in the place of a classic. Tavola, the brick oven Italian restaurant that took Manganaro’s old space, has opened quietly and while they have yet to serve up lunch, too little of their menu is within our $10 limit to attract much fanfare.
So many double digits! The menu runs the gamut of classic Italian-American and centers on some interesting looking pizzas. I’m sure the great debate of coal fired vs. wood fired ovens will flourish in the space much as the debates over our existence flourished in the Forum of Rome, but unless you’re feeling like throwing some dosh around it looks like it’s out of our price bracket.
The NY Times persists in the spare-the-confusion-of-the-Manganaro-feud line, but nothing yet from any food critics or casual observers as to whether or not it’s worth venturing north of the $10 line. Unless you’re in it for a salad, caponata, or pizza marinara, it’s not gonna be a write-home-about shpiel for Tavola. If you want not only a bigger menu (albeit not pizza-centric) and a better value, Sergimmo’s Salumeria is naught but two blocks away.
Tavola, 488 9th Ave. (between 38th and 37th)