192 E 2ND St, New York, NY | Directions 1000940.722279 -73.984106
Neighborhoods: Downtown, East Village, Alphabet City
Never been treated worse in a Manhattan establishment. – First of all - whoever disagreed with the bad reviews clearly has not had the "true" Il Bagatto experience. My Girlfriend and I came for V-day after 2 good experiences in recent years. Menu was drastically different and over-priced. After an inexplicably poor antipasto that contained neither meat nor cheese, my girlfriend was given a 3-hour-old $19 plate of tomato and cheese pasta which was mush to a chef-boyardee extent. When sent back, we were accosted by the manager, who not only told us the pasta was fine, that his wife was from Rome so it couldn?t be bad, and that I was a p*ssy for not telling my girlfriend who was ?wrong? to shut up with her complaints. He then kicked us out. On the way out, he tried to physically fight me. On the whole, the food was inedible, the menu inexcusable, the manager/owner, the worst in New York. As a non-confrontational person, I was glad to see that the last 5 reviews are almost identical to this one. This restaurant should be avoided at all costs.
Best Italian Food outside of Italy – I have been coming to this restaurant on and off for the last 5 years. When ever I leave New York its the first place I wanna go to when I get back in town. I have read the negative reviews and I am shocked. I honestly believe that those who had a horrible experience here are very "special" people. At least in their own minds. Even the negative reviews could NOT say anything bad about the food. The food it AMAZING! If you chooses to eat out on a friday and/or saturday night and can not wait to be seated then maybe you should go somewhere else. i really don't believe that the management/owners don't wanna feed you and if your table ISN'T ready then do you suggest they ask people to hurry up so YOU can sit down? Well, I have been there and have been asked after finishing my meal if I wouldn't mind moving to the bar downstairs to finish my bottle of wine. We HAD been sitting for a while just enjoying ourselves. I didn't think it rude at all. He even offered us after dinner drinks. He went out of his way to please both parties. Some of you people are just spoiled brats and need to stop looking for someone to kiss your BUTT. No the customer is NOT always right. But the food is always deliscious. When you go out to eat and enjoy yourself, just do that! Enjoy yourself. the waitstaff was Very attentive, the music was fun and the bartender kept us entertained while we waited for our table. Treat people how YOU would want to be treated. If you walk in with a bad attitude anywhere you will definately have a bad experience.
Il Bagatto- Exceptional Food and Value – The most reliable and satisfying restaurant in the community for the past 14 years bar none. Exceptional food quality that is on par with many high priced NY Italian eateries I have been to.
The menu, well its more than the menu its the daily Specials that keep me coming back. I had an amazing Frise salad with Spinach, Assagio cheese and pancetta, simple but terrific. My main was a terrific grilled Branzino (mediterranean seabass) served with broccoli rabe and Truffle Polenta, makes me hungry just writing about it. My wine selection options were very good and from a variety of Italian regions. Ending my meal I polished off a shot of fine Italian Grappa and a Tiramisu that was was like eating a sweet cloud.
Overall and as always a great meal, bargain and experience. A real NY homestyle experience, no pretension or unwelcoming people. The host was jovial, accommodating and offered his best suggestions for our wine, which was on point and complimentary to our food. The ambience of the restaurant was informal yet welcoming, a good spot for a first date or meal on your own, there are celebrity sightings, wont say who but they come in often it seems. I found the staff attentive even in the midst of the capacity seating. They have a great DJ at the downstairs bar, we had a drink before seating and it was a good way to start a meal.
I would recommend this place over many simply because it is reliably good and the Specials Menu is so diverse and often times offering too many delicous options. You can easily go there and not have the same meal over a year it seems.
As for the last unfavorable posts I would not accept the notion that it is a bad restaurant, maybe it was busy, the best restaurants are always busy and if you are not accustomed to NY dining you will have a tough go at it here or anywhere else thats worth eating. Ive never had a bad experience with management nor have the countless friends I have recommended from NY and abroad.
Owner needs therapy - Stay away – We went here to celebrate with 3 friends and after arriving 5 mins late for our 9:30 reservation we went downstairs to wait on our table over a bottle of wine. After 45 mins one of our friends went upstairs to check on the table and were told since we were late, they gave our table away and to wait as something should open shortly. After an hour and an half (and a finished bottle of wine) we sent one of the women in our group to check. The owner comes storming down saying how he and his wife work too hard to put up with "us" and were told we would not be served and to leave. On the way out (we politely were leaving) the OWNER CALLED OUR FRIEND A BIATCH. ThE OWNER and his WIFE clearly are in need of a vacation. DON'T RISK YOUR EVENING AT THIS PLACE...THIS IS A MAN ON THE EDGE! STAY AWAY.
Management can be terriable food is good though – The food IS amazing and they have great prices but the owner is rude.
I ate there once and the food was amazing and the staff was helpful. So we decieded to go back and take some friends. I called a couple days in advance and made the reservations but when we got there they had no record of them and that it would be a 2 hour wait!! They insisted that I must have called a different restaraunt and that they would never make a mistake!! what?! They didn't even try to get us into the next avaliable table b/c they said it was our fault. They need some serious customer sercvice help.
good food, AWFUL management – I made reservations to go to Il Bagatto for my birthday dinner for me and ten friends. All was going as planned until we got there and the manager gave us major attitude from the start. He wouldn't seat us because one of my friends was running late. We didn't know when her train was getting in, so one of my friends told the manager that we'd be ordering a lot of food and drinks, and that we promise that he'd get revenue. He walked away and said "I can't deal with this right now." He came back like five minutes later and said, "I'm about to tell you guys to just go somewhere else."
That's just the start to it...
The waiter comes over and asks if we want either "sparkling" or "flat" water. Thinking those are our only two choices, we said flat... we thought that meant tap. He didn't specifically ask us if we wanted tap water so we just assumed that that's what it meant. He comes back with two open bottles of water. Other restaurants in the city may put open bottles of tap water on the table, so we just thought that's what it was. After finishing those two bottles, we asked a waiter for some more "tap" water and he came back with two more bottles. So we didn't even question it... we just thought they kept refilling (the water levels weren't even the same for the two bottles).
Long story short... the check comes and we were charged $32 for the four bottles of "flat" water that we apparently ordered. I asked for the manager, and believed his waiters over us. All ten of us were telling him the exact same thing: we weren't given a choice for tap water, so we just assumed that the "flat' water that we were offered was put in these open bottles of water and put on the table. He said that if we didn't pay for it he was going to call the cops... didn't even listen to what we were saying. He started fighting with one of my friends. He told us that we weren't allowed in his restaurant again. AWFUL management.
Best reasonably priced, authentic Italian in NYC. – I felt a need to throw my 2cents in after reading a couple of bad reviews. I've been frequenting Il Bagatto for at least seven years. In that time the food has maintained it's high level of quality and consistency. The specials are ALWAYS out of this world and the wine selection impeccable. The gracious proprietors spend 24/7 hunting down the best ingredients and coming up with the best home-cooked Roman dishes and on creating a warm, chilled out atmosphere. The one thing that has changed over the years is the crowd that inhabits the neighborhood and city. Il Bagatto was one of the first true restaurants to open i the Lower East Side back in 1995. They are pioneers in the once crime ridden neighborhood, an oasis for bohemians, artists and old-school New Yorkers. Since that time the city, and I fear the restaurant, has been overrun by the "Sex-In-The-City", suburban trust-fund, sense of entitlement crowd.
As a quick response to some of the people complaining in the reviews...consider your own attitude before chastising that of the staff/owner/manager. The owner/manager has zero tolerance for those who exalt an attitude of entitlement. I can't say he's always 100% on mark, I'm sure he has his bad days. But more often than not I see patrons creating their own bad scenarios and ruining their own night/experience. One final thing. Most of the issues that people complained about regarding credit cards, waiting for whole party to arrive, ordering appetizer with meal, etc....are common NYC small restaurant practices. These are due to high volume, small spaces, high cost of operation and large credit card processing fees...among other things.
If you are of a good natured, mellow demeanor and love great Italian food, this is the place for you. If you're the type who is more concerned with who they might see or be seen by than you are about your food, please don't go to Il Bagatto. Also, don't miss brunch at Il Posto Accanto next door...same owners.
What NYC is ALL about! – Il Bagatto is by far my favorite Italian restaurant in NYC. There delivery rocks as well. Fellow reviewers that snap on management for having a point of view and some attitude really should stick to Olive Garden in Times Square. Il Bagatto has the freshest specials every night and the best brunch hands down in lower Manhattan. People need to wake up on their brunch- it's that good! You can get great wine advice and the the tastiest bottles for a good price at the restaurant. The family nature of the staff is totally endearing and the owner takes GREAT care with his guests- especially peeps that have been coming there for a long time. It's a unique place that treats a square like a square. I guess thats why they're squawking on blogs like this. The fact that peeps like that don't enjoy Il Bagatto actually makes me like it more now. Give it a try- it's the best date spot in LES. Get a nice bottle of vino at the bar, then take it to the table. Believe me your night will be magical.
Great Food- bad attitude – I am very conflicted about this place. On the one hand, the food is great and it is not TOO pricey for New York. Buy the owner thinks that you ought to feel priviliged to be there and will treat you like it...we had a reservation for 9:45 on a saturday- and showed up at that time. there was no table available, which alone is not that big of a deal. but I expect two things when that happens: 1) an apology and 2) and idea of when I will be sat. bu this place is so popular, at least that think they don't owe you anything. given the situation, I don't know why they even take reservations! because I went right back at him he sat me right away- then later came over to my table. I actually tried to make a peace with him over the whole thin- assuming that that was why he came over. but he actually just wanted to tell me that I had been rude- not him. this place is a great example of how New Yorkers are NOT tough when it comes to restaurants. they are easily intimidated and apparently used to being treated poorly (especially if it is "hot", "hip" etc). for example this rule about how everyone has to be there to be sat. why? or like at Il bagatto you have to order all your food at once. is that a joke? so people try to stand up for yourselves a little! this native detroiter doesn't take that kind of thing and neither should you..this is America and the customer is always right - or at least should be treated with respect. and I say that as a former waiter. having said that I would go back to this place and have been there probably 7 or 8 times. just get your back up..oh, this one of those places also where the waiters/servers are terrible and if you want something- ask the "busboys". another typical sitaution at new york restaurants that is absurd (maybe even in other parts of the country).
HORRENDOUS MANAGER/OWNER- COMPLETELY DISRESPECTFUL – We were seated quickly and the waiter/food was very good. HOWEVER, the manager/owner insisted on us gultping our wine down and stuffing our food down our throats. The second we finished our last bite of food, the check was thrown on our table. We were actually asked to stand up and leave before we had finished our wine because they "could not afford" to have us sitting at our table. The owner/manager was the rudest, most obnoxious person I have EVER encountered while dining out in this city. It is not worth your money or time to dine at this place.
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