This review is LONG overdue!
If you remember the lyrics to ""Billy Joel's - Scenes From An Italian Restaurant"" (see lyrics at end), then it puts you in the mood and paints a image of Trattoria Spaghetto! The space has been there for over 30+ years (was a luncheonette and then a restaurant -owner bought building and restaurant, smart move).
We have been going here as a family for years! They say never judge a book by its cover; yes there are some plastic red/white checkered table clothes (being replaced, with cloth - hey for me as long as they wiped the tablecloths clean after each dinner, I have no problem with them), which when I first brought my wife here years ago she said ""This can't be good"" - she took that back after dinner.
One of the traps of Little Italy (which is how I told her about this place) is that practically every restaurant down there serves the entrees a la carte with pasta an EXTRA side dish (except Paesano). That is not the case here, EVERY dish comes with a choice of salad or pasta, marinara sauce or meat sauce, ALL at no extra charge!
There is always a basket of bread on the table along with olive oil for coating if wanted. I see by some reviews here, some people are surprised and amazed that they got ""free bread"" (LOL!). The Manager Rene is a good friend of ours and has been there for years. The staff new or old are all a great bunch of accommodating guys. The house wine is one of the best in the City and is all we drink when there by the crafe. The food has always been consistently good throughout all the years and very reasonably priced. We have had many holiday dinners (Christmas eve and New Years Eve dinners there and this past May we did my first birthday dinner party there) there. We have still not tried everything on the menu after all these years as I normally get a different dish each time. Our ""staples"" are normally: Chicken Alla Romana (me) , Chicken Parmigiana (both) and Penne Siciliana (her).
Now to be totally and brutally honest, with my wife being the picky foodie (and a chef in another life) she now feels that the portions are smaller compared to the past (example: Chicken Parmigiana) and her favorite dish that she practically orders ALL the time and the entire staff know it - Penne Siciliana - ONLY Italian restaurant that a. makes it, b. makes it to her liking, has now disappointed her in the taste department of the dish. This place used to serve huge portions on EVERYTHING that you could practically share with 2 people family style or definitively have a doggy bag to take home. I have actually seen another reviewer on another site say the actual same thing. We have been told that it is still the same chef, so we have not figured out what the problem is with that dish yet.
Aside from that, everything is good (maybe the recession has to do with the reduction in portion size...). Some of the veteran waiters that we knew: Tony and Noel are gone. My wife is temporarily boycotting the place due to her Penne Siciliana dish but to everyone else reading this, if you are looking for a nice Italian restaurant with great staff and reasonably priced food with a nice atmosphere (there is indoor/outdoor seating), great house wine, loud and lively (we love - YES you can have a romantic date there, great low lighting and secluded corner tables), then go! If you are looking for Babbo, you have come to the wrong place. No pretentiousness here!
A bottle of white, a bottle of red,
Perhaps a bottle of ros