Another one of those extremely uninventive family-style restaurants that delivers a lot of food, but not much taste. We are constantly disappointed by these places. Why isn’t it possible to season dishes that are meant for more than one person? If we got this bland, non-descript Italian food at a normal joint, we’d feel ripped off and dissatisfied. But because this is a “family-style” establishment, we seem to forgive the food’s shortcomings. Maybe this is because people only go to these places when they have family in town (ah, built-in distractions), or are with a large group that is looking to do more drinking than eating. In any case, Sambuca is a little more homey than most of these places, the help is extremely nice and accommodating, and it doesn’t pack in the crowds like Carmine’s. Nothing is worse than waiting two hours with fifteen angry people, just to eat mediocre food. Anyhow, if you have a big group that wants to do a lot of talking and doesn’t care about good food, go here, because they don’t mind if you get drunk and scare the children at the other tables. Trust us. [MF]

20 W 72nd St.