Because [wild hand gestures] why not [wild hand gestures], here's a look [wild hand gestures] at the 14 best [wild hand gestures] Italian spots [wild hand gestures] in [wild hand gestures] all [wild hand gestures] of [wild hand gestures] NYC.
The shining star of the Italian eats scene, this glamorous modern Italian spot from Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Chef Mark Ladner scored four stars from the NY Times and introduced people to the legendary 100 layer lasagne. If you have the money, you need to go here.
One of the quintessential restaurants of the early 2000s Brooklyn dining scene, this neighborhood spot from two guys named Frank (Castronovo and Falcinelli) whips up seasonally driven fare like linguini with blue crab sauce, chili, and basil; sweet potato and sage ravioli in Parmesan broth; and all manner of crostini.
Another spot on the cha-cha-cha-ching end of the spectrum, this seafood-centered Michael White creation is beautiful in a glitzy Midtown way, and wins you over with carefully presented crudo, oysters, pastas (get the fusilli with red wine-braised octopus and bone marrow), and seasonal entrees from the sea, including a steamed wild bass with Gigante beans, pine nuts, clams, and saffron brodo.
This Staten Island place is only open from Wednesday-Sunday, and each night they’ve got a different Italian Grandmother in the kitchen cooking up what she does best -- this is unquestionably amazing.
A small, comfortable, charm-soaked spot in the East Village with more than 750 wines on hand, 16-year-old Frank still delivers quality eats like Uncle Micheal's Spiced Meatloaf (yep) with gravy (uh huh) and pancetta (there we go), and daily specials like black linguini with frutti di mare.
Good for any time of the day, this spot rocks everything from amazing breakfast sandwiches, to quick coffee, to composed plates, all in a setting that feels like the set of a rustic Italian cooking show.
The operation moved to a bigger spot to help accommodate the demand for its top-notch pizza, which you should definitely get, but don’t sleep on the rest of the menu either. Salt cod croquettes, and slow cooked leeks with grilled salame lead off before you dive into that pizza and maybe some pasta or polenta with shrimp, shelling beans, and chilies.
Batali’s flagship spot, this charming carriage house-turned-restaurant, does just about everything right -- it’s tough to get a spot, but you can occasionally wander in and grab a seat at the bar without a reservation and enjoy a bowl of chianti-stained pappardelle with wild boar ragu or fennel-dusted sweetbreads.
Although you won’t find anything much worth making a night of in Little Italy anymore, the better Little Italy in the Bronx still has plenty for you, including this excellent red sauce joint with red checkered linens that set the scene for great seafood and out-of-control lasagna Bolognese.
Hipster scene maker or not, this place is damn good, the pizza is amazing, as is everything else they’re working up, like the orecchiette with pig tail ragu, ’nduja, and Pecorino Pepato; duck prosciutto; and spaghetti alla chitarra with broccoli rabe and Bianco Sardo.
This classic and classy Queens spot is known for having an incredible amount of daily specials and slick service, delivering fresh pastas (get the Tagliarini L'Incontro: fresh spaghetti w/ asparagus and peas, wrapped in prosciutto), seafood, and all manner of other standards done the right way.
Show up early or expect to wait in line at this rustic Northern Italian spot, largely because it's one of the best spots in the country for Italian food. Strap in for hits like the braised rabbit with creamy polenta and black olives, saltimbocca alla Romana, or tagliatelle al ragu.
The bi-level stunner never disappoints with a great wine list (take a peek into the wine room upstairs/drink some wine in the wine room upstairs), including large-format magnums and the like, along with excellent modern Italian fare like potato gnocchi with chanterelles and quail a la plancha with sweet potato, pancetta, currants, and sage.
Another in the Batali/Bastianich empire, this seafood-centric beauty (with a great outdoor garden in the summer) delivers with fantastic wines, interesting aperitivo, some amazingly fresh and varied crudo, pasta like the briny, creamy maccheroni alla chitarra with sea urchin and crabmeat, and main attractions like the salt baked cod cracked out of its salty tomb tableside.
Sign up here for our daily NYC email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun New York has to offer.
1. Del Posto85 10th Ave, New York
2. Frankies 457 Spuntino457 Court St, Brooklyn
3. Marea240 Central Park South, New York
4. Enoteca Maria27 Hyatt St, Staten Island
5. Frank Restaurant88 2nd Ave, New York
6. Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria53 Great Jones St, New York
7. Franny's348 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn
8. Babbo110 Waverly Place, New York
9. Trattoria Tra Di Noi622 E 187th St, Bronx
10. Roberta's Pizza261 Moore St, Brooklyn
11. Trattoria L'incontro21-76 31st St, Astoria
12. al di la Trattoria248 5th Ave, Brooklyn
13. L'Artusi228 W 10th St, New York
14. Esca402 W 43rd St, New York
Brought to you by Mario Batali et al., Del Posto is arguably one of the best upscale Italian restaurants in New York. On a Chelsea block near the High Line, the large, loft-like space has an elegant interior with lots of black, red, and gold decor, as well as a candle-lit marble staircase in the center of the dining room. In true Batali fashion, the menu is rich but classic in nature, featuring delicious house-made pastas (gnocchi with caviar, oxtail ravioli) and beautiful cuts of meat (seared lamb chop, braised veal).
Headed up by two chefs named Frank (Falcinelli and Castronovo), Frankies 457 Spuntino in Carroll Gardens is a modern take on the old-school neighborhood Italian joint. Dishes are served family-style in a homey setting, and the outdoor garden area of the restaurant sets the tone for the menu: handmade pastas are Frankies' speciality, but instead of traditional heavy sauces and creams, the dishes are verdant, light, and delicate.
Michael White’s seafood-centric destination off Central Park aims to impress with its elegant interior and high-end Italian ingredients. The house-made pastas will have you coming back for more, like the fusilli with red wine-braised octopus and bone marrow, an elevated homage to surf-n-turf with baby octopus braised in red wine and buttery Pat LaFrieda marrow.
Enoteca Maria, a true Staten Island trattoria, is only open from Wednesday-Sunday with a different Italian woman in the kitchen every night. The concept is incredibly unique and the food unquestionably delicious and authentic. Each day brings a new menu from a new region of Italy, and an excellent selection of wines to pair with your meal (all from small-batch producers in Italy). This is one dining experience you simply can't replicate anywhere else in the city.
In 1998, Frank opened with the aim of bringing both authentic and affordable Italian grub to NYC. With rave reviews, it's grown over the years into a 60-seat resto with an insanely extensive wine list (read: over 750 Italian wines), outdoor patio, wine cellar, and the same simple eats that've had customers returning for years.
At the sister restaurant of the famed Il Buco, you'll find a five-course, rustic Italian family-style menu that includes such options as chestnut agnolotti, baccala, and roasted pears. But you're really here for the lunch offerings, including the notorious porchetta panino, stuffed with hefty slices of pork and scented with rosemary. Be sure to check out the market, too, which functions as a salumeria, panetteria, formaggeria, and gelateria.
Franny's, a family-style restaurant, serves up pizzas made from sustainable, local ingredients that are Neapolitan in their balance and simplicity. The pies are cooked in two enormous wood-burning ovens that produce a perfect char on the crust, and all toppings are considered on a seasonal basis & added with a minimalistic touch. Appetizers and pasta dishes sprinkle the menu, but the pizzas are what Franny's has gained such a strong reputation for. Order one at the bar or from one of the cozy wooden tables in the dining area.
Mario Batali’s flagship restaurant is a charming former carriage house in the West Village serving high-end Italian fare with an elevated, chef-inspired twist on classic dishes. The pasta here is certainly worth the hype, like the pillowy potato gnocchi, cuddled in shreds of tender oxtail that’s been sautéed in a robust red wine and tomato-based ragu.
This Arthur Ave spot has all the makings of a classic Italian-American joint, from the red table cloths, to the friendly staff, to the perfect lasagna bolognese. Chef Marco, the mastermind behind Tra Di Noi, was born in Italy and has over 50 years of professional culinary experience. His primary focus is classic Italian dishes with fresh ingredients, beautiful presentation, and tons of flavor.
Don’t be dissuaded by the gritty, graffiti-splattered cinder-block facade, Roberta’s is among New York’s most celebrated pizzerias, having made an international footprint (sauce print?) with visiting Europeans and local Bushwick loft-dwellers alike who endure long waits on nights and weekends for a table. Inside the red front door, you'll find a warm dining room and open kitchen where blistering discs of dough are pulled out of an Italian-made wood-burning oven and given names like Speckenwolf (mozzarella, crispy speck, cremini mushroom, red onion, oregano) and Millennium Falco (parmesan, pork sausage, red onion). The final product is Neapolitan-like in taste and structure, and since you probably won't have any leftovers, do yourself one last favor and buy a loaf of bread from the on-site bakery on your way out.
Known by locals and outer-boroughers alike as Queens' best Italian, this destination restaurant is famous for its mega-list of specials piped through your waiter’s earpiece. The move is, unsurprisingly, to order one of the daily specials, but if none of those excite, equally delicious are the regular menu's fresh pasta dishes, like the Tagliarini L'Incontro: fresh spaghetti with asparagus and peas, wrapped in prosciutto.
Chef Anna Klinger's Al Di La Trattoria is a rustic ode to all things farm-to-table. Open since 1998, Al Di La has been a favorite of local Park Slopians thanks to its cozy atmosphere and family-friendly menu. Specializing in the cuisine of Venice and Northern Italy, this warm neighborhood spot doles out dishes using locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible, and also hosts a robust, eco-minded wine list (you can sample the goods while you dine in, or at the Al Di La Vino wine bar next door).
This bi-level stunner never disappoints, thanks to a great wine list (take a peek into the wine room upstairs/drink some wine in the wine room upstairs), including large-format magnums and the like, along with excellent modern Italian fare like potato gnocchi with chanterelles and quail a la plancha with sweet potato, pancetta, currants, and sage.
Another in the Batali/Bastianich empire, this seafood-centric beauty (with a great outdoor garden in the summer) delivers with fantastic wines, interesting aperitivo, some amazingly fresh and varied crudo, pasta like the briny, creamy Maccheroni alla chittarra with sea urchin and crabmeat, and main attractions like the salt baked cod cracked out of its salty tomb tableside.