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Guide to NYC’s 10 Must-Try Italian Restaurants

Guide to NYC’s 10 Must-Try Italian Restaurants

Picture of Helen Armitage
Updated: 9 February 2017
Italian food abounds in New York: Manhattan’s Little Italy is where the Feast of San Gennaro – an annual celebration of Italian American culture – takes place. You can sample Florentine cuisine in a renovated pharmacy at Brooklyn’s Locanda Vini e Olii, or feast on homemade pasta from Rosemary’s in Greenwich Village with its own rooftop garden. Here’s our guide to some of New York’s best Italian restaurants.

 

Locanda Vini e Olii

Locanda Vini e Olii is located in a restored pharmacy, which dates back more than 100 years. Locanda is run by general manager Michael Schall, experienced sommelier Rocco Spagnardi and executive chef Michele Baldacci, who was raised in Florence and has cooked at some of its best restaurants. Baldacci’s love of traditional, rustic Florentine cuisine shines through Locanda’s tempting menu with dishes like the lamb and potato tortelli with fresh spring peas and pancetta, and the grilled duck breast served with a fig and shallot marmalade and chickpeas.

Locanda Vini e Olii, 129 Gates Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, NY, USA, +1 718 622 9202

Rosemary’s

Rosemary’s is a delightful restaurant located in a former bakery in the heart of Greenwich Village with a stylish design featuring wooden rafters, exposed brick and terracotta tiling. Owned by restaurateur Carlos Suarez, the restaurant is named after his mother and inspired her Tuscan heritage; it even has its own rooftop garden which grows a number of herbs and other produce. Executive chef Wade Moises creates authentic Italian dishes inspired by seasonal produce harvested from Rosemary’s garden, which includes house-made pastas and foccacia. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, Rosemary’s simple menu includes classics like minestrone soup and more modern inventions such as espresso-glazed pork ribs with apple radish slaw. For a hearty main try the skirt steak with guanciale sauce, fingerling potatoes and arugula.

Rosemary’s, 18 Greenwich Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 647 1818

Spasso

A cozy, rustic restaurant in West Village, Spasso’s cuisine emphasizes locally sourced quality ingredients coupled with specially imported delicacies and a menu that changes with each season and features both traditional dishes and contemporary additions with a number of Italian cocktails, limited production wines and spirits. The inviting dining room, decked in warm terracotta and cream, includes bar and booth seating and outdoor terrace tables are available in better weather for al fresco dining. Try one of Spasso’s hearty pasta based dishes like the spaghetti with mosciame (salt cured tuna), hen egg and breadcrumbs or the braised duck tagliatelle with rosemary and olives followed by a dessert of chamomile panna cotta with cherries and candies hazelnut. Alternatively, go for brunch and sample Spasso’s much loved ricotta pancake with Vermont maple syrup.

Spasso, 551 Hudson Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 858 3838

A Voce

A Voce is a modern, elegant and welcoming space in a prime location offering panoramic views of Columbus Circle and Central Park beyond. Executive chef Filippo Gozzoli, who was born and raised in Italy and has worked at some of Los Angeles’ and London’s top Italian restaurants, reinvigorates the classic Italian dishes of his youth with seasonal and contemporary ingredients. There’s also an extensive, award-winning wine list of 2,700 varieties. Expect innovative yet uncomplicated fare like pancetta with kumquats and pistachio or the baccala – Atlantic cod in a chicken consommé with braised fennel and smoked corn puree.

A Voce, 10 Columbus Circle, 3rd Floor, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 823 2523

 

Red Gravy

Head over to Brooklyn to sample chef and restaurateur Saul Bolton’s take on Italian fare with new restaurant Red Gravy. Saul updates Southern Italian classics and focuses on using ingredients sourced from the best producers in New York and its neighboring states such as Evolutionary Organics farm in the Hudson River Valley. Relax in stylish surroundings and enjoy sumptuous starters such as the meatballs and soft polenta in Italian gravy, or the parsnip soup with marscapone and black truffle. Follow this with a delicious veal marsala with cremini mushroom, pancetta and pearl onion, or the striped bass served with smoked carrot, brown butter balsamic and pistachio.

Red Gravy, 151 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, NY, USA, +1 718 855 0051

Bocca Restaurant & Bar

Bocca Restaurant and Bar is a stylish venue featuring retro artworks and beautiful, cozy window-side table seating. With an emphasis on the cuisine of Rome, chef James Corona uses local produce sourced from neighboring Union Square Greenmarket and uses imported DOP (protected designation of origin) goods sourced direct from Italy. Bocca’s menu features a contemporary take on Italian cuisine with modern, global influences. Start with the appetizing roasted bone marrow and sea urchin with a citrus gremolata and crostini, or the house-made lobster cannelloni with a saffron emulsion. Tempting mains include a crispy skinned Skuna Bay salmon served with carrot puree, red chard and tarragon salsa verda, and the dessert menu includes classics like tiramisu and rustic apple tart.

Bocca Restaurant & Bar, 39 East 19th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 387 1200

 

Etcetera Etcetera

Close to the hustle and bustle of Broadway and the vibrant Hell’s Kitchen neighbourhood, Etcetera Etcetera is a thoroughly modern Italian restaurant. It was established by restaurateur Daniele Kucera who grew up in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy. Etcetera Etcetera is perfect for post-theater dinners and boasts a contemporary, sleek and stylish interior. There’s also outdoor patio seating with views over buzzing West 44th Street for summer months. Guests rave about the restaurant’s homemade basil spaghetti with hearty chunks of crab and sweet roasted peppers and the grilled skirt steak served in a tangy lemon, parsley and garlic sauce.

Etcetera Etcetera, 352 West 44th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 399 4141

Da Umberto

Da Umberto is a classy, refined restaurant which combines old European charm with an urbane and bustling setting. Antipasti and primi offerings include carpaccio, raw prime beef served with parmigiano and white truffle essence, and rigatoni in a sausage ragu with tomato and creamy ricotta cheese. Mains include the capricciosa, a dish of breaded chicken with buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and a balsamic syrup. A different risotto is prepared each day at Da Umberto.

Da Umberto, 107 West 17th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 989 0303

Del Posto

Del Posto offers diners traditional Italian cuisine with a modern twist in a luxurious and elegant restaurant that recreates an authentic European dining experience. This popular, award-winning restaurant serves dishes such as orecchiette with lamb neck ragu, carrot and toasted rye; and slow-cooked lobster with a calamari, cauliflower and hazelnut salad – perfect with one of Del Posto’s award-winning Italian wines.

Del Posto, 85 10th Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 497 8090

 

Palma

Palma is a delightfully rustic restaurant with a picturesque courtyard garden. It feels more like a countryside cottage than a metropolitan restaurant and even has its own two-floor carriage house dating back to 1810 available for private dining parties. Lovers of seafood will appreciate Palma’s fish-focused organic menu with dishes like gamberoni, spaghetti with Maine lobster in a cherry tomato sauce, and grilled Italian sea bass served with spinach and roast potatoes. Finish with a tempting dessert like the buffalo ricotta cheesecake, chocolate lava cake or a choice of three gelato – vanilla, dark chocolate or salted caramel.

Palma, 28 Cornelia Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 691 2223