New York has hundreds of Italian restaurants that encompass fine dining, tratorrias, bistros, pizza joints and much more. Here is a list of ten that serve authentic Italian food, from traditional to contemporary,that will suit a range of tastes and budgets. Many of these restaurants specialize in a region of Italy.
New York City is home to millions of people from many different ethnic backgrounds, and the city has a wealth of restaurants. Many Italian immigrants live in New York and there are literally hundreds of Italian restaurants that encompass fine dining, tratorrias, bistros, pizza joints and much more. Some serve Americanized versions of Italian food, but there are still plenty of places that have authentic Italian food, from traditional to contemporary. Deciding which is best is always controversial, so below are a selection of ten authentic Italian restaurants to suit a range of tastes and budgets. Many of these restaurants specialize in a region of Italy.
Situated on the Upper East Side, Arturo’s is an old-fashioned restaurant with simple décor. It was established in 1982 and has a large menu of hot and cold appetizers, salads, soup, pasta, veal, chicken and seafood, and all desserts are made on the premises. The extensive wine list is mainly Italian labels and there is a private room on the lower level for parties of 20 or more. Takeout is available, and Arturo’s provide high quality food at reasonable prices.
Babbo opened at 110 Waverley Place in June 1998 and became an instant hit winning the James Beard Foundation’s Best New Restaurant Award for 1998. The menu focuses on fresh seasonal produce, which is mainly purchased locally. They have Italian cheeses, meat game and seafood and can seat up to 90 diners in a trattoria style setting. The wine list is all Italian grape varietals, and they often appear on lists of New York’s top restaurants. A little pricey but great for special occasions.
Located at 260 6th Avenue, Da Silvano opened in 1975 and introduced Tuscan Cuisine to New Yorkers. In the warmer months their sidewalk café is one of the best places for people watching in Manhattan, as you enjoy their innovative lunch or dinner specials. The menu changes frequently using in-season produce, the food is delicious and there is a bustling energetic atmosphere to the place.
Del Posto at 85 10th Avenue combines classic Italian dishes with a contemporary twist. The restaurant is a wonderful setting where a pianist plays he grand piano as dinner guests enjoy the food and wine. The menu highlights the distinctive regional and seasonal variations of Italian food while the wine list is all Italian and on the pricey side. Enjoy a high quality dining experience with the food that Italians still eat.
Il Mulino at 86 W. Third Street opened in 1981 and has been voted best Italian restaurant in New York by Zagat’s on many occasions. Guests receive personal attention and the food uses the best ingredients, beautifully prepared and presented. The cuisine is from the Abruzzi region and characterised by simple, rustic ingredients. They have a large antipasto display with fresh cheeses, peppers, artichokes and exclusive delicacies.
In the heart of Greenwich Village Monte’s Trattoria is located on MacDougal Street between West 3rd and Bleecker. It was established in 1918 and serves authentic home-style North Italian cuisine. The atmosphere is cosy and romantic and even “ordinary” dished like Lasagne taste delicious and homemade. Choose from the standard menu or enjoy the signature specials of the evening. The chef will often come out to talk to patrons, and can organise food and wine pairings for your meal.
Piccolo Angolo in the West Village has been serving authentic Italian cuisine since 1992. This is a family run business and gets loads of repeat customers. The food quality is very high, the finished product is tasty and delicious and the staff are capable and knowledgeable. This corner restaurant has a quaint electric atmosphere and is a neighbourhood favourite.
Roberto Restaurant is Italian fine dining in the heart of the Bronx at 603 Crescent Avenue. They do not take reservations. Food is based on the Salerno region in south-west Italy and the helpings are extremely generous. Pasta is made in-house and includes linguini, penne and fusilli. The calamari and parmigiani is excellent , the wine list is extensive and the service is good.
Northern Italian cooking is the heart of Scalini Fedeli at 165 Duane Street in downtown Manhattan. The interior is a Tuscan style wine cellar with soft lighting and vaulted ceiling, art works and antiques. This is a restaurant for special occasions as the prices are not cheap, but the food is delicious and the service is impeccable. Food is modern but with a French influence, and there is a large selections of wines. Overall the restaurant is elegant and understated.
Sfoglia is situated on 135 East 92nd street at the corner of Lexington Avenue. The interior is casual and pleasant with Murano-stlye chandeliers, mismatched antique tables and a marble bar. The name Sfoglia means an uncut sheet of pasta. Try their antipasto and pasta dishes. They have good desserts and a good range of wines, with standard Italian wine glasses.
There are plenty of other authentic Italian restaurants in New York. Feel free to share your favourites in the comments section below.
Photo credit: Pasta is a staple of Italian cuisine. Roberto Ribeiro on Stock.xchng