A good educator reins in an unwieldy topic by breaking it into manageable, relatable chunks. Consider Italian wine.
Here’s an example of why the category is notoriously difficult to grasp: abbuoto, abrusco, acitana, addoraca, aglianico, aglianicone, albana, albanella, albanello bianco, albaranzeuli bianco, albaranzeuli nero, albarola, albarossa, aleatico, alionza, ancellotta, arilla, arneis.
Those unfamiliar words are names of grapes starting with the letter a, in an alphabetical list that includes over 2,000 varieties. Granted, many hover on the precipice of extinction and are wholly irrelevant to the majority of consumers. Only an ampelographer, a lifelong student ofla dolce vita, or a member of the Wine Century Club might be able to conquer all of the boot’s indigenous wines. However, even mastering ten or fifteen of the most important ones requires a time commitment and attention span most folks don’t have.
Enter Mulino a Vino (337 West 14th Street, 855-343-4513), a subterranean Italian restaurant beneath an apartment building on 14th Street. Judging from the exterior, surrounded by nail salons and outworn liquor stores, one would be forgiven for scurrying past. I did many times, until one day I paused to take a phone call, looked down and saw the sign.
I booked a table for a wintry Friday night and discovered the city’s most thrilling Italian wine program inside the cozy, dimly lit space. The owner, Paolo Meregalli, who runs a sister restaurant with the same name in his native country, has assumed a self-appointed ambassadorship of Italian vino in New York City — yet few seem to know about it.
Meregalli offers an unprecedented 100 wines by the glass (all available by the bottle, too). It did not prove to be the marketing gimmick I initially imagined. He has not bloated the list with twenty Chiantis, twenty pinot grigios, twenty bland blends, nor has he uncorked a bunch of bottles, relegating the obscurest to languish and oxidize behind the bar, as, amazingly, I’ve seen done in New York City.
Instead, the suavely attired host, who has a genuine fascination — nay obsession — with the country’s vinous bounty, takes wine seriously enough not to open a single bottle unless a guest orders one. He eagerly shares his painstakingly assembled selections, ranging from unsung to blue-chip, with the equally well-dressed Italians who fill the bar, by pouring every glass fresh with a Coravin.
Prices range from affordable-ish ($13–$20) to reserve-end ($500 for rare vintages from the cellar collection). The choice in pour size — small, medium, and large — is an approach more restaurants should emulate; it allows customers to take advantage of the intent of the program: exploration by sample.
A nerd or student (I’ll use myself as an example of both) might giddily pick wines based on access to rarity, like Elba ansonica (named aptly for its origin), white sangiovese, schiava gentile, ruché, and vespaiolo (not to be confused with vespolina or vesparola, of course). Some of these I’d never tasted, others I infrequently see on restaurant wine lists. At Mulino a Vino, I could acquaint myself with the qualities of a difficult-to-find wine without having to buy an entire bottle.
A neophyte, on the other hand, who might not care about a rare Elba ansonica sighting, could still arrive at the same wine in their glass using a different methodology. Thanks to Meregalli's clever subcategorization by flavor, mouthfeel, and descriptions, what could be a bewildering list for newbies is easy to navigate.
The delicately floral and fruity white from Napoleon’s isle of exile falls under the "Bright and Lively" category, as does the silky, forest-berry scented schiava gentile. The other three categories are "Clean and Earthy," "Smooth and Velvety," and "Big and Luscious." All four, plus a fifth for reserve wines, contain grapes and wines hailing from north to south, including Tuscany, Lazio, Piedmont, Sicily, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Liguria, and Sardinia. Every crag and crevice planted with a vine has found (or will find) representation on Meregalli’s extensive list.
The menu’s organization also facilitates stress-free food pairings. Each category comes with a list of dishes vetted to match wines from that bucket. Risotto with scamorza fondue pairs with any glass of "Bright and Lively." Tagliatelle Bolognese complements "Smooth and Velvety" sips, and so on.
Diners agree to a repast revolving around the glass, although it’s possible to work backward. I was encouraged to select a pour, then check the recommended food pairings. But I could have easily scanned the dishes for an appealing description and gone back to the list to find an appropriate wine. While the ambitious beverage program takes a "wine first" stance, the food is no afterthought.
When Mulino a Vino first opened in November of 2014, chef Davide Scabin (of two-Michelin-star restaurant Combal.Zero acclaim) wrote the menu and trained staff on its execution before departing. Initial reviews of the food ranged from overwrought to underwhelming. However, a new executive chef was hired last July: the young and energetic Massimiliano Eandi (sharpened at Combal.Zero under Scabin’s tutelage). With Eandi at the helm, the kitchen has been revitalized. My experience: plate after plate of precisely arranged (think tweezers), flawlessly executed, creative twists on traditional Italian foods that married perfectly with the suggested wines.
The “Cecina on the Rock,” a chickpea crepe with pickled onion and tapenade served on a Himalayan salt brick, had good rapport with a Roma rosso red blend from Lazio. Savory almond notes in a glass of the Tuscan white il templare accentuated the creaminess of a riff on cacio e pepe with ravioli, while the wine’s electric herb and pear aromatics brightened a swirl of green pea puree.
No dish is intended to be paired exclusively with one wine, since different partners bring out different traits. Fragrant herbs and earthy chanterelles in a slow-cooked, roasted lamb volcano, came to the foreground with a glass of vibrant ruché, but a richer barbaresco accentuated the gaminess of the lamb.
Clearly, getting schooled on Italian wine at Mulino a Vino is a delicious path to an education.
Migliori Ristoranti Italiani nel Mondo
Mangiare bene all’estero talvolta sembra un’impresa più unica che rara. Tantissimi i ristoranti con insegne italiane, pochissimi quelli che realmente portano in tavola una cucina tricolore all’altezza. Ma ogni regola ha la sua eccezione: ecco 10 ristoranti italiani buonissimi in giro per il mondo che Skyscanner ha selezionato per voi. Mettetevi in macchina o prenotate un aereo e ritrovate i sapori di casa anche a centinaia o migliaia di chilometri di distanza!
1. ANIMA E CUORE - LONDRA
A Camden Town si parla anche un po’ di italiano. Inaspettatamente, in questo locale che da fuori sembra semplicemente una gelateria e, al massimo, un caffè, vengono serviti alcuni dei piatti italiani più buoni di tutta la Capitale inglese. E il rapporto qualità-prezzo è davvero ottimo. Ci sono la pasta col pesce, le sarde in saor e la polenta col formaggio. E per dessert, il fantasmagorico gelato al pistacchio. Le bevande portatele voi (il locale è un ‘byob’, bring your own bottle), ma il cibo - e che cibo! - ce lo mettono i proprietari…con anima e cuore!
Scoprite di più: 15 cose da fare a Londra gratis
Photo: Anima e Cuore
ANIMA E CUORE. 129 Kentish Town Rd, Londra, Inghilterra. +44 2072672410. Aperto tutti i giorni dalle 9 alle 19 (ven e sab fino alle 23, dom 10-16).
2. MULINO A VINO - NEW YORK
La carta del Mulino a Vino, wine bar con ristorante nel quartiere Chelsea, è “ideata per far conoscere la vera cucina italiana ai newyorchesi”. Dietro ai piatti di questo locale c’è nientemeno che lo chef stellato del Combal.Zero di Rivoli, Davide Scabin. E i newyorchesi, in effetti, sembrano apprezzare: tra i piatti, declinati in versioni ‘small’, ‘medium’ e ‘large’, specialità come i ravioli cacio e pepe, le tagliatelle alla bolognese e il pollo alla diavola. Insomma, se vi trovate nella Grande Mela e avete nostalgia di casa, sapete dove andare!
Scoprite di più: 10 cose da fare gratis a New York
Photo: Federica Dall’Orso
MULINO A VINO. 337 W 14th St, New York, Stati Uniti. tel. +1 8553434513. Aperto tutti i giorni dalle 18 a mezzanotte.
3. OSTERIA LANGHE - CHICAGO
Osteria Langhe, ovvero, il Piemonte in Logan Square a Chicago. L’eccellenza del territorio piemontese trova spazio nel menu di questo ristorante, che porta in tavola le prelibatezze della Regione, su tutte il Barolo, i formaggi come la robiola e il Castelmagno e, neanche a dirlo, i tajarin e il bollito, oltre al celebre tartufo d’Alba. I piatti, dall’antipasto fino al dolce, sono pensati in base alle specialità stagionali e, se fate tardi al lavoro, potete addirittura passare a fare scorta di ‘plin to go’, la versione ‘fast’ della pasta piemontese per eccellenza da portarvi direttamente a casa!
Scoprite di più: i 10 viaggi in auto più belli d'America
There’s a big difference between eating to live and living to eat. And we live to eat… in a big way. From restaurants and recipes, to shopping and styling, you can find all our fave things about our fave cities listed here.
In no particular order, we’d like to start out our Hit Lists with the most fabulous of fabulous dining options in NYC.
- Via Carota | West Village| Rustic Italian by Buvette Owners
- Tijuana Picnic | LES | Mexican by Acme Guys
- Espoleta | East Village | Spanish Tapas
- Prova | Chelsea |Neapolitan pizzeria by Donatella Arpaia
- Mission Chinese | LES | Danny Bowen
- Vic’s | NoHo | Italian
- Bowery Meat Company | East Village | Josh Capo
- Upland | Flatiron | American Stephen Starr
- Little Park at the Smyth | Tribeca | Andrew Carmellini Veggie
- The Little Beet Table | Flatiron | Franklin Becker healthy lunch spot
- Cosme | Flatiron | High End Mexican (booked up)
- GG’s | East Village | Pizza and Pasta
- Dirty French | LES | French Torrisi Team
- NoMad Bar | NoMad | Classy and great food from Daniel Humm
- élan | Flatiron | Contemporary American
- tuome | East Village | New American
- Jack’s Wife Freda |West Village | Modern American
- Eggshop- | NoHo | American Classic Eggs burnch
- Upsider | Midtown East | American
- Trattoria Il Mulino | Flatiron | Modern Italian
- White Street | Tribeca | Fried Eggs and Omelets
- Blenheim | West Village | Farm to table
- Maman | SoHo | Michelin chef with small [lates and baked goods
- Petaluma | Upper East Side | Braised short rib, pizza, scrambled
- David Burke fabric | Midtown West | Lobster Bloody Mary
- GG’s | East Village | Pizza and Mozarella
- RedFarm | West Village | Pac-Man dumplings
- Nom-Wah | Chinatown | Old School since 1920s
- Jing Fong | Chinatown | Long Wait, Popular, Champagne Cart
- Dim Sum Go Go | Chinatown | Modern
- Red Egg | Chinatown | Happy Hour 50% Off and Breakfast
- Golden Unicorn | Chinatown | Touristy but Delicious
- 88 Palace | Chinatown | Located in a small indoor mall
- Hakkasan | Midtown West | Fine-dining and refined
- Lychee House | Midtown West | Late night dim sum till 10:30p
- East Harbor Seafood | Sunset Park | Anthony Bourdain’s spot
- Happy Ending |French Italian Asian
- Dirty French | French Upscale Trendy | Torrisi
- Bar Primi | Tuscan | Andrew Carmellini
- Confessional | Bar with Latin inspired shared plates | Mixology
- Dimes | Buzzy breakfast, lunch or dinner spot | Organic Food
- Ivan Ramen | Diner with Japanese twist | Ivan Orken
- Root & Bone | Southern | Famous chef duo
- Russ & Daughters Café | Deli Type Food | Brunch and Dinner
- Birds & Bubbles | LES | Southern/ Champagne and Fried Chicken
- Rosette | American Upscale
- Tijuana Picnic | LES | Mexican by Acme Guys
- Bowery Meat Company | East Village | Josh Capon
- Dojo Izakaya |Ave B| Sushi
- Espoleta | East Village | Spanish Tapas
- Cherche Midi | Nolita | French Keith McNally
- Shuko | East Village | Omakase only
- Bar Primi | Andrew Carmellini Pasta
- Empellón Al Pastor | East Village | High End Mexican from Alex Stupak
- tuome | East Village | New American
- Narcissa | American Upscale | East Village
- The Happiest Hour | Greenwich | Retro Bar from the Acme Team
West Village/ Greenwich/Chelsea:
- Via Carota | West Village| Rustic Italian by Buvette Owners
- Almanac | West Village | American
- Mulino a Vino | Chelsea/ Meat Packing | Italian
- Recette | WV | French Upscale
- Bar Pitti | WV| Casual Café Lunch
- Carbone | Greenwich | Italian
- Claudette |French | West Village
- White Street Restaurant | Tribeca | Global
A lot of fuss has been made over Flynn McGarry; the 16-year-old culinary wunderkind currently operating a pop-up supper club called Eureka, serving sold out tasting menus in the West Village. In contrast, it all makes 22-year-old executive chef, Massamilliano Eandi, seem positively ancient, until you realize how much he’s truly accomplished in such a mind-bogglingly short span of time — working his way up the ranks at Michelin starred restaurants like Gordon Ramsey and ARBITUS in London, as well as the avant garde Combal.Zero in Rivoli, Italy, under the tutelage of the highly esteemed Davide Scabin.
And now, Eandi has just been named predecessor to his famous mentor —taking over the kitchen at his Italian venture in Chelsea, Mulino a Vino, which serves “cucina classica” re-imagined through a modern lens. Picking up where the reliably out-of-the-box Scabin left off, Eandi is intent on asserting Mulino as so much more than a wine bar, serving complex, one-of-a-kind dishes, as inventive and artful as they are uncompromisingly delicious.
This is Mulino A Vino 2.0: Eandi’s newest menu additions include San Daniele’s Miracle — essentially caprese salad fashioned as all-American sliders, featuring silky ribbons of prosciutto, cream-sluiced burrata, and wisps of tomato carpaccio, stacked inside homemade focaccia buns. He pushes the envelope further with Hibiscus-infused Risotto, which adds an intriguing, floral edge to the ultra-savory rice dish (underscored by a verdant ivy pesto), as well as Chickpea Cecina cooked over rocks of pink sea salt, smoked planks of Salmon swiped with amarone glaze and piled with saffron caviar, and the showstopping Lamb Volcano; slow-cooked and roasted lamb paired with a pastry cone oozing pecorino fondue “lava,” and scattered with “ashes” made from strands of powdered black pasta.
But if there’s one dish that could prove Eandi’s calling card in NYC (besides the strength of his resume at so tender an age), it’s his Pasta Pomodoro — not nearly as traditional as it sounds. Instead of being dunked in boiling water, spaghetti strands are rehydrated over the course of five days, by being placed in a jar with the juice, flesh and seeds of a hollowed out tomato. After that, the pasta is put back into the fruit’s shell, cooked in the oven, garnished with fried basil leaf, and placed atop a frico-like “bed” made from basil puree and grana padano. When’s the last time you had your mind blown by a bowl of noodles and tomato sauce?
Your move, chef Flynn.
New York City is one of the most visited cities in the world and a place with great variety when it comes to cuisines and places to eat. I love Italian cuisine and since it is one of my favourites, today I compiled the 20 best italian restaurants in NYC in my opinion! See below the list of 20 places to eat amazing italian food in New York City:
1. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: DEL POSTO
Del Posto is the richest and most refined creation of Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, Lidia Bastianich and partner/Executive Chef Mark Ladner. In October of 2010, Del Posto received a glowing four-star review from The New York Times, the first Italian restaurant to do so in nearly 40 years. At Del Posto, the ambiance of European luxury, palate-enlightening cuisine, polished service, and a world-renowned wine list culminate in an Italian dining experience unlike any other. Del Posto holds the coveted Relais & Chateaux distinction, a 5 Diamond Award from AAA, and the Grand Award from the Wine Spectator.
2. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: BABBO
Opened by Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich in June 1998, Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca is an exuberant celebration of the best of Italian food, wine and lifestyle. Hailed with a glowing 3-star review by Ruth Reichl of the New York Times shortly after its opening, Babbo has since been met with much critical acclaim, and was the recipient of the James Beard Foundation’s Best New Restaurant Award for 1998. The menu is a roster of Chef Mario Batali’s lusty creations, incorporating the best and freshest seasonal produce, Italian cheeses, meat, game and seafood, accented with fine Italian olive oils, traditional aceto balsamico and many unusual ingredients that will surprise and delight.
3. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: L’ARTUSI
Opened in December 2008, L’Artusi is named for Pellegrino Artusi, (1820-1911) and his self-published cookbook La Scienza in Cucina e L’Arte di Mangiare Bene (The Science of Cookery and the Art of Eating Well). The kitchen is the second in the Epicurean Management family where Executive Chef Gabe Thompson, Executive Beverage Director Joe Campanale, and Managing Partner August Cardona share their expertise in Italian epicurean hospitality. It presents Gabe and Katherine Thompson’s modern take on traditional Italian Cuisine. The mostly Italian wine list is presented by region with a map DOCs and DOCGs as well as traditional local dishes, helping to demystify Italy, the most diverse viticultural nation in the world.
4. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: CARBONE
Carbone is an Italian-American restaurant created by Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick. The restaurant pays homage to the essence of the great Italian-American restaurants of mid-20th century in New York, where delicious, exceptionally well-prepared food was served in settings that were simultaneously elegant, comfortable and unpretentious. The food nods to that same history, but take its culinary cues from the great talents and techniques of the present and of the future. Familiar dishes like Seafood Salad, Linguini Vongole, Lobster Fra Diavola, Chicken Scarpariello and Veal Parmesan elevated to a new level.
5. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: IL BUCO ALIMENTARI & VINERIA
Inspired by simple, authentic food made with an uncompromising ethic and the joy of sharing it with friends. il Buco Alimentari and Vineria, a natural extension of il Buco Restaurant – a NoHo favorite for more than 20 years – offers house-made products crafted using traditional methods, as well as artisan provisions handpicked from independent producers .
6. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: FRANKIES SPUNTINO
Frankies Spuntino opened its doors on September 13, 2004. The building at 457 Court Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn had been an Italian social club, and it was a classic “fixer-upper” when discovered by friends Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli in 2003. The Franks, both chefs and local residents, had a distinct vision for the property. They set out to create a comfortable dining space, serving seasonally-inspired Italian fare that they themselves would enjoy on a frequent basis. Frank and Frank grew up together as friends and neighbors
in Queens, New York. After losing touch for 18 years, they reunited by lucky coincidence in November 2003. Both were consulting in food and nutrition at the time, and after catching up, they decided to join forces. Together, they conceptualized Frankies—a unique restaurant that would embody the sum of their travels, food philosophies and experiences.
7. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: MULINO A VINO
Everything in the menu has three different versions: Small (to taste), Medium (to eat) and Large (to share). I suggest you order many different small plates so you can taste as many different dishes as possible while enjoying dinner at Mulino a Vino: everything is delicious!
8. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: ESCA
ESCA– Italian for “bait,” the stuff of temptation and enticement– is a southern Italian trattoria devoted to celebrating the fruits of the sea. Created by James Beard award-winning chef Dave Pasternack, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich in 2000, ESCA is revered for its less-is-more approach to cooking. Its elegant simplicity. In his 3-star New York Times canonization of ESCA as the ultimate Italian seafood destination, Frank Bruni coined Dave “an honest-to-God fisherman, in love with the ocean, and ESCA is his ongoing ode to it.”
9. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: MAREA
Marea, meaning “tide” in Italian, redefines the seascape of high-end Italian cuisine serving regional foods of Italy that are heavily influenced by ingredients drawn from the four bodies of water that surround the boot, and at Marea, Chef Michael White presents a fresh interpretation of this coastal cuisine. At Marea, the menu reads like a study of the sea. The crux of the cuisine is devoted to the freshest and most seasonal fish and shellfish sourced from both the Mediterranean and waters worldwide. The breadth of the menu offers you the opportunity to select and choose your dining experience.
10. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: PEASANT
The menu is a multi-regional array of traditional, rustic dishes that changes seasonally and focuses on local farm to table as well as imported Italian products. The menu includes signature dishes like whole grilled orata, spit-roasted suckling pig, wood roasted squab & several hand made pastas. DeCarlo emphasizes the authenticity of his dishes, “everyone is so excited about farm to table in this country but in Italy that’s the norm. I’m just trying to give my customers the authentic experience, no prosciutto from Wyoming, it has to be from Parma, or it’s just ham.”
11. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: AL DI LA TRATTORIA
al di la Trattoria is owned and operated by husband and wife Emiliano Coppa and Chef Anna Klinger. The restaurant consists of the main dining room and the bar (which is located on the other side of the kitchen and entered from Carroll St). The restaurant has been featured in publications around the world. It received 2 stars from the New York times when it was reviewed by Frank Bruni. The Michelin Guide perennially recommends al di la Trattoria, and Slow Food awarded al di la the Snail of Approval for its commitment to responsible sourcing.
12. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: RISTORANTE MORINI
Morini offers pan-Italian regional cuisine with a menu that covers various seasonal specialties, both inland and coastal. The broad range of cuisine covers traditional and modern influences, allowing Chef Michael White and his culinary team an open canvas from which to draw on their several years of collective Italian journeys. Ristorante Morini’s seasonal and regional influences can be seen throughout each course of the menu with dishes like burrata with farro, pomegranate and shaved fennel or handmade orichette pasta with fennel sausage, broccoli rabe, and chilies and wild dover sole with charred lemon.
13. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: ENOTECA MARIA
Enoteca Maria was conceived by Joe Scaravella and opened in March 2007. The goal was to create an authentic Enoteca on the North Shore of Staten Island similar to those experienced while traveling around Italy. Each of the cooks represents a different region in Italy. They share a passion for cooking traditional local dishes that have been handed down from mother to daughter, generation after generation. The food isn’t “like Nonna used to make….” Nonna is making it!
14. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: LITTLE PARK
Little Park is a seasonal restaurant highlighting the best ingredients from Chef and owner Andrew Carmellini’s longtime partnerships with local farmers, anglers, vintners, ranchers and foragers. His menu of small and mid-sized plates encourages a shared and variable dining experience that is meant to be comfortable and elegant. Peak ingredients like organic vegetables, free-range poultry, grass-fed meats, line-caught fish and heirloom grains are sourced for their level of quality, sustainability and nutrition. Little Park also offers breakfast and lunch service daily and weekend brunch.
15. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: FRANNY’S
The two owners of franny’s, Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg, have a strong commitment to creating an environmentally responsible business. While their commitment to sustainable agriculture has been part of franny’s since it’s inception—defined as purchasing locally grown foods and serving them in the seasons during which they are grown—their business itself continues to grow increasingly sustainable year after year. The vegetables, fruits, eggs, dairy, and fish are largely sourced from local and/or organic producers; all the meats at franny’s are from sustainable sources, containing no hormones or antibiotics.
16. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: TRA DI NOI
Located in the heart of famous “Little Italy” of the Bronx, Tra Di Noi’s awe inspiring Italian cuisine will give you an unforgettable dining experience. Our food is freshly prepared using only the finest ingredients hand picked by Italian born and trained, Chef Marco.
17. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: FRANK
Frank Prisinzano’s inspiration to build Frank Restaurant came largely because he realized there was a huge gap in the restaurant community – between ego-driven pricey restaurants and cheap fast food dumps. He conceived a restaurant using his wealth of professional experience but based on his family’s time-honored traditions.
18. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: TRATTORIA L’INCONTRO
In 1999, under the direction of Chef Rocco Sacramone, Trattoria L’incontro opened its doors. Chef Sacramone’s goal was to provide his guests with the highest level of quality and service thus ensuring a unique dining experience. The restaurant features high ceilings, hand painted murals done by a local artist which reflect images of Rocco’s hometown and an open brick oven in the dining room. The cuisine is a combination of traditional classics and state-of-the-art fare. All of the dishes are prepared with an emphasis on using on the freshest, prime ingredients, keeping the integrity of traditional dishes while incorporating a new style, with the focus on taste.
19. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: SANTINA
Santina is a coastal italian restaurant created by Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick. situated on what used to be the coast of manhattan where some of the city’s first farmers markets once stood, santina takes inspiration from the neighborhood’s history with a menu that highlights vegetables and fish. dishes like giardinia crudite, spaghetti blue crab and bass agrigento integrate italian coastal cuisine with modern culinary sensibilities. santina is located underneath the gansevoort entrance to the high line park in a structure designed by renowned architect renzo piano.
20. TOP 20 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC, NEW YORK (NY), USA: ROBERTA’S
Popular Bushwick destination known for its wood-fired pizzas, with a separate takeout area
How Mulino a Vino Puts an Avant-Garde Spin on Spaghettoni al Pomodoro
Most Italians are traditionalists when it comes to how they cook their pasta (al dente) and how they sauce it (minimally). Mulino a Vino chef Massimiliano Eandi, on the other hand, takes the sort of avant-garde approach to spaghettoni al pomodoro that you might expect from a disciple of Davide Scabin, the Piedmontese modernist who’s a partner and guiding culinary spirit at this Chelsea wine bar. Eandi maximizes the flavor of the tomato by using its pulpy liquid to rehydrate the dried pasta (which never sees a pot of boiling water) and its outer shell as a cooking vessel. The classic accompaniments (garlic, basil, grated cheese) take the interpretive forms of a frico slicked with basil purée and a black-garlic garnish.
This week’s magazine takes a look at how chefs are adapting the flavor profile of the classic Roman pasta, spaghetti cacio e pepe, to things like pizza and doughnuts, and hypothesizes that it won’t be long until we’re munching on Cacio e Pepe Doritos. All of which is not to suggest that the dish itself is in decline. In fact, traditional versions of what must be the original mac ’n’ cheese have never been more popular. Here’s where to find it.
It’s not on the menu, but if you time it right (non-dinner-rush hours), Marco Canora will whip up a special-order spaghetti alla chitarra cacio e pepe that would make a Roman expat weep for joy.
No surprise here: Rita Sodi makes some of the most craveable pastas in town, and her spaghetti cacio e pepe is no exception.
Missy Robbins refuses to categorize her exquisitely chewy, curly-edged malfadine with pink peppercorns and Parmigiano-Reggiano as cacio e pepe or even a variant, citing her unorthodox use of butter and the absence of Pecorino Romano. But these pasta geniuses are notoriously picky.
No one’s saying that cacio e pepe didn’t exist in New York before this Mario Batali trattoria came along. But Lupa is where a lot of local pastavores got their first taste of the dish, and the kitchen’s bavette (similar to linguine) version is still the gold standard by which they rate all others.
C.e.P. addicts can get Nick Anderer’s spot-on tonnarelli rendition at lunch and dinner, and as a late-night snack, then come back the next morning for softly scrambled cacio e pepe eggs.
David Chang’s radical version switches out Pecorino Romano for the Momofuku Lab’s cheesy fermented-chickpea paste and makes it work. What’s also surprising and remarkable: how delicious and perfectly textured chef Josh Pinsky’s housemade bucatini is.
Mulino a Vino
Does filling ravioli with a mixture of cheese and cream infused with black pepper that, through modernist kitchen techniques too complicated to get into here, achieves an almost ganachelike texture qualify as a proper cacio e pepe? Who cares when it tastes this good?
A nicely balanced, perfectly al dente bucatini version that rides under the cacio-e-pepe radar.
Where Roman-pasta aficionada Mimi Sheraton goes for authentic (off-the-menu) spaghetti cacio e pepe. Just call ahead to make sure chef Sandro Fioriti is in the kitchen: This is one dish he insists on making himself.
When Justin Smillie decamped from Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria for Upland, he took along a few dishes too good to leave behind, including those peppercorn-crusted short ribs and his almost-as-famous bucatini cacio e pepe.
If a friend says to me, "Meet me in the Meatpacking," my knee-jerk reaction an overstated eye-roll, mainly at the thought of all the money I'll waste on an overpriced meal.
But I've found a new spot—a diamond amongst da clubs, if you will—a quaint little gem amidst restaurants that are all style and no substance.
Mulino a Vino, which opened relatively quietly a few weeks ago, is the first U.S. restaurant from Michelin-starred Italian chef Davide Scabin. Its unassuming atmosphere, especially given its surroundings, is one of its best qualities: The cozy subterranean spot is located down a flight of stairs, and its brick-lined dining room has little more than 10 tables.
A chef plating the vitello tonnato; the finished product
Owner Paolo Meregalli spared no expense on the details: The Italian tiles in the bar were hand-painted and specially made. Every bottle of wine (of which there are 50 or so available by the bottle and the glass—the restaurant is first and foremost a wine bar) is rolled out on a special cart before being individually aerated and served.
Scabin is known for molecular cuisine at his Rivoli, Italy, restaurant, Combal.Zero. While you won't find any crazy foams or unnecessary gelées at Mulino, his cooking offers subtle surprises. Each dish is available in three sizes ($18, $32 and $45): The vitello tonnato is a beautifully plated wonder, with rosy, salt-dusted pink slices of Piedmont beef tenderloin wrapped around tuna sauce that's creamier and thicker than the more traditional versions I've tried. A puffy doughnut made from pasta dough is filled with salty, savory cacio e pepe cream and sprinkled with wisps of Parmesan cheese.
Owner Paolo Meregalli
The Mulino's Polpetta, a tennis ball-sized meatball which in flavor and texture is reminiscent of a porky sausage patty, gets a dollop of condensed amatriciana sauce, a vibrant paste of tomato-y and pancetta-y goodness. And even the simplest looking dish, a beautifully tender tentacle of roast octopus, dazzles with burst cherry tomatoes and a creamy, perfectly cooked slab of potato.
Meregalli is an observant and thoughtful host, stopping by frequently to check in. When he noticed that I gave my friend a gift for her upcoming wedding, he rolled over the wine cart and poured us two complimentary glasses of Brachetto ($13) to accompany our slice of creamy peanut butter cheesecake ($12), the chef's playful dessert-menu nod to New York City.
You don’t expect to encounter the food of a Michelin-two-starred chef in a 14th Street basement, but here it is: a toasty prosciutto sandwich with burrata; a crisp chickpea-flour pancake topped with tomato carpaccio; the “bombolone cacio & pepe,” a.k.a. pasta doughnut. Davide Scabin is known for his modernist exploits at Combal.Zero in Rivoli, but here, he’s marrying cucina classica to tweezer food. The menu, though, is subservient to the wine, each bottle opened by cork-piercing Coravin and every wine-list subcategory paired with recommended dishes. Considering Scabin’s Piedmont connections, you’ll want to spring for a truffle supplement
MULINO A VINO Davide Scabin, who has two Michelin stars for his Combal.Zero near Turin, Italy, recalls that in 1990, at age 25, he was supposed to take over the kitchen at Tony May’s San Domenico in New York. A family issue prevented it. But now he’s here, “humble,” he said, though he noted that “a major chef from Italy is missing in New York.” (Don’t tell that to Cesare Casella.) His restaurant, in the basement of an unassuming apartment building in the meatpacking district, consists of a glossy marble bar with an open kitchen, a collection of rough-hewed tables in a brick-walled space and a warren of small rooms. Customers will be asked to choose their wine before ordering food, which includes traditional dishes with an unusual twist, like folding the veal over a tonnato filling without mayonnaise, or pasta with a mix of amatriciana and carbonara sauces. 337 West 14th Street.