DoSi Caffé assembles a catalogue of modern Italian dishes accented by international influences from the meal-based mind of four-star executive chef Gaspar Stantic. The dinner menu offers inaugurations into edible engagements with the bold flavors of farro salad mixed with purple cabbage and goat cheese ($8.50) or a ceviche sampler of salmon, crab, and scallops with mango frappe ($10.50). Herbaceous pastaficionados can fork marinara-drizzling mouthfuls of rigatoni tossed with eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives ($13.50), while carnivoyeurs can host internal debates to choose between entrees such as the fisherman stew, containing lobster ravioli, shrimp, and scallops ($22.50), and pork tenderloin medallions served with a belly-pleasing bed of mushroom risotto ($18.50).
Owner and chef Francis Szklarski infuses his authentic Italian menu with innovative pasta courses and a smattering of fresh seafood. Sautéed with garlic, mussels from the Prince Edward Islands ($8.95) arrive in pools of sweet or spicy marinara, and portobello ($7.95) earns a chance to wrestle in a higher weight class by stuffing itself with mozzarella-topped crabmeat. Curled up on a leafy bed of sautéed spinach, veal saltimbocca ($19.95) stays warm under a heavy blanket of prosciutto and mozzarella, and Mulberry Street shrimp ($18.95) arrives on plates lightly breaded and fried in mildly spiced sweet marinara over a heaping portion of linguine. An extensive assortment of wines matches each entree, as do more than 40 martinis concocted behind the martini lounge's chic black-granite bar. Amici's ambiance evokes Italy with paintings, wall sconces, and frequent leaning towers of spaghetti.
With dishes of thick, sage-seasoned veal chops and house-made pasta on its tables, it's no wonder that the dining room at Da Noi gets crowded. The Midtown spot is usually "packed with devotees of solid Northern Italian fare," according to New York Magazine, which also praised the "elegant" wood-paneled dining room.
A Taste of Northern Italy
Da Noi's chefs celebrate the subtleties of Northern Italian cuisine by tirelessly chopping fresh herbs, slicing scarlet-hued beef carpaccio, and sautéing filets of fresh sole in white wine. Da Noi's handmade pasta dishes have turned many first-time diners into regulars, but other enthusiasts return again and again for pasta-free dishes such as grilled chicken livers dressed in a tangy balsamic dressing and served over fresh field greens.
A Sip of La Dolce Vita
The dessert menu rubs shoulders with the cocktail program at Da Noi, and the results are lavishly indulgent. Bartenders mix and muddle ingredients such as white chocolate and fresh blueberries with potent liqueurs, and decorate shaken martinis with whimsical garnishes. Glasses of silky housemade limoncello present a careful balance of sweet and tart flavors.
The foundation of Goodfella's signature brick-oven pizzas starts with high-quality ingredients such as semolina dough, fresh mozzarella, and homemade sauce. Yet that’s not the only way to make a pizza that gets a lot of attention: at the International Pizza Challenge in 2007, 2009, and 2012, the pizzeria took home prizes in the nontraditional pizza category for the unorthodox toppings its chefs paired with that base. Now they bring that creativity to Goodfella’s every day, with ingredients that include roasted rosemary potatoes, roasted-pepper-cream sauce, and peas, just some of the toppings on the 12 specialty pies. Alternatively, diners with their own visions of the ideal pizza can opt instead to create their own combinations. Pizza aside, the Goodfella's Bayonne's menu includes Italian and American classics such as homemade cheese ravioli and 16-ounce steaks seared in a brick oven at 900 degrees, the same temperature required to melt potatoes back into vodka.
Family-sized platters emerge from the kitchen alongside individual portions of familiar Italian entrees, entering into a petite but lavishly dressed dining room that the Hudson Reporter referred to as "one of those quality places that doesn’t intimidate you" in a 2011 feature. The menu's selection boasts housemade ravioli, grilled Atlantic salmon, and cuts of veal in one of the chefs' hearty sauces. To accompany meals, Buon Appetito also stocks its cellar with wines from across Italy and California, including fruit-forward reds and refreshing whites that are chilled to their ideal drinking temperatures inside of an igloo.
The dining room maintains a welcoming yet refined ambience, with black linens draped over every table, a ceiling lined with small crystal chandeliers, and walls filled with vibrantly colored vintage advertisements. Buon Appetito's delicatessen fulfills a separate gastronomic purpose, plying visitors with cheeses, sausages, and imported Italian foods instead of fully prepared entrees.
Offering authentic Italian fare in an elegant dining environment, Es-Ca entices epicures with an eclectic assortment of lunch and dinner specialties, as well as a full bar. Start dinners with an appetizing mouth party of grilled lobster ravioli attended by a fresh tomato demi-glaze ($17), or opt for the mozzarella caprese served warm with fresh roasted peppers and drizzled with balsamic glaze and basil oil ($12). Like Italian Barbie dolls, orecchiette comes accessorized with fried eggplant, zucchini, fresh mozzarella, and plum tomato sauce ($15), while red or white clam sauce provides a palatable chapeau for angel hair pasta ($19). Panko-breaded boneless pork chops target taste buds with the help of hot cherry pepper sauce and roasted sweet potatoes ($20), and jumbo shrimp with creamy risotto do-si-dos with wild mushrooms and fresh spinach ($29) in a belly-bound barn dance.