Portofino Ristorante wins over visitors with feasts of baked clams, slow-cooked pork loins, and tender sautéed chicken atop beds of pasta. Perched upon City Island's waterfront, the restaurant cultivates an atmosphere that, like a tractor christening, is simultaneously rustic and urbane. The patio gives diners a view of New York's skyline; the interior evokes the image of a banquet hall in an Italian countryside villa—maroon leather chairs, warm light descending from chandeliers, and walls decorated in a stucco-esque scumbling and murals of Mediterranean harbor scenes. Guests sup on shrimp stuffed with crab meat or sautéed broccoli raab in cozy candlelit booths, break bread in the Piccolo Room or banquet area, or toast goblets of wine at the tucked-away wraparound bar.
A staple of the Bronx for more than 40 years, F&J Pine Restaurant boasts a pantheon of menu options, from seafood succulents to traditional Italian fare. Begin an edible excursion with a plate of clams Casino, where mollusks gamble away their pearly life savings while mingling with vinegar peppers and bacon ($12.50). Those looking to dive straight into an entree can anchor incisors in the farfalle rustica, a flavorsome concoction of grilled chicken, roasted peppers, and broccoli in basil-infused olive oil ($14.50 for a regular portion). Much like eating an R. L. Stine novel, omnivores can choose their own delicious adventure with the Milanese pine-style cutlet, where a pan fried slice of chicken, veal, or eggplant, gets into precarious situations with a swath of roasted peppers and fresh mozzarella in a warm balsamic vinaigrette ($11.50–$15.50).
Replicating the boisterous atmosphere and hearty repasts of traditional Italian hearths, Patricia's of Tremont piles plates with familial favorites from the pages of the multifaceted menu. Patricia's dough decathletes pound out a personalized dinner discus from an array of pizza possibilities, with entries including the Patricia, an eponymous, olive and asparagus-laden pie ($9.75–$18), gas-cooked or wood-fired to diner specifications.
Although mambo 'taliano's mustard-yellow awning calls the eatery a "ristorante and piano bar," it's difficult to say which aspect has more influence. The chefs fully commit to the menu of traditional Italian staples by rolling pastas, curing Alaskan salmon, and making fresh mozzarella in-house. These sorts of touches add a homespun quality to dishes such as the spaghetti with pancetta and pecorino romano cheese, and the thin-pounded veal milanese with arugula and cherry tomatoes. To help prime palates, the appetizer selection features everything from marinated Sicilian olives to a shareable antipasto platter with cured meats and roasted vegetables. The aromatic herbs and the sight of diners enjoying meals at the outdoor patio help attract passersby, but so does the sound of live jazz emanating from the dining room. Solo pianists and ensembles aim to entertain patrons with soothing background melodies. Coupled with the sounds of spirited conversations, these performances help create a lively atmosphere where diners can comfortably enjoy a casual meal, a glass of wine, or an impromptu dance off.
A tasty spread of authentic Italian-style cuisine awaits within the pages of Louis Seafood Restaurant’s menus. Chew parties begin with fried zucchini ($7.95) or broccoli sauté ($6.95), and a specialty dish of gnocchi with mozzarella ($14.50) extends masticationary joys past the appetizer stage. Eggplant rollatini ($19.50) and broiled fillet of flounder ($19.75) magnet-draw mouths, with all meat, poultry, and seafood dishes accompanied by a choice of spaghetti, salad, french fries, or other tasty sides. On Tuesday nights, foodie Frankensteins can build a meal monster from the mix-and-match pasta, which pairs bowties, spaghetti, penne, and shells with a variety of sauces for an all-you-can-eat delight ($10.95). For the restaurant's namesake nourishment, sink hunger hooks into a seafood dish such as fried shrimp ($20.75), broiled fillet of flounder ($19.75), or deviled crab cakes ($22.75).
The cuisine curators at Good to Go present a menu of hearty Italian and American cuisine amid a romantic, warmly lit space with walls bedecked by soft pink and yellow hues. Loosen up clenched craws for an appetizer of ricotta-and-mozzarella-stuffed fried rigatoni ($8.50) while lubricating the gullet with a Black Oak chardonnay ($7.95). The chicken ’n’ spinach flatbread ($9.95) demonstrates that cuisine can be enjoyed in three or two dimensions, and the spaghetti bolognese stitches together a quilt of cream and meat sauce with tasty noodles ($12.95).