Gianna’s offers a menu full of upscale, old-world Italian fare, reviving tired taste buds with subtle sauces and precisely prepared pastas. Each dinner entree serves two people, but single orders are also available. Split the vodka-sauce-laced penne with a dinner date ($25.95), or share an order of lasagna with your invisible nemesis ($26.95). Rigatoni with broccoli rabe and sausage fills bureaucratic meat quotas ($29.95), and eggplant parmigiana pleases pairs of plantivores ($23.95). A wine list is also available, so you can pair your meal with a bottle of 2008 Danzante pinot grigio ($25) instead of the FDA-recommended 12-pack of Capri Sun.
The glowing embers in a rustic brick hearth reach temperature heights of 700 degrees Fahrenheit as they bake pizzas. Once they’ve been adequately roasted, pizzas emerge from brick ovens bubbling and topped with now crisp leaves of basil, soft tomato slices, arugula, and tender chicken. Chefs prepare 15 specialty varietals of pizza using traditional maple- and oak-fired methods that date back to the time when the Ancient Romans invented fire and imparts a toasty crispness to each disc. Pasta noodles mingle with creamy pesto sauce or skirt steak, while slices of foccocia bread ensnare morsels of roasted eggplant, meatballs, or lightly breaded chicken.
Diners can customize pies with à la carte ingredients such as sausage, fresh pineapple, and arugula or opt for the prearranged flavors, which include a ricotta-bedecked bianca pizza and an entree-combining chicken-parmigiana pizza. Four fountain drinks keep bellies happily hydrated, although a diplomatic BYOB policy allows guests to supplement dinners with fermented beverages. Diners can nosh in an all-season garden room, where a vaulted-glass ceiling maintains a pleasant climate through summer, winter, and impending ice ages.
Vibrant murals of an Italian countryside span the walls of Palermo Pizzeria & Restaurant, setting the scene for a dining experience inspired by the region. Lobster tails, grilled steaks, and piles of spaghetti populate plates atop linen tablecloths in the dining room, alongside crispy pizza crusts weighed down by plum tomatoes, Spanish olives, and blue cheese. A wood-hewn bar ensures wine glasses and mugs stay full throughout meals and its attached TV keeps patrons entertained.
The cuisine: Italian. The vista: New York's one-of-a-kind skyline, towering high above the Hudson. Masina Trattoria's team delivers its cuisine to an outdoor patio overlooking Manhattan's iconic architecture, which wasn't built in a day—it was built in a plot of land. They also serve their food inside, where those twinkling views of the skyline fill the expansive windows, and framed black and white photos add a touch of vintage to the romantic decor.
Bearing the name of post-war actress and wife of Italian director Federico Fellini, Masina Trattoria pays homage to the spirit of the bold cuisine of Italy. Executive Chef Rocco Russo crafts classics such as gnocchi and cavatelli, but also adds inventive touches such as parsley sausage and broccoli raab.
For more than 25 years, the aroma of traditional Italian food and tapas wafted through the kitchen and dining rooms of chef Dominick Anfuso's Al Di La. These days, however, that kitchen is the dominion of chef Peter Ingrasselino. Drawing upon nearly a quarter century of experience, chef Peter Ingrasselino, who was previously general manager and executive chef of Masina Trattoria Italiana in Weehawken, maintains the former chef's legacy while adding his own twists to the Italian-centered menu. He fills the kitchen with activity, tossing porcini and wild mushrooms with pappardelle noodles, brushing aged steak with a balsamic glaze, and wrapping sea scallops in pancetta.
Meals unfold in a dining room, where high ceilings and exposed brick evoke the ambiance of a café in Venice. Visitors sip drinks, their chatter punctuating music from live bands.
Flickering faux candles on chandeliers and wall sconces give a melted glow to the eatery's yellow walls and open hearth. BYOB beverages and artisanal plates of cured meats and cheeses share table acreage with San Giuseppe's signature coal-fired pizzas topped with unique combinations of figs, butternut squash, and roasted artichoke hearts. Fresh pastas, including black linguine and pappardelle, tangle around fresh seafood and vegetables beneath blankets of homemade marinara, cream, and basil sauces. Guests can add a romantic touch to a date by requesting a signature heart-shaped pizza or propose with a diamond-ring-shaped pie.
For more than two decades, the mom-and-pop operation at Bella Pizza has fed passersby with handmade Italian pies, sub sandwiches, fresh salads, and saucy pastas. The smells of fresh stuffed and Sicilian-style pizzas waft through the cozy space, which evokes the homey, casual ambience of a neighborhood eatery. And Italian cheeses run a thread through the extensive menu of hearty Italian-American fare, from casseroles of baked chicken parmigiana to lunches of meatball heroes and golden-brown calzones.