Inspired by their travels throughout Italy and the Mediterranean, the Ferrara and Gironta families decided to bring a bit of the Old World home by opening Serata—a restaurant committed to Italian cuisine made using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Housemade marinara sauce and imported prosciutto evoke the flavors of Italy, but the chefs depart from tradition by introducing their own modern spins on time-honored classics.
Much like the menu, the decor toes the line between traditional and contemporary. The dining room resembles an Italian cottage, surrounding diners with brickwork arches and faux Tuscan plaster walls. Simple wooden tables and wrought-iron chandeliers add to this rustic charm, but the restaurant's spirit changes drastically after the sun sets.
A silver globe-shaped weathervane, reminiscent of the classic RKO Radio logo, crowns the Carlyle At The Palace's art-deco fa?ade, where geometric shapes and pops of color hint at the glamour within. Through a lobby styled in honor of the Chrysler building, Deco 1600's dining room continues the old-fashioned elegance with votive candles and a wall of beveled mirrors.
In the kitchen, cooks captained by Head Chef Daniel Echeverria craft panini and pizza lunches, then simmer short ribs in chianti, slather racks of lamb with minted pesto, and slow-cook risottos of the day for dinner. Wines imported from Italy, Argentina, and France complement meals, as well as doff their corks in Deco 1600's sleek upstairs event space, where white-leather banquettes, chandeliers, and foiled wallpaper set a chic scene.
Some of New York's most familiar faces have been spotted enjoying Umberto's award-winning pizza. Rudy Giuliani. Eli Manning. Victor Cruz. The Statue of Liberty whenever a lightning storm reanimates her. There are more complex entrees as well?including seafood marinara with clams, scungilli, mussels, lobster, and calamari?but the crown jewel of the menu remains the specialty pizzas strewn with authentically Italian toppings such as meatballs and broccoli rabe.
Calda Pizzeria & Restaurant’s extensive menu of pizzas, piles of pasta, and burgers parades past gleaming tables flaunting time-tested Italian flavors. Diners can share 18-inch chicken-club pizzas ($21.95) decorated with produce, bacon, and ranch dressing, or guard their own personal-size eggplant-and-ricotta pies ($9.95) from herbivorous velociraptors. The Pizzeria burger ($9.95) merges the best of both worlds by draping a half-pound slab of Angus beef in homemade tomato sauce and a mantle of melted mozzarella. Linguine fruti di mare ($17.95) lets a school of mussels, calamari, and shrimp play Marco Polo in a pool of marinara sauce, and california penne with sun-dried tomatoes, grilled chicken, and broccoli spears ($12.95) lobs crisp fistfuls of veggies like a farmer on a Carnival float. The Levittown eatery features soft lighting and a row of burnt-sienna stools, and windows at the Hicksville establishment admit cascades of natural light.
True to its name, Crossroads marks the intersection of two seemingly dissimilar hangouts: it houses an elegant dining room clad in black linens and yellow wall sconces where pastas, steaks, and seafood are served, as well as a sports bar stocked with pub grub. As Crossroads' famous marinated skirt steak and seafood fra diavolo top plates in the dining room, the bar's 15 TVs—each one baked fresh that day in time for the game—join a jukebox in wooing eyes and ears. Special events include visits from a local medium who tries to connect clients with the afterlife, get-togethers to cheer on the Rangers and Jets, and holiday meals.