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.
Crusts puff into crisp golden circlets around Famous Amadeus' New York–style pizzas, unrolling tendrils of steam around calzones, strombolis, and time-tested Italian dishes. Pastas leap fresh from the colander or disappear into multilayered lasagna and ricotta-stuffed shells after testifying against forks. Marinara-cloaked entrees drive up demand for napkins within the eatery or join delivery drivers on jaunts to diners around the city.
Grace Balducci Doria and her husband Joe Doria met in 1955, eventually founding a family of wholesalers, caterers, and restaurateurs that would go on to specialize in producing traditional and contemporary Italian cuisine. Grace's Trattoria sources fresh ingredients from the family's marketplace before head chefs Joe Trama and Brian Snider turn the seasonal produce and meats into pizzas crowned with sweet sausage and truffle oil, braised-beef short ribs, and buffalo mozzarella caprese salad. More than 45 wines, culled from the fine viticulture regions of Australia, California, and Italy, pair with Grace?s pastas, steaks, and seafood. These rich dishes land on tables surrounded by an idyllic, European-style ambience complete with sidewalk caf? seating, walls of rustic red brick, stacked wine racks, and chalkboards announcing the daily specials in Esperanto.
An oasis of natural, full-flavored pie in a wasteland of modern preservatives, zpizza offers bubbly pizza with options that are safe for vegans, vegetarians, and the gluten-shy. Every pizza at zpizza is freshly prepared, hand-thrown, and gently coaxed into the oven using soft bird calls and pheromone trails, and fire-baked to crispy perfection. The dough is prepared fresh daily from 100% certified-organic wheat flour, and zpizza is also happy to offer certified organic and gluten-free crusts, sating the pizza desire of the allergic, dieters, and wheat sympathizers. Toppings include part-skim rBGH-free mozzarella, MSG-free pepperoni, certified-organic tomato sauce, additive-free sausage, and fresh produce. Try a large ZBQ pizza with barbecue sauce, mozzarella, barbecue chicken, roasted peppers, red onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and sweet corn ($9.95–$20.95), or a chicken curry and yam rustica with mozzarella, curry chicken, yams, mango chutney, raisins, and cilantro ($8.95). Vegans can delight in a Berkeley, a soy-cheese veggie pizza with pesto, soy cheese, veggie burger crumbles, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, red onions, and bell peppers ($10.50–$21.50), and traveling tongues can sate their wanderlust with a mouthwatering Moroccan rustica with pesto, mozzarella, roasted eggplant, feta cheese, caramelized onions, and pine nuts ($8.95). Prices vary from location to location, so there might be some small variation from what is listed above.
It's tough to be timeless, because you can't predict what trends will eventually fall by the wayside. Rossini's Restaurant, however, has made some pretty good bets in its 36 years of business: beautiful paintings, a spacious dining room, and live music every night. Six nights out of seven, that music comes from a piano. But on Saturdays, an opera trio takes the stage, singing romantic numbers throughout supper.
The menu is just as classic as the ambiance. It begins with antipasti and salad dishes, followed by pasta plates such as stuffed tortellini and linguine in a clam broth. The seafood dishes include a catch-of-the-day that can be prepared to your or the chef's taste, and Dover sole that may or may not be available, depending on whether the fish market wanted to keep it all to itself. Other entrees center on filet mignon medallions, seasoned lamb chops, and sauteed veal in white wine.
Columns, soft light, and a creamy color palette inspire a warm atmosphere at 83 1/2, an Italian restaurant where ambience and fresh ingredients make evenings unforgettable. Tiled mosaics and ink-red wines supply the dining room's most colorful accents, except on evenings when indoors sun showers create rainbows. The artistry spills over onto the careful presentation of the meals, which the chefs turn into a visual masterpieces, many of which unfold over several courses. Meals might include saltimbocca with truffled potatoes, pan-seared duck with red onion marmalade, and gnocchi with spinach ricotta.