The sudden onset of hunger pains is the leading cause of unfinished novels, canceled duels, and tied soccer matches. Today's Groupon employs delicious Italian cuisine to cut down on unfinished business: for $15, you get $35 worth of Italian cuisine at Grotta Azzurra in Little Italy.
For more than a century, Grotta Azzurra has delighted diners with classic Italian cuisine, earning three consecutive awards of excellence from Wine Spectator. Delicate antipasti such as traditional fried calamari ($12) allow visitors to warm taste buds chilled by extensive envelope-licking before diving into the menu of main-course mastication possibilities. Pastas include fettuccine smothered in pink cream sauce ($15), gnocchi nestled amongst walnuts and gorgonzola ($16), and penne palling around with broccoli, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes ($15). Meat-seeking missiles will gravitate toward hearty entrees like the breaded veal chop Milanese ($29) or brandy-sauced 12-ounce filet mignon ($33). A suite of finely shaken and stirred cocktails is also available to accompany savory selections ($10).
A storied history distinguishes the Italian eatery, which was originally opened in 1908 and frequented throughout the ensuing century by celebrities including the raffish Rat Pack and the frolicsome Cat Pack. Chef Frank Castellana's culinary creations celebrate this rich heritage, all served in an elegant space with maroon leather stools dotting its burnished wood bar and classic white tablecloths contrasting the wine cellar's exposed brick and rafters.
You can't get much more Little Italy than Grotta Azzurra. Originally opened in 1908, the restaurant is a neighborhood fixture that was once a regular hangout for Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. Even Robert De Nero grew up on Grotta's Old World cooking. After closing for several years, a refurbished and reinvigorated Grotta Azzurra came back strong with Chef Frank Castellana helming the kitchen.
Tradition remains a guiding force behind the robust Italian menu. Castellana's chefs bake focaccia bread daily, make their own mozzarella, and create gnocchi and other pastas by hand. Menu mainstays are all time-honored classics, such as beef braciole, chicken parmigiana, and a whole Maine lobster served with clams and mussels in a spicy red sauce—the restaurant's signature entree since 1908. Grotta Azzurra pairs these hearty plates with glasses, bottles, and Erlenmeyer flasks of wine from its extensive list, which earned an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator.
177 Mulberry St.
New York, New York 10013Get Directions