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When Violetta Bitici and her father, Sergio, founded a restaurant in the heart of Manhattan's meatpacking district, they decided to honor the building's history while introducing their own legacy. The bust of a steer's head adorns one wall, and meat hooks still dangle over the kitchen's display case, although they now support copper pots and pans. These accents help establish the focus behind Macelleria’s name— butcher shop in Italian—although they may belie the Mediterranean influences that make the restaurant "a haven for the cuisine of northeast Italy," according to the New York Times.
Steaks do comprise a small yet extremely significant portion of the menu. The dry-aged and Angus-certified cuts include everything from rib eyes to porterhouses as well as the highly praised T-bones that earned a spot on Esquire's 2008 list of the 20 Best Steaks in America. However, the rest of the menu features handmade pastas, rich Mediterranean sauces, and Italian-cured meats. In addition to creating dishes such as lasagna bolognese and garganelli in oxtail ragu, the chefs demonstrate a commitment to northern Italian flavors in particular by battering freshwater trout with polenta.
Macelleria's dining areas also embrace the menu's sense of rustic refinement. Stout wooden tables fill the space, complementing the warm earth tones of the exposed brickwork and the beige pendant lamps. Downstairs in the wine cellar, a stone wall originally built by the Dutch in the 17th century envelops an intimate seating area.