Best Italian in the Upper West Side, NYC

Best Italian in the Upper West Side, NYC

When it comes to Italian restaurants, the Upper West Side in Manhattan doesn't get the love that it deserves.

There is in fact, a thriving and trendy collection of Italian restaurants that call this neighborhood home. These restaurants range from old-school Italian to some very hip and cool places where innovation reigns supreme in the kitchen.

Spiga - NYC

Spiga, a rustic and charming restaurant, is a great place in which to unwind, relax and savor your meal.
And, what a repast it will be! Executive chef Stefano Bosetti has created a menu that is, at once, comfortably familiar yet quite innovative and daring.

Spiga 1

Within walking distance of neighborhood attractions such as Lincoln Center, Spigas' kitchen brings you mouth-watering dishes that you just can't get at home. Chef Bosetti does magic when it comes to pasta.  His artichoke lasagna with béchamel sauce and a dusting of parmesan cheese will seduce your taste buds.  Like Gnocchi? Well, you have never eaten it like this. Homemade sweet potato and pumpkin gnocchi are served with sausage and broccoli rabe. There's just a hint of sweetness to this dish and a whole lot of taste.

Main course selections run the gamut from beef and chicken to some very creative fish dishes. Regulars can't get enough of the pan-seared halibut with clams and mussels, in a tomato broth. A polenta cake, which soaks up the delicious broth, is your side.

Spiga 2

Other popular choices include the sautéed beef filet mignon in a red wine sauce with black truffle, leeks and a potato croquette as well as a savory breast of duck in cognac sauce, over roasted apples and braised cabbage.

Before going to the Opera or taking in a jazz concert at Lincoln Center, enjoy a wonderful meal at Spiga.

Location and Hours

200 West 84th street
New York, NY 10024
(212) 362-5506

Monday to Sunday  5:30 PM to 11:00 PM

Pomodoro Rosso - NYC

With a casual, relaxed feel, Pomodoro Rosso is your new go-to place for date night, dinner with friends or a family dinner, without all the annoying cooking and clean-up. The colorful, checkerboard tablecloths, brick walls and paintings make for an informal but warm atmosphere. In the Summertime, take advantage of their gorgeous sidewalk café area, complete with white linen-draped tables, plants and flowers as well as stylish wicker chairs that are straight out of House and Garden magazine. A long canopy shields diners from the sun.

Pomodoro 1

The menu is extensive, but it won't overwhelm you. Everything is laid out, nice and neat. Their signature soup is the Pappa al Pomodoro, a very smooth and flavorful tomato and herb blend that is served inside a scooped out loaf of bread.  Antipasto choices all have something tasty to recommend them, but the standout has to be the Burrata (burrata cheese, Copa ham, figs and arugula salad in an aged balsamic dressing). Two of their signature dishes are the fresh salmon and bow tie pasta primavera, in a spicy garlic and tomato sauce, and the tri-color cheese tortelloni in a light cream sauce with prosciutto and peas.

Popular entrees include the Veal stew served over fresh pappardelle pasta and the pollo rugantino. This you can't stop eating it dish consists of an organic chicken breast topped with goat cheese, sautéed with portobello mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes in a sherry wine sauce.

Pomodoro 2

A light but delicious option is the vegetable risotto. Saffron and rice are blended with seasonal veggies and wild mushrooms for an unforgettable treat. This trattoria-style eatery is wildly popular with professors and students from  Fordham University's ' nearby campus as well as with Lincoln Center workers and performers...

Location and Hours

229 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10023
(212) 721-3009

Mon-Sun  12 PM to  11 PM


Gennaro - NYC

The excellent kitchen at Gennaro does classic Italian cuisine with a unique Mediterranean twist. Throughout the menu, you will find dishes whose ingredients are influenced by Middle Eastern as well as Israeli cuisine. This makes for an adventurous and exciting meal. Colorful painting, drawings and caricatures adorn the walls. You can order a superb drink at their elegant mahogany bar or make yourself comfortable in the main dining room, which is replete with cushy banquette seating. Just sink in and relax.

Gennaro 1

Gennaro's has been serving the neighborhood since 1996. The owner is proud of the fact that families recommend the place to their friends from other parts of the city. And, when the kids of regular customers grow up and start dating, they make Gennaros their date night spot. Signature dishes include Mussels in a tomato and saffron broth with raisins, pine nuts and couscous and the divine braised lamb shank in red wine, which is served over Israeli couscous and fresh veggies. The pasta con le sarde consists of sardines, pine nuts, saffron and wild fennel. Most of the regulars can't decide between the homemade veal ravioli in a tomato cream sauce or the spaghetti alla chitiarra, topped with basil, olive oil and cherry tomatoes.

Location and Hours

665 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10025
(212) 665-5348

Mon-Thur 5 PM to 10:30 PM
Fri-Sat  5 PM to  11 PM
Sunday   Closed


Gabriel's Bar and Restaurant - NYC

Pair up an award-winning wine list, a stylish and formal, but welcoming ambiance together with innovative Italian cuisine and what do you have? Gabriel's Bar and Restaurant, of course! Gabriel Aiello, the personable and charismatic owner loves meeting and interacting with his customers. It doesn't matter if you are a financial power broker, politician, a celebrity like Kim Cattrall or a family who is dining here for the first time, Gabriel and his staff will treat you like Royalty. Unlike some restaurant owners, Gabriel knows that he is in the people business. His vaunted charm and delicious food keep people returning again and again.

Gabriels 1

Executive chef Michael Dalla Verde's menu consists of one highlight after another. The Mezzaluna pasta, with spinach, pine nut and ricotta filling, is dressed in a tomato mascarpone sauce. Health-minded regulars always go for the gluten-free chicken and kale ravioli in a tomato basil sauce. Main courses are diverse ranging from a rack of Colorado lamb in honey truffle oil to slow roasted goat in a spicy brown sauce. If you're a fish lover, then make sure to order the grilled red snapper with a carrot rosemary puree.

Location and Hours

11 West 60th Street, New York NY 10023
(212) 956-4600

Mon-Thur  12 PM to 11 PM
Fri-Sat   12 PM to 12 AM
Sunday    Closed

Joanne Trattoria - NYC

This intimate and cozy restaurant, serving old-school Italian comfort food, is owned by Lady Gaga's mom and dad. But the celebrity factor plays a very small, if any role, in the success of Joanne Trattoria. Foodies from  Brooklyn and Queens to the Bronx and Manhattan are if you'll pardon the pun, going gaga over Joanne Trattoria because of the food. They could care less about any celebrity sightings.

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The Germanotta clan serves the kind of dishes that you know and love if you grew up in an Italian family. If you didn't, then dine at Joanne Trattoria and become an honorary Italian-American, for, at least, one evening. Antipasti selections are worthy of entrée status. You might wish to order a few appetizers to share and you will have a complete and very satisfying meal. Start off with Joanne's meatballs, made from scratch using the Germanotta family's secret recipe. The polpette di Melanzane are vegetarian eggplant "meat" balls in a light tomato gravy. When you try the Arancini alla Nonna you are in for a surprise. These tasty Sicilian rice balls are filled with mixed olives.

All of the pasta served here is absolutely fresh and there are several gluten-free options, as well. The Lasagna Della casa consists of homemade sheets of pasta, ricotta cheese and Joanne's delightful and savory Bolognese sauce. They do a really memorable White truffle Alfredo fettuccine. The signature dish and one of the Trattoria's most popular menu items is Joanne's seafood mac and cheese. This dish consists of penne pasta, three kinds of cheese, scallops and shrimp. Meat options range from veal and steak to some very mouthwatering chicken dishes. Papa G's chicken consists of bone-in chicken with pepperoncini and sweet or hot sausage.

JoanneTrattoria 2

The friendliness of the owners and staff, as well as the décor and ambiance, makes you feel as though you are dining with the Germanottas at home.

Location and Hours

70 West 68th street
New York, NY 10023
(212) 721-0068

Mon-Tue  5 PM to 10 PM
Wed-Thur 11:30 AM to 10 PM
Fri-Sat  11:30 AM to 11 PM
Sunday   11:30 AM to 10 PM

Cesca - NYC

Cesca, a mainstay on the Upper West side's casual dining scene, since 2003, specializes in authentic farm-to-table Italian-style cuisine. In a very real sense, this marks a return to a more traditional dining experience, since farm-to-table (and the farm was usually right down the road), is how Italians ate for centuries. The land or the sea was always close at hand. Everything was fresh!


Executive chef Kevin Garcia has created a menu that emphasizes the ingredients he buys from local farms and purveyors. Having worked for Mario Batali for three years, Kevin rose to the position of chef di Cucina at Del Posto. Here at Cesca, Chef Garcia has a blank canvas onto which he can paint his creations. You will love the dishes that come out of his kitchen.

For the table, you can order a plate of chef's prosciutto and Parmigiano fritters or the sheep's milk ricotta and mushroom crostini. Or why not just order both? Salads are highlighted by the grilled octopus with butter beans and red pepper puree as well as the Escarole with walnuts, red onions, mint and pecorino cheese. Chef Garcia makes three kinds of ravioli truffle mushroom, spinach and ricotta and carbonara style with bacon and Parmesan filling in a butter and scallion sauce.

Cesca 2

As far as meat selections, the crisped pork belly and polenta, veal Milanese and the espresso braised short ribs with root vegetables are all great choices.

Location and Hours

164 West 75th Street, New York NY 10023
(212) 787-6300

Mon-Wed  5 PM to 10 PM
Thur-Sat 5 PM to 11 PM
Sunday   4 PM to 9:30 PM


Trattoria Dell'Arte - NYC

Located just a few steps from Carnegie Hall, Trattoria Dell' Arte attracts an eclectic crowd of foodies, musicians, executives, tourists and local residents. As diverse as these groups may be, they all agree on one thing, the food and service at this lively restaurant are impeccable. One of their biggest draws is, what is, perhaps, the largest antipasto bar in the city. If you are not hungry when you enter the premises, you certainly will have your appetite stimulated once you get a look at the huge selection of antipasti. Everything is displayed so very artfully.

Trattoria Dell Arte 2

Selections include stuffed Portobello mushrooms, charred Brussels sprouts, broccoli rabe, cauliflower steaks, eggplant caponata, roasted veggies with Quinoa, stuffed baby peppers and zucchini parmigiana. Small plate options are just as tempting. The best of the bunch is the short rib meatballs in Sunday gravy, Italian sausage and peppers and Italian pigs (cotechino sausage) in a blanket.

Entrees are a delightful blend of the traditional and the daring. You won't be able to stop eating the pan seared scallops with parsnip puree and pomegranate. The organic chicken cacciatore comes with a bounty of sausage, peppers and potatoes. Another great choice would be their osso buco portobello mushroom Parmigiana dish. Artisan pasta is made in-house, every day. The signature pasta is the pesto ravioli alla Brando, with basil pesto and roasted tomatoes. Equal in popularity is the lobster spaghetti carbonara.

Trattoria Dell Arte

Private dining is available for business luncheons, client meetings and special celebrations in the Bomarzo and the candle room. With dark wood interiors and an upscale ambiance, your guests will remember your special event for a long time to come.

Location and Hours

900 Seventh Avenue, New York NY 10106
(212) 245-9800

Mon-Sat   11:45 AM to 12 AM
Sunday    11 AM to  10:30 PM

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