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Italian Restaurants - Chelsea, NYC

Italian Restaurants - Chelsea, NYC

One of the most popular ethnic cuisines is Italian food, and the cool, urban chic neighborhood of Chelsea does Italian in the most creative way.

Well worth the trip from anywhere in Manhattan, Astoria, Brooklyn or Long Island City.

Biricchino - Chelsea

Conveniently located only a few, short blocks from Madison Square Garden and Penn Station, Biricchino has been a favorite of neighborhood residents, business commuters, superstar athletes and sports fans since 1987.

In the romantic language of Dante, Biricchino translates to the naughty little boy". But there's nothing bad or mischievous about the food here. You'll enjoy one of the better Italian meals that you can find anywhere in this vast city, here at Biricchino.
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The family that owns the restaurant has been in the food business for over 85 years. That's a tradition to be envied.
Originally from the Piemonte region of Northern Italy, the family came to New York and opened up a Salumeria, a store that featured house-made cured meats along with various imported Italian products. In time their Salumeria became celebrated for the savory sausages that they made and sold.
 
Innovation is always good, but some things in life are better when you stick to time-honored tradition. Today at Biricchino you can still enjoy mouth-watering artisanal sausage made the old-school way.
 
They do the farm-to-table thing here better than most. All of the pork that they use in their sausage is 100% all-natural Berkshire.
The beef is grass-fed and the chickens are also all natural and come from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania. The veggies are sourced from various farms in New Jersey.
 
If you like, you can also take some of Biricchino's savory sausage home. They have a retail operation, as well which continues the legacy of the original Salumeria. Flavors include your basic pork sausage, chicken with apricot, duck as well as rabbit and mushroom.
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The ambiance here is upscale but never too formal or stuffy. This is an ideal date spot. Family dinners here are also a night to remember.
 
The antipasti or appetizer side of the menu features the kitchen's signature grilled house-made sausages. This is their must-try. Right up there with the sausages, though, is the classic Piemontese dish, creamy polenta with Porcini mushrooms.
 
Entree highlights include Rigatoni with sweet sausage, Veal ravioli, Risotto and mushrooms as well as manicotti Della Nonna (freshly made ricotta, tomato sauce and a garlic confit).
 
Try and save room for dessert, especially the wonderful Profiteroles. This heavenly dessert consists of cream puffs, vanilla gelato, and chocolate sauce. And not just a drizzle of chocolate. They know how to pour on the sauce.

Location and Hours

260 West 29th Street
New York, NY 10001
(212) 695-6690
www.biricchino.com
 
Hours
Monday                 12 PM to 9 PM
Tuesday to Thursday 12 PM to 10 PM
Friday                12 PM to 11 PM
Saturday            5 PM to 11 PM
Monday                Closed

Pastai - Chelsea 

This small but cozy and intimate restaurant is a date night go-to for local couples. The management describes Pastai as an artisanal pasta bar like you would find in most Italian cities. The emphasis is on classical Southern Italian cuisine but done with a contemporary twist.
Pastai
The kitchen calls on generations-old family recipes to delight your palate. From their family to yours. This is comfort food that is prepared with love.
       
Start the evening off with a bar snack or appetizer like the saffron risotto balls, charred octopus over a fennel citrus salad or the fried, breaded olives that are stuffed with Pecorino cheese.
 
When you dine here you can expect to enjoy pasta that is well above average. There are so many varieties and sauces to indulge in!
The spaghetti with fava beans and the Torchio pasta with eggplant, onions, and basil are both excellent choices if you want to go meatless. The gemelli pasta with broccoli rabe' and pesto has a taste all of its' own.
 
Many regulars go for the Bucatini (a thick type of spaghetti) and sardines. The most popular dish, by far though, is the lemon Tagliatelle with lobster, spinach, cherry tomatoes and artichokes. The kitchen also does a very impressive lasagna in a short rib ragu.
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Gluten-free pasta is available, should you desire it. They are very accommodating at Pastai and the service is very welcoming and professional.
 
They carry a full selection of wine and beer and they make an excellent cocktail. In fact, all of the herbs used in their cocktails are grown in the restaurants' garden.
Cocktail highlights include the Espresso martini, a delightful pineapple sage mojito and the super refreshing huckleberry basil limonata.

Location and Hours 

186 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
(646) 688-3463
www.pastainyc.com
 
Hours
Monday to Thursday  12 PM to 12 AM
Friday                12 PM to 1 AM
Saturday and Sunday 10 AM to 1 AM

Bocca di Bacco - Chelsea 

The name loosely translates to "mouth of the wine god." You will certainly have a fun time here. The folks at Bocca have a carefully curated menu of delights, ranging from the very best imported and domestic wine to delicious cuisine.
 
The decor is a veritable sight to behold. The exposed brick walls are offset by wood paneling and stylish lighting fixtures.The bars' hand carved cabinets form an artistic backdrop for a  convivial cocktail scene. The restaurant has a very refined look and feel to it.
BoccaDiBacco
A proud Italian-American, executive chef Kristin Sollenne brings her refreshing take on traditional old-country cuisine to her kitchen.
With Kristin, the focus veers away from an over-reliance on heavy, thick cream and red sauces. Chef Kristin is all about lean proteins, farm fresh vegetables and herbs. Less is more and is also absolutely delicious.
 
Kristin has a lot of magic tricks up her sleeve when it comes to innovative ways to prepare pasta.
One of her dishes utilizes a seductive and light Osso Buco sauce. You will also adore the homemade squid ink pasta with jumbo lump crab, a bed of baby arugula and fresh tomatoes.
Earning rave reviews from customers, every day is the tortellini stuffed with ricotta and spinach in a butter and sage sauce. This dish is accompanied by a side of perfectly tender Asparagus.
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Fish plays a large role on the menu at Bocca. Chef's signature dish consists of oven-roasted salmon with caramelized onions, French beans in a balsamic reduction.
You should consider ordering the seared monkfish if you're in the mood to try something different. A very light tomato sauce and a sprinkling of sliced Kalamata olives compliment the fish perfectly.

Location and Hours 

169 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
(212) 989-8400
 
Hours
Sunday to Monday   12 PM to 11 PM
Tuesday to Saturday 12 PM to 12 AM

Giovanni Rana Pastificio and Cucina - Chelsea 

If you enjoy cooking at home, for yourself or your family, you are most likely already familiar with the Giovanni Rana brand. A family owned company, Giovanni Rana is celebrated throughout the world for their delicious filled pasta. You can find their fabulous pastas in the gourmet food section of most supermarkets.
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Now, however, it's time to treat yourself to an unforgettable meal at the Rana family's full-service restaurant, which is located in the heart of Chelsea. You will relish every moment that you spend here. this is truly an authentic Italian-style dining experience.
 
Chic rustic would probably be the best way to describe the intriguing decor. All manner of pots and pans are artfully arranged on the ceiling. A bouquet of flowers adorns each table. The wood floors and ceiling columns make you feel as though you're dining with a farm family on the outskirts of Verona. This is the small city where the Rana culinary legacy began way back in 1962.
 
Bocconi is Italian for shareable. These plates of goodness are a very nice way to start off your meal. Be adventurous and try the Italian version of fish and chips, fried ravioli with Baccala and potatoes.
The prosciutto and Parmesan cheese fritters are quite popular as is the Gnocchi gratin and the shrimp with pesto and charred spring onions.
 
Without a doubt, though, the main event is Giovanni Rana's signature filled pasta. It is, of course, made fresh daily in the kitchen and it is oh so good.
The dough is so thin and delicate that it's almost transparent. When you lift the pasta to your mouth, you can almost see the filling inside.
GiovanniRana 02
Choices range from pasta that is filled with truffles and mushrooms or with kale and Quinoa in a delightful Pistachio sauce. The orecchiette pasta filled with chicken sausage is quite savory as is the cappelletti al Prosciutto. Delicious is re-defined when you taste your first bite of the green market ravioli in a carrot ginger puree' with radishes.
 
Can't decide just which pasta to order? That's fine. Giovanni Rana's has a special offer just for you. Take a "Pasta Journey" and get three different kinds of pasta for only $32 per person. Four selections are available for the price of $41!

Location and Hours 

75 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
(212) 370-0975
www.rananyc.com
 
Hours
Monday to Thursday   11 AM to 11 PM
Friday and  Saturday 11 AM to 12 AM
Sunday               11 Am to 11 PM

Le Zie Trattoria - Chelsea

Almost everyone is familiar with images of Venice's magnificent canals and waterways that wind through this beautiful, mysterious city. In our history books, e read about the all powerful Doges who ruled the Venetian Republic for centuries.
Le Zie
But you might not be aware that Venetian food is among the best regional cuisine that Italy has to offer. Whether you're a meat lover, a vegetarian or could live on only seafood, Venetian cuisine has something good in store for you.
 
So there's really no better place to try Venetian comfort dishes out than Le Zie Trattoria. Some of the food that you'll eat here is not what you may be used to as quote.unquote Italian, but your adventurous spirit will be rewarded.
 
The ambiance is as artful as the decorations at the Doge's palace near Saint Mark's Square.
Soft cushy banquettes wrap around two sides of the restaurant while the tables are draped with crisp white linen, fine china and polished silverware.
Colorful caricatures and paintings line the walls.There is a trio of interesting spaces in which you can dine. People watch to your heart's content outside at their sidewalk cafe. We have already talked about the main dining room. It's spacious and comforting. But why not consider getting together with some of your friends and check out LeZie's cozy lounge?
 
There is a separate entrance on 20th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues. Or you can enter through the restaurant and a waiter will guide you the rest of the way.
Happy hour specials are available from 4 to 6 PM weekdays. They include iced oysters on the half shell for just a dollar. A glass of Prosecco goes for 7 and ten singles will buy you a delicious martini.
Le Zie1
Cicchetti is the Venetian version of antipasto. You can order a tasting for two that includes traditional classics like cod mousse, chicken liver pate', stewed squid, lobster deviled eggs and scrumptious shrimp cakes. The chic Chet ti tasting is served with white and yellow grilled polenta.
 
Delectable entrees range from fennel dusted tuna and eggplant caponata, baked Branzino and escarole to Barolo braised lamb shank. Most of us don't eat liver on a regular basis. But the kitchen's tender and flavorful Venetian style liver with onions and polenta will convert you.
 
As far as dessert options go, the pannacotta with fresh, juicy strawberries is a must. They also have a daily selection of house-made ice cream and sorbet and biscotti. Don't forget to order a nice, hot cup of espresso or coffee to dunk your biscotti in! 

Location and Hours 

172 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10011
( 212 ) 206-8686
 
hours
Monday to Friday  12 PM to 11:30 PM
Saturday          11 AM to 11:30 PM
Sunday            11 AM to 11 PM

La Sirena - Chelsea

When La Sirena first opened, there was, understandably, a great deal of buzz around town. After all, this was the first new restaurant venture in over a decade for Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. These guys know how to run a restaurant.
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While some can argue if La Sirena has lived up to all of the hype, there's no doubt that the ambiance is spectacular and the food, for the most part, 38 foot is on point.
Located on the plaza level of Chelsea's famed Maritime Hotel, Joe and Mario's trend-setting restaurant blends the old with the new.
While the food is definitely worth your time, please keep an open mind when you dine at La Sirena. You won't find anything resembling traditional Italian comfort food here. But, what you will discover are innovative dishes that contain out of the box seasonings and ingredients.
 
A go38-foot bar connects the north and south dining rooms. Try and get a table by the huge floor to ceiling windows. During the Summer, dining al fresco on their patio will only enhance your experience here.
Another option is the Tapas Bar, which serves Spanish-style small plates. This room is under the direction of a chef on the rise, Anthony Sasso.
Chef Sasso worked with Mario Batali for over twelve years at Casa Mono. Mario and Joe have taken a great deal of care in assembling their team. Professionalism is key here at La Sirena. It's everywhere from the welcoming way that the hostess greets you to the attentive wait staff.
 
Antipasti reigns supreme at La Sirena. You just won't be able to wait to dig into the Sicilian polpette; heritage pork meatballs with golden raisins and pine nuts.They do a nice Melanzana here with Japanese eggplant as the centerpiece. However, some may feel that the tomato chili broth and roasted peppers add just a little too much heat to the dish.
A savory tripe small plate, dressed in Oloroso Sherry, and the marinated asparagus with crispy leeks and  poached egg are other standouts.
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The spaghetti with baby octopus is wildly popular as is the Lasagna in a sweet pea pesto sauce. Foodies rave about the wild striped bass that is accompanied with hearts of palm and snap peas. An interesting combination to be sure. Then tortelli and swiss chard is light and flavorful.
 
But, whatever you decide to order for an appetizer and main course, there is one dessert, above all others on the menu, that you have to choose...their signature dish, Chocolate Coppetta.
There is probably no better dessert anywhere in the city.  This wonderful sweet ending consists of chocolate espresso sponge cake, chocolate gelato, honey vanilla mascarpone and espresso chocolate syrup. It cannot get any better than this!

Location and Hours

88 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
(212) 977-6096
www.lasirena-nyc.com
 
Hours
Monday to Friday 5:30 PM to 10 PM
Saturday         11:30 AM to 11 PM
Sunday           11:30 AM to 10 PM

Restivo - Chelsea

Chef-owner Joseph Restivo has created a magical little restaurant that has a cozy, romantic ambiance and delicious food without any culinary pretensions. Sometimes, that's really all you need to take a break from the stress of your busy New York day.

Joseph became familiar with a professional kitchen at an early age by helping out at his family's Italian restaurant in New Jersey. It was the best learning experience one could have. When the time was right, Joseph went out on his own and the name Restivo became synonymous with  a great night out in his adopted neighborhood of Chelsea.
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The restaurant is not very big, but it has a warm vibe. The decor is a blend of a French bistro and a typical Italian ristorante. The  centerpiece is a vintage mahagony bar that was imported from Paris. Potted plants are everywhere, lending a zen-like feel to the room.
When the weather turns warm, Chef Joseph and his staff open up their sidewalk cafe.
 
Any meal at an Italian restaurant has to commence with a selection from the antipasto menu. That's just tradition. Great choices are the Zucchini fritters and the classic Caesar salad with Romaine lettuce, herb croutons, Parmesan, house-made Caesar dressing and tons of anchovies.
Another touch of France here is the escargot. Your hand-picked snails are served in a delightful garlic and butter sauce with lemon and parsley.
 
Chef Joseph's entrees will not disappoint. there's some good, solid cooking going on here with very careful attention paid to the ingredients.
 
He does an excellent Fettuccine Alfredo with generous chunks of grilled chicken . The chicken Restivo consists of  a tender breast of chicken that is sauteed with cognac, shallots,  red peppers,peas and baby artichokes.
 
One of their most requested dishes is the spaghetti pescatore.  And with good reason. This is a veritable seafood feast on a plate. A mound of spaghetti is decorated with mussels, clams,calamari, shrimp and scallops, all in a light and tasty tomato sauce.
 
Other great dishes include the veal scaloppine with Marsala wine and mushrooms and the  Rigatoni Restivo  with eggplant, capers,tomatoes, oregano and ricotta cheese.

Location and Hours

209 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10011
(212)366-4133
www.restivorestaurant.com
 
Hours
Monday to Sunday  12 PM to 11 PM 

Ovest Pizzoteca and Bar  -  Chelsea

A favorite of the after-work crowd , Ovest  offers one of the best happy hours in town. Chase your cares away, every weekday evening, from 5 to 8 pm at their Aperitivo, which is the Italian version of our happy hour.
Chase your cares away with specially priced drinks, bar bites and some great music. You deserve a special evening after putting in a long day at work.  The Italians do hospitality right. So, please allow owner Michele Luliano and his team to host you.
 
The atmosphere is an attraction all of its' own. The vibe and decor is chic Industrial meets sleek and sexy Italian.
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Master Pizzaiola and third generation baker Michele Luliano has come up with an intriguing culinary concept; one that blends a traditional Neapolitan cafe with an enoteca ( wine bar). The results will delight your palate.
Ovest's menu ranges from wood and brick oven pizza and seductive pasta to authentic paninis.  These pressed sandwiches are far removed from the inferior American lunch-hour version.  Michele's tasty paninis are just like the ones he grew up eating back in Naples.
 
An artist of the pizza oven, Michele is constantly tinkering with various blends of flour and water in hi relentless quest to find the "perfect" recipe for pizza dough.
 
Michele ardently believes that  bread is the true foundation for authentic Paninis and true Neapolitan style pizza.  The traditional techniques that Michele learned call for sculpting the pizza dough with tender,loving care. Rough kneading of the dough will produce a vastly inferior product.
 
Plan to make Ovest your regular  be good to myself spot. there's so much to choose from, you will not be able to sample every dish that catches your eye in just a single evening.
 
But, you can always kick off your relationship with Ovest by sampling their signature Neapolitan pizza.
The Ovest Pie consists of spicy salame, ricotta, mozzarella and tomato sauce. They don't overdo the sauce. But there's more than enough on the pie to satisfy.
Toppings on the Chelsea pie include ham, mushrooms, cheese and sauce. One of their most popular pizzas is the Brutta Ma Buona, a savory blend of sausage, black olives, ricotta and mozzarella and tomato sauce.
 
Paninis are made on fresh daily oven baked bread. All sandwiches are served with your choice of roasted potatoes or a house salad.
You can't go wrong with anything on their panini menu. The Charlie contains cold prosciutto with soft and creamy Mozzarella, tomatoes, arugula and Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top . The innovative Valentina sandwich  blends tuna , avocado and tomatoes for a different kind of taste. The Valentina is dressed with a touch of salt, pepper and olive oil.
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Pasta is crafted in-house The chef shows a lot of imagination in his pasta and sauce pairings.
 
The Gnocchi with Taleggio cheese, pears and a touch of cream is but one example of the culinary treasures that await you.
Another innovative taste blend is the Pappardelle del Bosco, a dish that consists of sausage, mushrooms, Broccoli rabe' and red wine. The tagliatelle pasta is topped with pancetta, sundried tomatoes and  white wine.
 
On your way home tonight, make a stop over in" Naples", relax with a glass of red or white wine and indulge all of your senses in the Chef Michele's wonderful cuisine.

Location and Hours

513 West 27th street
New York, NY 10001
(212) 967-4392
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Hours
Monday to Sunday  12 PM to 12 AM

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