Fabio Cucina Italiana
Chef Fabio Hakill grew up in Rome and trained there at Amatriciana, bringing what he learnt to New York in a colourful three-level dining room in Midtown. His menu teems with enticing dishes such as fettuccine alla Fabio, incorporating veal, porcini and black truffles, and Rome’s classic pasta, bucatini all’amatriciana, with pancetta and pecorino. Fabio’s vanilla ricotta panna cotta splashed with spumante makes dessert a requisite.
214 East 52nd Street, 00 1 212 688 5200; fabiocucinaitaliana.com
East 12th Osteria
This small Italian restaurant in East Greenwich Village is as much a place to drop into for a glass of wine and a pasta as it is to sit down to a lavish meal. Chef/owner Roberto Deiaco breaks through the clichés of contemporary New York Italian cooking with dishes such as pumpkin gnocchi with Gorgonzola sauce, bacon and almonds, and his delicate ricotta ravioli stuffed with quail’s egg and served with a bright green zucchini pesto sauce and truffles.
197 First Avenue, 00 1 212 432 1112; east12osteria.com
Michael White spent several years learning to cook with Emilia-Romagna’s best chefs. He now has a number of restaurants around New York but his newest has taken the Upper East Side by storm with dishes such as short ribs braised in red wine with polenta and black cabbage and flat paccheri pasta with spicy tomato and mozzarella.
1167 Madison Avenue, 00 1 212 249 0444; ristorantemorini.com
Venice’s sea-centred cuisine is not so very different from that of Japan, and chef Chris Jaeckle marries the two at this new trattoria in the East Village. Within this rustic, two-tier restaurant you can enjoy arancini with squid ink and sea urchin along with razor clams with soppressata salami and soy miso, or tuna with Cerignola olives and preserved tomato stung with kizami wasabi.
22 East 13th Street, 00 1 212 231 2236; allondanyc.com
Run by the effusive Yvette Leeper and husband Adrian Bueno, this is a happy new addition to West Harlem. With its sleek interior design in various shades of grey and zinc-topped tables, it’s a spot you can as easily drop into for a flatbread pizza or charcuterie as for a full meal of grilled octopus with rocket and a confit of pimento potatoes or the wonderful tagliatelle with pork ragù and black cabbage.
2211 Frederick Douglass Blvd (at 119th Street), 00 1 212 662 8462; vinaterianyc.com
John Mariani is the author of ‘How Italian Food Conquered the World’ (Palgrave-MacMillan)