Answers from Our Experts (6)
Currently, I like Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali's Del Posto. The chef, Mark Laudner, is a very special guy who brings a lot to the table. He has tremendous skill and personality.
I’m married to an Italian and I cook at home. People have this idea that chefs are always outside eating in their restaurants. And it’s true, but it’s usually always something unhealthy late at night. Then, when we do cook, it’s usually at home. I mean, I cook with my daughter Francesca and I have to tell you, the last thing I want to eat is Italian food. I’m looking for wasabi, I’m looking for dumplings, chile, things like that. I’m going to pass on that question because the last time I had Italian food in New York City, I was at Patsy’s with a friend of mine and that is like a total throwback. Every Italian restaurant has its own niche.
I don’t know if it is the best but I would say my favorite right now is Eataly because you can really get the feel of different concepts and different ideas and you can eat different food inside. Based on Italy that is important.
I’m Italian and my mom’s Italian and we have such good cooks in my family I usually steer clear of Italian places, but Felidia is my favorite. At Felidia, you never get a bad meal.
Favorite Italian restaurant… wow, it's a tough call. I like Marea on the high end. I love Cesare Casella's place Salumeria Rosi [Parmacotto] and that's much more causal. I love all of Mario Batali's places — Lupa is probably my favorite of his. There's so many.
I like the Chelsea Market and Eataly. I’ll take the Italian experience. It’s twofold. Number one, you have to go to Rocco’s on Bleecker Street and have a cannoli. Then you go to Ferrara Bakery on Grand Street and get the sfogliatelle. I am not kidding you, you have to have it. And if you’re not sugared out go to Di Palo’s and get some fresh mozzarella and take it back to you hotel room. Don’t speak to anybody, just sit down and eat the fresh mozzarella. To me, that is a true Italian experience.
I like L’Artusi. It’s a perfect hybrid of Italian and American food. Unpretentious and delicious. I went for brunch last week and I had a simple wild blueberry cake and scones. I went back for dinner a few nights later and I had spaghetti with garlic and tomatoes — it made me giddy.