20 Best Italian Restaurants in New York for Upscale Dining with Elite Companion

    ELITE MUSE

    July 4, 2024

    Best Restaurants

    New York is everything all at once, but one of its crowning glories is undoubtedly Italian cuisine. Italy’s red sauce influence has birthed an entire category of Italian-American fare that has been well-loved for decades!

    The city now offers an abundance of top-tier dining options across its five boroughs, making it feel as though all of Italy is represented here, with culinary delights from every culinary region wherever you go.

    From fresh and hearty Tuscan fare to rich and flavorful Sicilian delights, this list showcases the crème de la crème of Italian restaurants in New York. And remember, any meal is simply more satisfying when shared, so make sure to invite your beautiful date to these luxurious Italian dining spots.

     

    1. Roberto’s

    Roberto's

    603 Crescent Ave, Bronx, NY 10458, United States

    Hidden away on a quiet side street in the Bronx’s Little Italy is Roberto’s, offering a fresh take on authentic Italian cuisine. You know Italian cooking to be typically doused in red-sauce, yet this gem provides a delightful departure form the usual fare found in the area.

    People keep coming back to Roberto’s for its homemade pasta, wood-fired pizzas, and hearty meat dishes, all emphasizing the traditional cuisine of the Abruzzo region.

    The sophisticated wine list perfectly complements its menu. And with an atmosphere so intimate, like you’re in a small Italian village, it’s the perfect place to cozy up with your beautiful date.

     

    2. Rezdôra

    Rezdôra

    27 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003, United States

    When Rezdôra embarked on its mission to revolutionize the classic Italian menu, it sparked a culinary sensation. Rooted in the rich traditions of Emilia-Romagna, the restaurant brings regional specialties to life with a modern twist.

    Known for their house-made pasta, particularly the gramigna and tortellini, as well as diners’ favorite gnocco fritto, and the standout cappelletti verde, whimsically described on the menu as “grandma walking through a forest in Emilia,” these dishes are enough to raise a curious brow and entice diners to Rezdôra.

    Rich, flavorful sauces, impeccable ingredient quality, and a genuine Italian dining experience make it feel as if you’re not even in New York City.

     

    3. Don Angie

    Don Angie

    103 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014, USA

    If you’re a fan of classic red-sauce Italian dishes but crave a refreshing, innovative twist, then this modern Italian-American restaurant might become your new favorite spot. Don Angie is renowned for its pinwheel lasagna and their signature garlic bread – a sesame-seeded flatbread stuffed with stracchino and Parmesan that never fails to impress.

    Its bold flavors and creative presentation are best enjoyed with a glass of its homemade amaro, crafted from sarsaparilla and reminiscent of root beer.

    Make sure to schedule a reservation, though, as this establishment is no secret nor hidden gem but consistently ranks among Manhattan’s top destinations for Italian dining. That’s just how well-loved it is by locals and visitors alike!

     

    4. Torrisi

    Torrisi

    275 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012, United States

    Torrisi Bar and Restaurant pays homage to New York’s Italian-American heritage with a sophisticated twist. Located within the historic Puck Building, it nods to their original venture, Torrisi Italian Specialties, which closed its doors in 2015.

    Torrisi Bar and Restaurant has evolved into a beloved establishment offering coffee, lunch, and later, a set menu. This new rendition has garnered acclaim, earning three stars from the New York Times for its inventive take on Italian American classics such as linguine with pink clam sauce and grilled chicken alla griglia.

    Also, don’t miss their iconic chicken parmigiana! Chic, modern ambiance, and attentive service make it a favorite among food enthusiasts.

     

    5. Lusardi’s

    Lusardi's

    1494 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10075, United States

    Born from the love and dedication of brothers Luigi and Mauro Lusardi, who arrived in New York City from Italy’s Parma region in 1971, this institution has become a beloved favorite among Manhattanites.

    Their restaurant, nestled on the bustling streets of Second Avenue, exudes the essence of old-world Northern Italian charm and tradition. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, it’s an Upper East Side culinary destination not to be missed.

    Diners rave about their classic dishes like veal Milanese and homemade gnocchi. Elite Muse’s restaurant service ensures you always secure a table at this cherished spot, which stands out amidst New York City’s vast array of Italian dining options.

     

    6. Alice

    Alice

    126 W 13th St, New York, NY 10011, USA

    If coastal Italian cuisine is what floats your boat, then Alice’s modern take on fresh seafood and light, vibrant flavors will certainly woo you. Enter through the inviting bar and into the expansive dining space of this seafood eatery, aptly named after the anchovy.

    Alice is known for its crudos, grilled fish, and creative pasta dishes, as well as the buzzing energy that makes it the perfect setting for a casual snack paired with an Italian cocktail or a full-fledged meal – the choice of indulgence is yours to make. Choose from a selection of fresh salads, seafood pastas, and of course, the freshest catch of the day for a memorable meal in seafood heaven.

     

    7. Via Carota

    Via Carota

    51 Grove St, New York, NY 10014, United States

    While many New York City restaurants may lose their initial allure over time, Via Carota continues to shine bright since its inception in 2014, remaining a sought-after destination that might tempt you to alter your plans upon glimpsing an available table.

    It’s a beloved institution for its homestyle Italian cooking and is known for its abundant insalata verde, hearty pasta creations, and delicious antipasti. Rustic, delightful, and truly convivial – Via Carota is a true standout in the West Village.

     

    8. I Sodi

    I Sodi

    314 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014, USA

    Since its Tuscan-inspired debut in the West Village in 2008, I Sodi has solidified its status as a favorite among New Yorkers, evidenced by the consistently high demand for reservations. It recently relocated to a larger space but has thankfully retained the beloved ambiance of the original spot, with the addition of a spacious back room and a stylish outdoor garden that has become a popular gathering spot.

    Start your meal with a selection of meats, cheeses, and a refreshing salad, then indulge in standout dishes like the rabbit porchetta and the indulgent artichoke lasagna with its seemingly endless layers. A true and authentic slice of little Italy is what you will find here.

     

    9. Carbone

    Carbone

    181 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012, USA

    Carbone stands as the pinnacle of reinvented Italian-American dining in New York City. It’s a sought-after destination, much to your chagrin when you see the sea of reds in their availability. But fear not, with Elite Muse, scheduling a reservation here is easy as pie.

    This most-coveted restaurant is known for its spicy rigatoni vodka and tableside Caesar salad, but have you ever had a truly exceptional Caesar alla ZZ? Or have you splurged $89 on veal Parmesan? It doesn’t matter. Indulgence is the name of the game at Carbone.

    Securing a seat here is quite challenging already so indulge all you can and be enticed with the lobster fra diavolo, and soak in Carbone’s cinematic, vintage dining setting.

     

    10. Roscioli

    Roscioli

    43 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012, United States

    The restaurant and wine bar that is Roscioli brings a slice of Rome to New York with its focus on artisanal ingredients and traditional Roman dishes. Known for its carbonara, cacio e pepe, and burrata, Roscioli excels in delivering authentic flavors, drawing substantial anticipation for its tables.

    Downstairs, the wine cellar hosts a tasting menu priced at $130 per person, while upstairs, a salumeria complements a sit-down restaurant offering a variety of a la carte options. Casual yet sophisticated atmosphere, reminiscent of a Roman delicatessen, is what sets apart Roscioli.

     

    11. Fiaschetteria Pistoia

    Fiaschetteria Pistoia

    647 E 11th St, New York, NY 10009, United States, and 114 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014, United States

    This petite Tuscan gem has a charm that compensates for its size. Fiaschetteria Pistoia is beloved for its rustic, home-style cooking, serving simple, hearty dishes made with love. From vibrant salads and tender pork cheek to flavorful cacio e pepe and spaghetti con bottarga, each dish pays homage to Tuscan cuisine. Diners also rave about their pici pasta and Florentine steak.

    The servers, brusque yet friendly, enthusiastically present a crate of wine upon request to accompany your meal. Affordable bottles enhance the overall dining experience without compromise.

    Cap off your meal with the ethereally light and irresistible tiramisu—a dessert not to be missed. While the West Village location operates on a walk-in basis, reservations are accepted at their East Village spot, ensuring a delightful dining experience awaits.

     

    12. Emilio’s Ballato

    Emilio's Ballato

    55 E Houston St, New York, NY 10012, United States

    Emilio’s exudes a timeless allure and nostalgic charm dating back to 1956. Its walls, adorned with framed prints illuminated by elegant chandeliers and understated sconces, encapsulate the venue’s unique character.

    Here, expect generous servings of veal parmigiana, sausage with broccoli rabe, and an abundance of pasta—all amidst a bustling atmosphere. This classic Italian-American restaurant is so adored it has a loyal following, where celebrity sightings are almost guaranteed on the daily.

    Start your experience with a red or white glass of house. Don’t miss the focaccia, a nod to Emilio’s origins as a baker. Indulge in a plate of roasted red peppers and consider sampling the tripe for a true taste of tradition.

     

    13. Fresco by Scotto

    Fresco by Scotto

    34 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022, United States

    In the heart of Midtown, this family-owned establishment helmed by the Scottos — Marion, the matriarch; Rosanna, co-host of Good Day New York on Fox 5 NY; and Elaina — transports guests to the Amalfi Coast with its vibrant decor and a menu that celebrates Italian American favorites.

    Fresco by Scotto offers a blend of traditional and contemporary Italian cuisine. Known for its wood-fired pizzas, creative pasta, and fresh seafood. It has continued to maintain its charm with New York’s elite, including Mayor Eric Adams and various other celebrities.

    As the evening unfolds, expect spontaneous tableside dancing between courses and post-dinner revelry fueled by a lively DJ spinning infectious beats. The sleek, modern setting and lively atmosphere make it a popular choice for both casual and special dates. Make sure you schedule one with your elite companion.

     

    14. Lilia

    Lilia

    567 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211, United States

    Lilia in Williamsburg isn’t just another restaurant—it’s where chef Missy Robbins solidified her culinary reputation after her success with Spiaggia in Chicago. Despite accommodating 70 guests indoors and boasting sidewalk seating, Lilia remains bustling even after six years since its inception.

    Guests might catch Robbins tending to the flame-spitting wood grill, which is responsible for crafting Lilia’s delectable lamb steaks. For others, their journey might halt at the host stand, where a two-hour wait for walk-ins is not uncommon.

    And for those who make it through the door, the open kitchen delivers standout dishes such as spaghetti with anchovies and wood-fired leg of lamb seasoned with Roman spices. Don’t fret though, as Elite Muse is sure to get you a seat for when you’re craving sheep’s milk ricotta agnolotti and grilled clams.

     

    15. Zero Otto Nove

    Zero Otto Nove

    Zero Otto Nove on Arthur Avenue, nestled in the Bronx’s Little Italy, offers a genuine taste of the South, particularly the flavors of Naples. Known for its Neapolitan-style pizzas and hearty meat dishes, this Italian wonder captivates with its authentic recipes and vibrant flavors.

    The Italian-inspired and uniquely-themed dining space creates an enchanting atmosphere that’s ideal for an intimate date, or even family gatherings. Pizza lover and Italian enthusiasts simply love it here.

     

    16. Kimika

    Kimika

    40 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012, United States

    If the name Kimika sounds more Japanese than Italian to you, you’re spot on. This restaurant ingeniously blends Italian and Japanese influences to craft a dining experience that’s both daring and delightful.

    Picture rice cakes infused with bolognese and miso alongside tempura-style fried artichokes—a fusion of flavors that promises a culinary adventure. The stylish, contemporary decor adds to the allure, setting the stage for an innovative menu that stands out in New York City’s bustling dining scene.

     

    17. Marea

    Marea

    240 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019, United States

    Marea isn’t just a Michelin-starred eatery—it’s a revered culinary landmark celebrated for its coastal Italian cuisine. Renowned for its crudo, artisanal pasta, and standout seafood creations such as octopus and bone marrow fusilli, Marea promises an opulent dining affair.

    Its sophisticated ambiance and flawless service elevate it to a top choice for memorable celebrations and extraordinary dining experiences.

    At Marea, the vibrant coastal flavors of Italy collide with New York’s unmistakable style and flair, creating a bold and unforgettable dining experience for you and your stunning evening companion.

     

    18. Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

    Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

    53 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012, USA

    Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria proves that great food doesn’t have to be overly complicated. It offers simple, authentic Italian cuisine made with house-cured meats, freshly baked bread, and seasonal pasta, prioritizing quality and tradition above all else.

    Your palate is sure to embark on an artisanal journey in its charming dining area, reminiscent of an Italian market. With an ethical approach to dining and artisan provisions handpicked from independent producers, Il Buco surely leaves a distinctive mark among the various Italian restaurants in NYC.

     

    19. Ci Siamo

    Ci Siamo

    440 W 33rd St Suite #100, New York, NY 10001, USA

    Chef Hillary Sterling’s Ci Siamo revolves around the art of live-fire cooking and seasonal ingredients, presenting a Mediterranean-inspired menu alongside a carefully curated wine list and creative cocktails.

    Located in New Manhattan West, Ci Siamo is where you find traditional Italian flavors with a modern flair, serving up dishes that are both comforting and innovative. Renowned for its inventive pasta creations, wood-fired meats, and vibrant vegetable offerings, Ci Siamo delights with bold flavors and contemporary presentations.

    The chic urban setting and dynamic menu selection establish it as a premier destination for Italian cuisine in the city.

     

    20. L&B Spumoni Gardens

    L&B Spumoni Gardens

    2725 86th St, Brooklyn, NY 11223, USA

    L&B Spumoni Gardens, a cherished Brooklyn institution since 1939, remains faithful to its roots with Sicilian square pizza and homemade spumoni ice cream. Founded by Ludovico in 1939, every dish is crafted on-site using fresh ingredients, never frozen or prepackaged, for those keen on authenticity and freshness.

    L&B Spumoni Gardens offers a nostalgic dining experience with no unnecessary frills. The casual, family-friendly ambiance and iconic dishes continue to draw pizza enthusiasts of all generations, ensuring its status as a beloved favorite among Brooklynites.

     

    Elite Muse Brings Italy to Your Taste Buds

    In the vibrant culinary landscape of New York City, finding the perfect upscale Italian dining experience can be a delightful challenge. From the traditional flavors of Tuscany to innovative fusions at the forefront of gastronomy, the city offers a wealth of choices for every palate and preference.

    Navigating the bustling reservations and ensuring a spot at the most coveted tables can be daunting, but with Elite Muse’s expert restaurant reservation services, securing your ideal dining experience becomes effortless. Remember, should you need a romantic dinner for two, Elite Muse connects you with the finest Italian establishments in the city, ensuring every meal is a memorable occasion.

    Indulge in the flavors of Italy as brought to you by New York’s most loved Italian restaurants.