Address: 377 Park Ave. S. (26th & 27th St.)
*Also located in the East Village and Williamsburg
Review: One of the more recent openings in the quickly changing landscape of the Flatiron/Park Ave. neighborhood brings us this higher end pizza joint coming over from Brooklyn. We sat at the bar to grab some beers and a pie. The bartender was friendly and helpful, giving good recommendations on the new menu. All the options had a wide array of cheeses and toppings. However, the crust fell a bit short – the base of the pizza was a little soggy and couldn’t hold the toppings up when we lifted it to eat. Though disappointing, the quality of toppings helped make up for it. It could have been some new growing pains as we visited Forcella right as it opened, or maybe it was just an overload of toppings…a debate we wouldn’t mind settling with a return trip. With its relaxed atmosphere, Forcella is a good spot for a casual date when you’re in the mood for something a little nicer than that $1 slice pizza joint on the corner.
Address: 118 Greenwich Ave. (Charles St. & 10th St.)
Review: With the turn over that restaurants have in New York it’s tough to say when something will really last, but the people behind Rosemary’s seems to have a hit on their hands. Couple great food, a comfortable setting and affordable prices and you have your explanation for the aggressively long waits. The no reservation policy for parties smaller than 8 may be a turn off for some, but not enough to have an empty table in sight. Rosemary’s is the one of the better spots we have been to for a group dinner setting. Grab 4 or 5 buddies and brave the wait to be rewarded with tasty foccia, fresh pastas and succulent meat plates. A great assortment of cheeses, meats and veggie sides accompany their Italian classics. All bottles on their great wine list come in at $40 a pop, also making for an affordable feast. We recommend getting here early or be prepared to put your name on the list and wait for a while (as in 2+ hours), this one doesn’t look like its slowing down any time soon!
Address: 122 E. 27th St. (Park & Lexington)
Review: Just off of Park Ave. in Murray Hill sits an Italian gem complete with a fire place and back garden. It’s a nice respite from the cheap Bud Lights to the east and post work watering holes on Park. I Trulli is a great spot for some tasty Italian with an extensive wine list of Italian wines. We went here for Restaurant Week and were not disappointed in the least. I had the 3 course option while the BF opted for 4 (we split the pasta dish). The dishes were hearty with out feeling too rich – tasty crispy calzones and fresh lite salad followed by pasta in a rabbit ragù. We each had some meat for the final course: healthy servings of pork milanese and short rib – both fantastic. The desserts were both sweet and just what we needed to top off the meal. The friendly service, warm decor and delicious cuisine make this a great spot to take a date for a nice night out.
Address: 53 Great Jones St. (Lafayette St. & Bowery)
Review: il Buco Alimentari & Vineria is the slightly more casual spin off on the nearby il Buco, but by no means is there a step down in flavor. Seated at the bar in the back room we had a view into the open kitchen and were able to watch the bartenders do their thing while getting input and help on how to best pair their impressive wine list with what we ordered. We had some house made ricotta that was melt in your mouth good and some meats from their market as well, but the focus of the meal was definitely the short rib, a piece of meat to be remembered – it was fall of the bone delicious. The portion size was more than enough for two after some starters. Though the service was a bit spotty and slow for some courses and the price tag isn’t too wallet friendly, it’s the amazing food that will have you coming back for more.
Address: 378 3rd Ave. (27th & 28th St.)
*Also located in UWS
Review: Located in Murray Hill, this Italian eatery does its best to give patrons a taste of the good life. Despite its rather nice decor and somewhat romantic surroundings, the food fell flat. The chicken parm was drowned in red sauce and had more than enough cheese for a medium size breast. In lieu of the setting, which is an escape from the norm in Murray HIll, for the money there are other places to go for better food.
Address: 30 E. 29th St. (Madison & Park Ave. S.)
Review: Campanile is your typical old school upscale Italian restaurant. Though the decor is very dated, the basic rustic Italian dishes come in hearty portions and are solidly good. If you’re in the mood for some well executed standard Italian fare, Campanile is a safe bet. Plus it’s a little bit easier on the budget than some other high end options in the area.
Address: 230 9th Ave. (24th & 25th St.)
Review: Co. has GREAT thin crust, artisanal type pizzas and solid craft beers. It’s good for a date if you’re in the mood for some more upscale pizza and a nicer atmosphere than a regular pizza place. Also a good spot for groups thanks to their long wooden tables. The menu is limited for options other than pizza, but you’re coming here for the pizza any way so that shouldn’t be a problem! If you’re in the Chelsea area and looking for some awesome pizza, this is the place.
Address: 261 3rd Ave. (20th & 21st St.)
Review: Defonte’s originated in Brooklyn but has, thankfully, spread its wings to the Gramercy area. This sandwich shop has awesome classic Italian sandwiches. It’s not a date spot but it’s great for meeting up for lunch or grabbing a sandwich and taking it with you to the park or some other fun NYC activity. Definitely go for one of their hot heroes, the eggplant parm is fantastic.