Osteria Morini in Soho

Osteria Morini is one of Michael White’s lesser known restaurants. It’s been around for awhile, and no one mentions it as a place they really want to check out, but it’s surprisingly doing very brisk business, especially during the late hours. We went to dinner on a Sunday night at 9 pm, and the place was packed. Maybe it’s like an industry place? Or young Millennials like to eat late on Sunday? But that’s what the crowd was like–young Millennials drinking late on a Sunday because they didn’t want to deal with the Monday just around the corner. I’m sure the staff was freaking out seeing a couple with two of their children at their doorstep.

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Pasta at Rezdora in Flatiron

Describing something as “grandmother’s cooking” brings to mind food that is humble and homey, perhaps not the most refined but made with a lot of heart. Rezdora, which is the word for grandmother in Modena, Italy, is the name of the new restaurant in Flatiron that is run by Stefano Secchi, who trained in the kitchen of Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana, the world’s best restaurant in 2018. The grandmother in this kitchen, however, is no creaky old lady rolling meatballs by hand. She’s quite savvy and knows her way not only around the kitchen but also around the woods. As a result, the pasta at Rezdora is one of the best in New York City.

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Babbo Pasta Tasting Menu

pasta tasting at babbo

The #MeToo movement has hit the culinary industry pretty hard, bringing down many celebrity chefs in its path, with Mario Batali probably being the most famous face among them. I was curious to see if any of his restaurants had been noticeably impacted since those sexual harassment allegations came to light, but it seems to have been minimal, as a recent visit to Babbo showed that it is just as popular as ever. While Babbo is still in demand, its clientele has changed noticeably. 10 years ago you were guaranteed a celebrity sighting, like when I saw Val Kilmer sitting at the table next to me or when I noticed the lead actor from My Name is Earl at another. Now you’re just rubbing elbows with out-of-towners or an old finance guy trying to impress a young, bored girl in the most stereotypical way (hint: involves talking about his money).Read More

Fausto in Park Slope, Brooklyn

tagliatelle with lamb shank ragu, anchovy and pecorino toscana

Park Slope is known for being stroller friendly, but its restaurants are not quite at the destination-worthy level as places in Williamsburg or Bushwick. That may change, however, with the recent opening of Fausto, a dressy-casual Italian restaurant that took over the old Franny’s location. The team members are alums of West Village favorite L’Artusi, and they’ve brought the same attractive aesthetic and commitment to high quality pastas to Fausto. It’s by far the nicest restaurant on this particular stretch of Park Slope, a quiet block which is made up mostly of humble retail shops with the exception of a Sweet Chick restaurant at the corner of Flat Bush Ave and Park Pl. Read More

Don Angie in West Village

Italian always seems like a safe choice when it comes to eating out, and lasagna in particular is the most basic of pasta dishes. It’s for the unadventurous person who never quite progressed beyond the comforts of eating from a Stouffer’s lasagna box. But at Don Angie, the new Italian restaurant in the West Village run by the team behind Quality Italian, the familiar lasagna has been given a fantastic face lift that would make it unrecognizable to many of its devotees. This lasagna’s also upgraded to fancier digs, trading in the checkered table cloth and humble wood tables of a red sauce joint for fancy blue banquettes, a chic marble bar and an overall upscale nautical bistro look and feel. Which means, like Anna Kournikova, you may not be able to afford it–expect to shell out $64 for the two of you.Read More