I just love Italian food. I love to cook it, I love to eat it. I’m always on the look out for a great Italian restaurant, and there are quite a few on my list of restaurants I want to visit. Here are some Italian eateries that I have had the pleasure to dine at.

Marea

Two Michelin stars. Yes, two of them. My expectations were high, and then I was so not disappointed. I went on a late afternoon with my friend Michael, who snuck out of work to eat here. He is as big a foodie as I am, if not bigger. We ordered a few dishes, that we then shared. We started with a Crostini, Acchiughe to be exact. I expected topped crostini, but it turned out to be more of a delicious salad with anchovies and salsa verde. We followed with Capesante, seared sea scallops, which were of course amazing. Our pastas were Fusilli with wine braised octopus and bone marrow, and Conchiglie, which consists of squid ink pasta, sausage and sage. I never had squid ink pasta until that day, I always shied away from it, but this was the perfect place to give it try, it was amazing. We ended the meal with Bomboloni, which are Maple donuts with spiced sugar and dipping sauces.  I loved everything about this upscale, timeless restaurant.

For more information click here

Babbo

If you have followed my blogs, then you know how much I love Mario Batali’s  and Joe Bastianich’s food. Babbo opened in 1998, and has been a popular and upscale restaurant since day one. It’s considered Mario Batali’s Flagship restaurant and does have one Michelin Star. I rarely go to a restaurant twice, just because I’m always searching for new eats, but I did go to this one twice! My girlfriends took me here for my birthday not too long ago. Our appetizers were Grilled Octopus and Mussels alla Tarantina. The main event consisted of Gnocchi with Braised Oxtail, Spaghettini with Lobster, and Grilled Lamb Chops “Scottadita” with Broccoli Rabe Pesto, grilled onions and lemon yogurt. We rounded up dinner with my (surprise) birthday cake, a Roasted White Chocolate Cheesecake with Coconut Croccante, and a Pistachio and Chocolate Semifreddo. Besides the outstanding food, this is one of the friendliest restaurants I have been to. Everyone is so personable and friendly. All thumbs  up!!

For more info click here

Il Mulino

Il Mulino has several locations in New York City and even in some other cities in the US. Their flagship restaurant is located downtown in the village, but I chose their midtown location to go to dinner on a warm late summer night with with my daughter Sasha. With typical decor for an upscale Italian eatery, it was warm and inviting, waiters fussing over you consistently. We started off with Vongole Oreganata and an order of Carpacchio. Our pasta choices were very basic, but they were incredibly delicious. We had Spaghettini Alla Bolognese and Gnocchi Al Pesto. So simple, yet so amazing. We had a very typical Italian meal for New Yorkers, taken to a higher level.

For more info click here

They say American Italian food is best in New York City, and I can only second that, these meals were unbelievable, besides the fact that the art of plating was perfectly executed in all three restaurants. What a time to be alive in NYC….