Elio’s is an old-school Italian restaurant on the Upper East Side that’s been around since the ‘80s, and the biggest draw here is the high likelihood of seeing someone famous. Yes, this is the same Elio’s where Tom Sellick famously left a $2,020 tip on a $204 meal. They don’t play music and the tables are crammed very close together, which highlights this spot’s best menu offering: eavesdropping. Expect to hear conversations about someone’s agent or someone’s hedge fund while you dig into an order of $30 fried calamari. 

The food at Elio’s is reliably alright (although the food isn’t really the point here). The salads are pretty good—heavy on greens and light on dressing, if you're into that sort of thing. For mains, stick to one of the many spaghetti dishes, or something appealing from the list of specials. The off-menu chicken parm will get the job done, but it feels like chicken parm-lite. We wish it had more sauce, more cheese, and overall more flavor. Elio’s also makes a good but extremely boozy tiramisu. You’ll easily spend over $200 on a dinner for two, especially if you order drinks, but can you really put a price on feeling like you’re the one of the people Gossip Girl is talking about when she coos “Hey, Upper East Siders?” You can. It’s around the same price as dinner at Elio’s. 

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