photo credit: Noah Devereaux
L’Artusi is essentially the same as it was when it opened over a decade ago, but nowadays the city has an overabundance of bustling places with impressive wine lists and bowls of orecchiette. Still, we love this special-occasion West Village spot and will probably continue to do so until the banquettes crumble, the bar deteriorates, and the city runs out of hosts to stand behind host stands.
The pasta here remains perfectly executed, and the bucatini with pecorino and pancetta is still a case study in successful minimalism. But don't forget to order the wagyu carpaccio. Heavily marbled with little pockets of horseradish crema, its one of the best dishes in NYC (top 50, let’s say). The mains also keep pace with the pastas—and sometimes lap them entirely. Try the roasted chicken. It comes crisp, juicy, and absolutely drenched in butter.
Prime reservations at L’Artusi are near-impossible to get, and the waits for walk-ins can be multiple hours. But just take that as another piece of evidence that you should eat here (preferably at the bar that’s first-come-first-served). Sure, this isn’t the absolute best Italian restaurant in the city anymore—but you have to admire L’Artusi’s commitment to remaining L’Artusi. The next time you reach inside yourself and decide, very reasonably, that all you want is some expertly-executed pasta and roast chicken, you know exactly where to go.
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Hands down, this is the best beef carpaccio in the city. It’s thinly sliced and heavily marbled, with finely chopped onion and pockets of garlicky crema. This is how you should start your meal at L’Artusi.
Who goes out of their way to eat roasted mushrooms? You do, you simple, likable fool. Because these aren’t just any roasted mushrooms. They come topped with a fried egg and a heavy coating of ricotta salata. The dish is salty, sour, and a little bit spicy.
You can find something similar to this kale salad at roughly 500 other New York City restaurants, but this simple, perfectly dressed version is what those other salads should be measured against. So if you’re looking for some well-executed fiber and vitamin A, order this. If not, it’s fine to skip.
The mushroom ragu in this garganelli is so hearty it might as well be meat. It’s outstanding.
This bucatini comes perfectly al dente with a light tomato sauce and lots of pancetta. It’s simple and reliable, and it’s somehow even better the next day (should you have leftovers).
This spaghetti with chilies and parmesan doesn’t have a lot going on. Still, it has its fans (us, occasionally), and if you'd like to keep things simple, this is the perfect choice.
As we mentioned, mains are important at L'Artusi. The branzino comes as a neat, crispy filet on a bed of olives—and it’s a thing of beauty. For a lighter option, get this.
What makes this roasted chicken so good? Is it the crispy skin? The juicy meat? Or the moat of sauce that tastes like it’s pure brown butter? Most likely, it’s a combination of all these things. After you eat some pasta, split this with someone.