Lumaca is an Italian restaurant in a Midtown hotel that feels like a billionaire’s study that was turned into a high-end restaurant. It has bookshelves, booths, and big white columns, and it doesn’t get particularly busy. And that’s probably because the food isn’t great. At best, it’s average (the lukewarm truffle arancini, for example, are perfectly fine), and occasionally it’s barely edible. If you’d like to experience this, order the vitello tonato or the warm hamachi crudo topped with orange slices. Better yet, don’t order either of those things, and skip this place altogether.
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Now, Lexington Brass is infinitely better than most of the tourist trap garbage that you’ll find in this part of our fine city. There’s no question about that. But this place is dangerous because it actually might lead people to believe that this is what the “cool” NYC restaurants are like.
Haswell Greens is a huge live music bar in the Theater District that’s a good spot to get a cocktail if you still have energy after seeing a show.
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Briciola is a casual Italian wine bar in Hell’s Kitchen with a huge list of inexpensive pasta.
Pietro’s is an old-school Italian restaurant in Midtown East that’s been around since 1932.
Mama Capri is a coastal Italian spot in Cobble Hill that’s a good option for a casual outdoor dinner or weekend lunch.
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The Grill is the revamp of the legendary Four Seasons restaurant, run by the people behind Carbone. It’s very similar, very expensive, and worth it.
Danny Meyer’s Gramercy Park Roman Italian restaurant is better than we initially thought, especially for a date or an upscale brunch.
Marea is about as good as upscale eating gets in Midtown, and there’s a lot of that around. Don’t miss the bone marrow and octopus fusilli.
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