Pastai is Chelsea’s resident charming Italian place. The food tastes good, they make their own pasta, and you could easily bring a date or a small group here. They can also make any of their dishes with homemade gluten-free pasta so you won’t have to feel bad for eating the short rib lasagna in front of your high-maintenance friend. In terms of the space, there’s a bunch of bar seating and an old-school-looking dining room with black and white portraits of people you can pretend are part of your family.
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Casual Italian: the reliable, neighborhood spots you want to be at every Sunday night. Here are our favorites.
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Hearth On The High Line
Hearth On The Highline is a seasonal spot that works for a casual outdoor lunch in Chelsea.
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Osteria Morini is a popular Italian restaurant on Lafayette street, known for pasta and lots of lambrusco. Expect crowds and very little elbow room.
A simple Italian cafe that works in tons of situations, Epistrophy is one of our Nolita go-tos.
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Del Posto is an excellent special occasion restaurant, located in a big space in Chelsea. Think of it as a more upscale Babbo, or Daniel with pasta.
A seafood restaurant from the people behind The Meatball Shop, Seamore’s is healthy, reasonably priced, and a good time. No wonder it’s always packed.
Motel Morris is a slightly retro, motel-themed restaurant in Chelsea that’s cool enough for date night and nice enough for dinner with the parents.
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