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Italian Restaurants
Credit: Obica Mozzarella Bar

Hands tied to our back, Italian cuisine is probably our favorite to enjoy out of all that are here in Manhattan (and of course, there are a TON)!  That being said, we have experienced quite a lot of Italian restaurants over the course of the past four years, that have left our bellies filled and our faces happy from the experience.  With all of the Italian restaurants we have tried, which ones were our favorites?

After careful consideration, calorie consumption, miles of pasta with sauce and so much more, we have found that the below Italian restaurants piqued our interests in so many ways!  Here is our list.

Bettola
Credit: Bettola

Bettola- 412 Amsterdam Avenue

Bettola does what a lot of Italian restaurants fear doing, in that their dishes are inspired on a global influence while still holding true to its Italian origins.  Owner Vlado Korenic does an amazing job at executing these dishes in this beautiful and rustic Upper West Side location, which is to become a sure fire hit in 2017.  Standout dishes are their Honey Bee Salad, which comes with baby Arugula, Pecorino, Apples, Walnuts and Nectar Dressing, and Salsicia Pizza, which comes with Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, Hot Sausage, Caramelized Onions, and Basil.  Simply delicious. More here.

Credit: Obica Mozzarella Bar
Credit: Obica Mozzarella Bar

Obica Mozzarella Bar- 590 Madison Avenue

Obica Mozzarella Bar is quite the highlight in the Flatiron district, not just from its beautiful & large location but also because the word “fresh” kept ringing in my mind throughout the meal.  And for good reason.  The diverse and fresh ingredients made in the assortment of dishes within its culinary repertoire are always at the top of my taste buds, palate and so much more when it comes to coming in hungry and leaving pleasantly full.  Standout dishes: Bufala Affumicata, Carciofini, (roasted marinated artichokes), and their Salsiccia e Peperoni– Bell Peppers, Sausage, Smoked Mozzarella di Bufala.  Yummy!  More here.

Credit to: Michael Dibugnara/Adoro Lei
Credit to: Michael Dibugnara/Adoro Lei

Adoro Lei- 287 Hudson Street

Located in one of my favorite areas of Manhattan, Adoro Lei has become one of the best places to go to in the South Village.  In under two years, they have become one of the standards in some of the best pizza and pasta options I have ever experienced!  Standout dishes include: Lover’s Purses, which is Pasta Purses with Artisanal Cheese, Pear, Brown Butter Sage Sauce, Roasted Walnuts, Arugula and Parmigiano Shavings, The Rosina Pizza (Margherita, Tomato, Parmigiano, Pecorino, Fresh Mozzarella & Basil) and The Tullia Pizza. (Fresh Mozzarella, Ground Sausage, Mussels & Sambuca).  Just go.  More here.

Credit: Caffe dei Fiori Facebook Page
Credit: Caffe dei Fiori Facebook Page

Caffe dei Fiori- 973 Lexington Avenue

Touted as “A Taste of Bologna in The Upper East Side”, Caffe dei Fiori began with owner Daliso Gulmini‘s move from Bologna, Italy to Manhattan as an introduction to the world of gastronomic Italian cuisine.   This Upper East Side gem prides itself on being authentically Italian, with its scrumptious line of amazing appetizers and entrees that will leave you feeling happy and full.  Standout dishes: Prosciutto di Parma e Burrata, Spaghetti alla Chitarra alla Carbonara and Saltinbocca alla Romana, which is essentially a Small Veal Roll with Sage and Mashed Potatoes.  More here.

Da Marcella
Credit: Da Marcella

Da Marcella- 142 W. Houston Street

Da Marcella combines the words “affordable” and “delicious” in the best way possible, which describes the experience you will have when there.  Cozy, comfortable and super low key, this location provides some really amazing Italian cuisine that won’t break your bank.  Standout dishes: Costa di Manzo Brasata al Barolo, in other words their Braised Short Ribs with Barolo and Roasted Potatoes, Risotto Alla’Astice, a Half Lobster and Pinot Grigio Slow-Cooked Risotto and their Burrata & San Daniele Prosciutto with truffle sauce.  More here.