Donna Margherita is one of those classic examples of what Italian food is truly a gift for our mouths. With its recent opening on 2nd Avenue between 68th and 69th Street, conveniently off the brand new Q subway line, this location has a ton of promise when it comes to its execution of some of the best Italian food I have ever had, not only for Manhattan Digest, but in my entire life.
The Upper East Side has always been a great place to discover some delicious food in small settings, and Donna Margherita is definitely an addition in all of this. With only 30 seats inside, there is one key element that adds so much love and heart to this location, that you feel you are in an endless space of happiness. This is from their head chef Rosanna Di Michele, whose upbeat spirit and personality just added onto the fabulous meal she presented us throughout the night.
Rosanna is originally from Italy and has been stateside for a couple of years now. She grew up helping her parents in their family-owned pizzeria in Vasto, (on Abruzzo’s coast), and adds a robust dash of her own personality in every dish she makes. Her personality was so beaming to the point where I legit wanted to hug and give her a big smooch on the cheek each time she came back to us.
Donna Margherita is Italian food at its best, there is no way around that. Each meal that Rosanna presented to us was fresh, tasted great and had a tradition value to it that I really appreciated. Here is what we recommend you try, starting with my favorite part of the meal- PIZZA!
The pizza section of their menu is plush and diverse in terms of the items you can put on, yet all looked scrumptious. I was immediately drawn to their Broccoli e Salsiccia Pizze, which had Mozzarella Cheese, Italian Sausage, Broccoli Rabe and Basil. The latter three are very strong ingredients that can easily overpower each other, yet they all blended very well for an incredibly tasty slice (or two, or three, or more).
A starter dish that I wanted to go Hungry Hungry Hippos on was their Crostone Rustico, which is Toasted Rustic Bread, topped with Mushrooms, Mozzarella Cheese & Prosciutto. Just look at it above and your mouth will be watering, which is exactly what me and my guest looked like. I’m all for Prosciutto in any setting, but have never had it with Mushrooms before which was a great balance to one of my favorite meats over the melted Mozzarella and tasty bread.
Rosanna has a deep love for the love of Ricotta, she spoke of it so well and generously and prepared a dish with this cheese as the Beyonce of it all, surrounded by Fresh Grape Tomatoes, Radicchio and a sprinkling of Olive Oil. I’ve never tasted a Ricotta that is so unbelievably creamy and has texture to it that is simply amazing.
Donna Margherita also has an incredible line of pasta dishes that are have a great al dente texture to them with depths of flavor that transports you from stateside to seaside Italy in a flash. Whether its Lasagne Della Nonna (traditional meat lasagna), Penne Arrabbiata O Al Pomodoro (penne in a spicy homemade tomato sauce), or many others, Rosanna has you covered. Trust me.
Why not finish off your already incredible meal with something decadent like their Tiramisu. Fluffy, tasty and sweet to boot, it is a great finishing dish for perfection 101. I highly recommend making a reservation at Donna Margherita ASAP before you have to wait months just to get in there!
For more information on Donna Margherita, check out their official Facebook page.