If you are looking for one of the best new Italian restaurants in Manhattan, then look no further than Mandolino Ristorante. One of the new hotspots right outside the Union Square station in the East Village, this spot will literally transport you out of Manhattan and into the city of Naples with its look and authentic taste of what true Italian cuisine should be.
I took myself there with a friend on a rather quiet Thursday night in the city but was instantly woken up by the smells of what was cooking inside Mandolino Ristorante. The midsize location has the look and feel of a spot you would find in many cities in Italy, and stands apart from what else they really have to offer from most of the basic Italian type food I have had over the years in Manhattan.
The chefs were nice enough to prepare a tasting menu that highlights all their amazing dishes. It was great for me and my friend to come borderline starving, as it helps make everything taste better normally however in this case I could’ve been full after a Thanksgiving sized meal and still found a way to enjoy the food they presented as it was just that good.
Highlights (which were pretty much everything) just show how amazing Mandolino Ristorante is with Italian cooking. Everything from their Bruschetta Classica (with fresh tomatoes and oregano), La Bufalina (buffalo mozzarella cheese), Fettuccine alla Bolognese and my FAVORITE, their Polpetta Mandolino (breaded homemade meatballs with thyme, olive oil & tomato sauce) were spectacular in every which way these dishes can be. Trust me, you will leave filling satisfied and happy.
A big note here: if you are expecting to come to Mandolino Ristorante and get a Chicken Parmesan, go somewhere else. That’s all and fine, but not their specialty. They also host a fantastic Italian brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, so you get to experience this sort of delicious cuisine in the earlier hours with your friends and family. No matter what, go there.
For more information on Mandolino Ristorante, check out their official website.