Most NYC Italian restaurants come in one of two categories: Big cozy family joints or city-chic fine dining.
The first category brings to mind nights out with friends, checkered table cloths, pasta smothered in cheesy sauce, and platters of meat dishes commanding the last of the elbow room on the table.
The second category brings about a more subdued feeling; white linens, the soft clinking of wine glasses, plates of antipasti, carpaccio, sauteed Branzino…
Because we are always looking for special restaurants, All The Tastes of New York went out in search of an amalgamation of the categories and discovered Puttanesca; a Hell’s Kitchen staple where comfort food meets Manhattan swank (and will leave your taste buds in a state of euphoria for days to come).
Originally opened 17 years ago as a much smaller and low key Italian trattoria, Puttanesca went on to aquire what is now their main dining room and a beautiful private dining room in the back (perfect for private events, and where All The Tastes of New York hosted their entree tasting for their launch in March 2011).
Big white arches introduce you to the main dining area where backdrops of exposed brick play off cream colored walls that display some of their specialty wines. Beautiful chandeliers hang from the ceiling, delicately lighting the entire restaurant.
We spoke with Puttansca manager, Alfonso Chavarria, who shared with us some of the restaurant’s intricacies and special features. We discovered:
* The menu incorporates both northern and southern Italian cuisine, but they try to incorporate local ingredients whenever possible.
* The most popular dishes are the chicken parm and spaghetti and meatballs. (However after tasting their macaroni and cheese with truffles and almost crying of happiness, we highly recommend that gem as well). Also, there is generally enough food on the plate at the end of the night to take left overs home and delight in your meal a couple times over.
* And though the appearance of Puttanesca is not your checkered table-cloth ‘mom and pop’ Italian joint, the feeling is still the same: a big, cozy, family restauarant meant to bring people together over the love of good food.
And that it does.
To get in on the goodness you’re just going to have to go there yourselves.
Puttanesca is located on 859 9th Avenue. Call (212) 581- 4177 to make your reservation today!