Recommended Italian restaurants in New York

From antipasti mobster style to “the best pizza outside Italy”, Donna Karan et al reveal their favourite Italian eateries in NY

Maialino
Maialino

Rosetta Getty, fashion designer “Maialino is one of my favourite restaurants – it’s a vibrant Italian in the Gramercy Park Hotel. I’ll often have its specialty: pasta with pecorino and black pepper.”

Tutto Il Giorno
Tutto Il Giorno | Image: © Eric Striffler

Joseph Sitt, president of Thor Equities with $10bn+ global property portfolio “Gargiulo’s is an old-school mobster joint on Coney Island with great antipasti and risotto pescatore. I once took Leonardo DiCaprio here and must have made a good impression because we’ve become friends and are working on a business idea together.”

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Donna Karan, fashion designer “I love both the food and the atmosphere at Tutto Il Giorno on Long Island. Everything is fresh, simple and southern Italian in style, and the burrata with tomatoes, penne with eggplant, and cartoccio – beautiful local fish baked in parchment paper with roasted-tomato vinaigrette – were all exceptional.

Serafina
Serafina

Pilar Ordovas, Savile Row gallerist “At Saraghina in Brooklyn I ate the best wood-fired pizza – one with roasted, spicy artichokes – that I’ve had outside Italy, as well as house-made cavatelli with crabmeat and simply roasted branzino. The cosy atmosphere made our group feel like we were at home and being very well looked after. I’m hoping to return for a meal in their beautiful back garden.”

Il Buco
Il Buco | Image: © Michael Grimm

John Derian, cult découpage glassware designer “At a recent meal at Il Buco the scallop crudo and roasted branzino with anchovies and breadcrumbs were outstanding. I also loved the atmosphere and how tactile and authentic everything feels – the antique Italian furniture is covered in natural fabrics, there are Tuscan ceramics everywhere and the wabi-sabi walls have been left intact.”

Mezzo Giorno
Mezzo Giorno

Rafael Viñoly, the Uruguayan architect behind London’s Walkie Talkie“I loved the homey food and warm atmosphere at Mezzogiorno in SoHo. They made pasta with black olives for me and it was absolutely delicious. The perfect end to the dinner was a delicious tiramisu – always my favourite dessert.

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Thomas P Campbell, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art “Sunday lunch is almost always at Serafina, where we share wood-fired pizzas and the straccetti del Tuscolo, a delicious grilled steak with olive oil and herbs. I like everything about this place.”

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