I recently visited my sons in the States. They both live in Brooklyn, but I ventured into the city one day to meet with a friend who I met in Florence. She was anxious to show me the new Italian restaurants and eateries available in the city. First stop, Eataly! Eataly is located at 200 5th Ave, at the corner of 5th and 23rd. Eataly is bigger than Italy I believe! It has almost every Italian product for eating and drinking available under one roof with wine, beer, cheese, salami, pasta, bread, meat, seafood, produce and more. There are 12 different restaurants and cafes. It is system overload, and for that reason, is not much like Italy at all. It is worth making a visit though.
For a more authentic Italian experience in terms of dining in a small, one owner, delicious food restaurant, go uptown to 1477 2nd Ave to Bar Italia. Bar Italia is owned by former chef of Cipriani, Denis Frachescini, who happened to be there this night, and treated us to a few drinks. The restaurant is chic and elegant with an outdoor patio.
Across the street for another Italian dining experience, try Uva at 1486 Second Ave. Uva is a wine bar, with a dim, romantic feel to it and a garden in the back. Scents coming from the kitchen will let you know you haven’t made a mistake.
If you happen to be in Brooklyn, or want to take the L train to the Graham Street Station, try Motorino, at 319 Graham Ave. My sons and I shared the most wonderful Napolitano style pizza, corn on the cob with pesto, and grilled eggplant with honey and pecorino. They have a great house wine that is red and sparkling and served slightly chilled that is superb with pizza. Needless to say, my sons and friend didn’t let me miss the food in Italy while I was visiting!