On a day when you are lazy and relaxed, and indulgence is what’s on your mind, you would probably be thinking Italian food. The problem is that, in a place like New York, just that thought can send your brain racing in so many different directions, that by the time you choose a restaurant, you will be wondering whether it is at all possible to recapture your indulgent laziness. Discard the indecision, save yourself all that trouble, and just go to whichever of these restaurants is closest to your home. Rest assured that you will get some real Italian pampering.
190 Seventh Avenue (West 21st Street)
People would rarely think of going specially to Chelsea’s Seventh Avenue for a meal, but then they are those people who haven’t yet eaten at Eolo. Restaurateur and chef Melissa Muller-Drake knows the intricacies of Sicilian food, and does a great job of recreating the several subtleties of the cuisine right before you. The preparations are complex but the tastes complement each other beautifully. The menu changes seasonally, and the chef is a master of tuna and pork preparations. The restaurant also features an international wine list, naturally with a Sicilian bias.
An entire meal for a single person should cost in the region of $50 (taxes and tips included; alcohol excluded). The restaurant is open for dinner every day, for lunch on weekdays, and brunch on the weekends.
1561 Second Avenue (81st Street)
This Upper-East Side restaurant is a perfect example of marital teamwork. The restaurant is run by Heather and Scott Fratangelo, a very friendly couple who divide the responsibility for food between them, ensuring that you get an unparalleled culinary experience. While Heather is responsible for the pastry program, the main meal delights are the province of her husband. The food is complemented by a wonderfully rustic ambience. The main course dishes here cost in the region of $25 each, and the restaurant opens at 5.30 pm for dinner every evening, closing by 10 pm on Sundays and Mondays, and 11 pm on other days.
105 Christopher Street (Between Bleecker and Hudson Streets)
The food at this West Village restaurant is what you would call ‘homely Italian’. Rita Sodi, the owner, creates recipes straight from her mother’s ol’ diary. You have the option of wolfing down a quick bite at the exquisite marble-topped bar or sitting back and taking in the experience of a full Tuscan meal. The most exciting part is that you can never quite predict what you will find on the menu. Rita changes it every week, with the exception of the meat-ragu lasagna, the confirmed favorite at the place. The restaurant opens for dinner every day at 6 pm, and operates till 11 pm, except Fridays and Saturdays, when it stays open till 12 midnight.
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