National Spaghetti Day Exists, So Fill Up On Carbs

We aren’t entirely sure where these national food days have come from, or who decides what each day means for what day. But for today, since its National Spaghetti Day, it’s a great excuse to eat a bowl of pasta or two.

The most recent addition to the land of pasta is Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina, an Italian pasta company that opened a restaurant in the Chelsea Market in November. There, you can get an array of dishes including ravioli with artichoke and smoke mozzarella, and chestnut tagliatelle with guinea fowl ragu. Or get fresh pasta to go like the chili-garlic pappardelle or lobster stuffed mezzaluna.

For an old school Italian experience, the 30-year-old Marco Polo in Brooklyn serves scrumptious plates of squid ink tagliolini and fettuccini with red wine sauce, which gets tossed in a wheel of Parmesan. In the same vain, the king of Italian cuisine Mario Batali serves luscious bowls of pumpkin cappellacci and spaghetti with Dungeness crab and jalapeno at the popular Del Posto.

Scarpetta too makes a mean spaghetti with tomato and basil, and you can’t go wrong with a plate of linguine with clam sauce at Esca. If you want to go for the stars, celebrate this pseudo holiday at Robert De Niro’s Locanda Verde, where you can get a plate of papperdelle with ragu or lumache with duck sausage and broccoli rabe.

Of course, today, and any day, is a good time to hit up Il Buco Alimentari andVineria, which is one of the best new Italian spots to open in 2012. Fuel up now, you can start you New Year’s diet tomorrow.

Los Angeles Opening: Osteria Drago

The Sunset Strip is the last place you’d expect to find a beachy Italian spot with bleached white walls and an intimate front porch, but maybe that was chef and owner Celestino Drago’s intention for opening Osteria Drago, August 1st. If you weren’t paying attention this past winter, Drago Santa Monica closed just after celebrating its 20th anniversary, leaving the area with just one or two fine-dining spots left on the coast. We’re looking at you, Michael’s.

With Osteria Drago, the chef has gone casual with small plates, offering a limited menu of regional and traditional Italian cuisine with a contemporary twist. We’re talking sea urchin panna cotta, squid ink spaghetti, and spinach lasagna with prosciutto and reggiano. The place is perfect for private parties, or for fooling yourself you’re on the Italian coastline.