The pizzeria. The trattoria. The ristorante. In New York, there’s no shortage of Italian cuisine, which forces these restaurants to do something different to stand out from the pack. Newcomers Pranzo, Fratelli La Bufala, and Rafele are out to one-up the competition with authentic Italian recipes and original cooking methods.
Eataly’s lunch-only Pranzo is freshly open in chef Lidia Bastianich’s la scuola di Eataly classroom. The changing prix-fixe menu offers a gamut of regional Italian cuisines. An open kitchen lets you watch Lidia herself make at least one of the dishes, Food Network-style.
The international Fratelli La Bufala chain is an authentic Italian institution that has finally come to NYC. They specialize in personal-sized pizzas featuring Mozzarella di Bufala Campana cheese. The Irpina pie gets earthy with additions of ham, mushrooms, and bufala cream.
Named after chef/owner Raffaele Ronca, the West Village’s Rafele serves Neapolitan fare with an emphasis on local ingredients. The imported wood-burning brick oven and rotisserie pump out specialties, like porchetta and stuffed quail. The wood is tweaked with various liquors – another way of layering in flavor beyond New York’s Italian every day.