Gennaro Restaurant

★★★★☆
  • 665 Amsterdam Ave

    New York, NY 10025

    Map & Directions
  • 212-665-5348

About Gennaro Restaurant

Hours
Monday 6:00 PM - 9:50 PM Tuesday 6:00 PM - 9:50 PM Wednesday 6:00 PM - 9:50 PM Thursday 6:00 PM - 9:50 PM Friday 6:00 PM - 9:50 PM Saturday 6:00 PM - 9:50 PM Sunday 6:00 PM - 9:50 PM

Food

Food
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I am fortunate enough to live a block away from this gem of an Italian place. Small and always a short wait but worth it! Waiters are so knowledgeable and good at suggesting things. Where do I start? The kale salad with roasted pine nuts, currents and balsamic vinegar, so fresh and crispy? The watermelon and goat cheese appetizer with cracked sea salt and olive oil? They even manage to make a simple bucatini with cracked pepper sing with flavor. I guided a birthday party of 6 here and I was the hero of the night! Hope I don't regret writing this by making it harder to get a table! Nice wine list too. And not unreasonably priced.

5
★★★★★

I am fortunate enough to live a block away from this gem of an Italian place. Small and always a short wait but worth it! Waiters are so knowledgeable and good at suggesting things. Where do I start? The kale salad with roasted pine nuts, currents and balsamic vinegar, so fresh and crispy? The watermelon and goat cheese appetizer with cracked sea salt and olive oil? They even manage to make a simple bucatini with cracked pepper sing with flavor. I guided a birthday party of 6 here and I was the hero of the night! Hope I don't regret writing this by making it harder to get a table! Nice wine list too. And not unreasonably priced.

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Our night at Gennaro actually started out very well. The waiter was friendly and the rest of the staff was acommodating for our large group. The food was very good--nice portions and everything was pretty tasty.

Unfortunately, when the check came and there was a very obvious error (the check is handwritten and if you have a big group it's pretty difficult to find mistakes when you can't read handwriting) the waiter and owner were not helpful in the slightest. The bill said that our group of 18 people ordered 16 bottles of wine--that was a pretty ridiculous mistake considering we had only ordered 7 and after the 7th bottle the waiter told us they were out of the type of wine we were ordering. Not only did the dr. jeckle and mr. hyde waiter give us a hard time about correcting the bill (friendly went out the window at this point), the owner got involved and took 45 minutes to finally settle on the corrected amount. They were rude and condescending...and crazy enough to leave 18 people sitting at tables that they could have turned over to new customers.

The lesson to the owner of this restaurant: 1) handwritten receipts are a thing of the past--that's why we have computers 2) keep a closer eye on your inventory because you shouldn't have to rifle through your recycle bin to figure out how many bottles of wine your customers drank 3) don't waste your customers time questioning them because they will go on websites like citysearch and tell the rest of the world how bad your service is

1
★★☆☆☆

Our night at Gennaro actually started out very well. The waiter was friendly and the rest of the staff was acommodating for our large group. The food was very good--nice portions and everything was pretty tasty.

Unfortunately, when the check came and there was a very obvious error (the check is handwritten and if you have a big group it's pretty difficult to find mistakes when you can't read handwriting) the waiter and owner were not helpful in the slightest. The bill said that our group of 18 people ordered 16 bottles of wine--that was a pretty ridiculous mistake considering we had only ordered 7 and after the 7th bottle the waiter told us they were out of the type of wine we were ordering. Not only did the dr. jeckle and mr. hyde waiter give us a hard time about correcting the bill (friendly went out the window at this point), the owner got involved and took 45 minutes to finally settle on the corrected amount. They were rude and condescending...and crazy enough to leave 18 people sitting at tables that they could have turned over to new customers.

The lesson to the owner of this restaurant: 1) handwritten receipts are a thing of the past--that's why we have computers 2) keep a closer eye on your inventory because you shouldn't have to rifle through your recycle bin to figure out how many bottles of wine your customers drank 3) don't waste your customers time questioning them because they will go on websites like citysearch and tell the rest of the world how bad your service is

.

I know that seems odd for a neighborhood italian joint but its true. Had heard this place is not as good as it used to be and I can see why. I wanted the Osso Bucco Risotto but asked our waitress before if this was a full size portion as risotto dishes are usually apps or on the smaller side.....she reassured me it was so I went ahead and ordered. BIG MISTAKE.....it was a joke and at 25 bucks, it was a bigger joke. THere was honestly about 7 or 8 nickel size pieces surrounded by a big bone. It was tasty dish....but gone in 3 seconds. Maybe other stuff is better and bigger but I was quite annoyed by our waitress as well as the fact that since we didnt order apps and bottles of wine to pump up the bill, we never saw her again until it was time for the check.....our busboy literally asked us if we wanted dessert or coffee. Another thing that was annoying was the fact that their are tons of specials that the waitress tells you about but doesnt tell you how much they are so you feel like an idiot asking for prices on 10 different specials.....would be nice if they had them written down somewhere as they are on average 50% more than the entrees on the menu. Overall the food is not bad but the cons make it not somewhere I would go again anytime soon.

1
★★☆☆☆

I know that seems odd for a neighborhood italian joint but its true. Had heard this place is not as good as it used to be and I can see why. I wanted the Osso Bucco Risotto but asked our waitress before if this was a full size portion as risotto dishes are usually apps or on the smaller side.....she reassured me it was so I went ahead and ordered. BIG MISTAKE.....it was a joke and at 25 bucks, it was a bigger joke. THere was honestly about 7 or 8 nickel size pieces surrounded by a big bone. It was tasty dish....but gone in 3 seconds. Maybe other stuff is better and bigger but I was quite annoyed by our waitress as well as the fact that since we didnt order apps and bottles of wine to pump up the bill, we never saw her again until it was time for the check.....our busboy literally asked us if we wanted dessert or coffee. Another thing that was annoying was the fact that their are tons of specials that the waitress tells you about but doesnt tell you how much they are so you feel like an idiot asking for prices on 10 different specials.....would be nice if they had them written down somewhere as they are on average 50% more than the entrees on the menu. Overall the food is not bad but the cons make it not somewhere I would go again anytime soon.

Pros: Food

Cons: loud and cramped, small portion size, misleading prices, still hungry

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Extremely disappointed. They were not accomodating. Won't seat an incomplete party. When I asked to be seated at my table and have a drink until the rest of my party arrived., They simply said, "No, their policy is to have the complete party ready to be seated". I explained that there would be 4 and coming from different parts of the city but they refused to accomodate me. Fortunately Manhattan is not a desert island. There were many other restaurants in the area. When my party arrived we went across the street to another Italian restaurant and had a GREAT dinner. The staff was very attentive and treated us decently.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Extremely disappointed. They were not accomodating. Won't seat an incomplete party. When I asked to be seated at my table and have a drink until the rest of my party arrived., They simply said, "No, their policy is to have the complete party ready to be seated". I explained that there would be 4 and coming from different parts of the city but they refused to accomodate me. Fortunately Manhattan is not a desert island. There were many other restaurants in the area. When my party arrived we went across the street to another Italian restaurant and had a GREAT dinner. The staff was very attentive and treated us decently.

Pros: None

Cons: Treated badly by the wait staff. Very small room. No reservations. Long wait

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The food is something uniqe,defenetely different from fake italian food. It's really an italian enviorment and quality food.A must to try eggplant as a desert.

2
★★★★★

The food is something uniqe,defenetely different from fake italian food. It's really an italian enviorment and quality food.A must to try eggplant as a desert.

Pros: great Italian Real Chef

Cons: tables are too small like Japanese style

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I have to agree with Hollywood3's review below. Having eaten here for many years, the food just doesn't have that special zing it once did. Since the menu has hardly changed it's easy to say the, for example, the grilled baby lambchops had a wonderful, smokey, pungent intensity they no longer have. Even the signature lamp shank with couscous seems a bit bland compared to the older days. Still, it's great to have dinner with a nice bottle of wine and not break the bank. There's good value for the cost here, which is why I still recommend it. The noise level, however, is insane - don't come expecting a nice romantic interlude - and ironically the place is more cramped now than it was when it was less than half the present size! The place is always packed, so be prepared to wait.

2
★★★★☆

I have to agree with Hollywood3's review below. Having eaten here for many years, the food just doesn't have that special zing it once did. Since the menu has hardly changed it's easy to say the, for example, the grilled baby lambchops had a wonderful, smokey, pungent intensity they no longer have. Even the signature lamp shank with couscous seems a bit bland compared to the older days. Still, it's great to have dinner with a nice bottle of wine and not break the bank. There's good value for the cost here, which is why I still recommend it. The noise level, however, is insane - don't come expecting a nice romantic interlude - and ironically the place is more cramped now than it was when it was less than half the present size! The place is always packed, so be prepared to wait.

Pros: Good cost/taste ratio.

Cons: Noisy. Cramped.

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I love this place! I've been eating here for about 7 years and the food is consistently wonderful. Thank god they expanded or the lines would be around the block. I took 2 trips to Italy over the past 3 years and was amazed by the cuisine there, but Gennaro was the only place I could go for Italian food when I returned to the US.

For NY I think the prices are great for the quality of food. Yes it is crowded, yes there are no reservations, yes it lacks seating for groups larger than 6 or so, and yes it's cash only. But the food is great, the staff is very friendly, and I know I can count on a delicious meal. I'm using their Takeout to cater my BDay next week, so I guess that shows my belief in Gennaro!

Tips: go before 7:30 or after 9:30 for prompt seating; at peak times, leave your name then walk over to Bway to get cash, and your table will probably be ready on your return; get the appetizer plate -- it's fantastic!

2
★★★★★

I love this place! I've been eating here for about 7 years and the food is consistently wonderful. Thank god they expanded or the lines would be around the block. I took 2 trips to Italy over the past 3 years and was amazed by the cuisine there, but Gennaro was the only place I could go for Italian food when I returned to the US.

For NY I think the prices are great for the quality of food. Yes it is crowded, yes there are no reservations, yes it lacks seating for groups larger than 6 or so, and yes it's cash only. But the food is great, the staff is very friendly, and I know I can count on a delicious meal. I'm using their Takeout to cater my BDay next week, so I guess that shows my belief in Gennaro!

Tips: go before 7:30 or after 9:30 for prompt seating; at peak times, leave your name then walk over to Bway to get cash, and your table will probably be ready on your return; get the appetizer plate -- it's fantastic!

Pros: The best value in Italian food; friendly staff

Cons: Very popular, so it's crowded and you usually have to wait.

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Went there for the first time this weekend. 2 apps, 3 entrees and 1 dessert. Everything was great. I don't even like vanilla gelato and I thought it was delicious. I highly recommended this place, despite the lack of rez and no cc's.

2
★★★★★

Went there for the first time this weekend. 2 apps, 3 entrees and 1 dessert. Everything was great. I don't even like vanilla gelato and I thought it was delicious. I highly recommended this place, despite the lack of rez and no cc's.

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I've eaten here on & off for the past 5 years and have always found it to be a safe and reliable bet on the UWS (similar to the last review... "A great neighborhood place"). However, my last 2 visits over the past 3 months have been drastically different ! On one visit, the orechiette w/broccoli was fantastic, yet the lamb chops needed to be sent back 3 times and the waiter just completely abandoned us, even though we wanted dessert... and, it wasn't until 40 minutes after we finished, that we were finally presented a check. Last time, I ordered the fettucine bolognese (which has always been a winner) and it was fair at best and also tasted as if the cook dumped a handful of salt on it before it was presented to me. Even the Tiramisu (usually a "must") has been average of late. Don't know what's going on here, but it appears - and I may be wrong - that this place is becoming way too comfortable because of its steady success since the expansion years back. Time for a wake-up call and double espresso, Gennaro !

2
★★★★☆

I've eaten here on & off for the past 5 years and have always found it to be a safe and reliable bet on the UWS (similar to the last review... "A great neighborhood place"). However, my last 2 visits over the past 3 months have been drastically different ! On one visit, the orechiette w/broccoli was fantastic, yet the lamb chops needed to be sent back 3 times and the waiter just completely abandoned us, even though we wanted dessert... and, it wasn't until 40 minutes after we finished, that we were finally presented a check. Last time, I ordered the fettucine bolognese (which has always been a winner) and it was fair at best and also tasted as if the cook dumped a handful of salt on it before it was presented to me. Even the Tiramisu (usually a "must") has been average of late. Don't know what's going on here, but it appears - and I may be wrong - that this place is becoming way too comfortable because of its steady success since the expansion years back. Time for a wake-up call and double espresso, Gennaro !

Pros: good food, very reasonable prices, Michael - the waiter

Cons: cramped space, crowds, complacent chef / owner

.

I went here with a friend for dinner on a sunday night and we did not have to wait for a table. The food was really good and at a good price. They also had many specials and refilled our waters frequently. The ambience could use a lift, but its a nice place to go with friends. If you tell them that it's someone's birthday, your waitor will put a candle in the dessert and sing happy birthday.

2
★★★★★

I went here with a friend for dinner on a sunday night and we did not have to wait for a table. The food was really good and at a good price. They also had many specials and refilled our waters frequently. The ambience could use a lift, but its a nice place to go with friends. If you tell them that it's someone's birthday, your waitor will put a candle in the dessert and sing happy birthday.

Pros: good value, food, service

Cons: ambience

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Great neighborhood Italian place. I've heard the wait it really bad though so I went with a friend at about 6pm on a Sat and there was no wait. Grilled Calamari Appetizer was amazing and the special pasta bolognese was very good as well. Had a great glass of wine for $7. Price is good overall but the specials are more than other pastas on the menu. Not my favorite Italian place on UWS but close - I'll def be back soon. And service is great but you feel a little rushed.

2
★★★★★

Great neighborhood Italian place. I've heard the wait it really bad though so I went with a friend at about 6pm on a Sat and there was no wait. Grilled Calamari Appetizer was amazing and the special pasta bolognese was very good as well. Had a great glass of wine for $7. Price is good overall but the specials are more than other pastas on the menu. Not my favorite Italian place on UWS but close - I'll def be back soon. And service is great but you feel a little rushed.

Pros: location, food, price

Cons: wait, feel a little rushed

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Gennaro almost always has a wait from 7 p.m. onwards... Go before then! Food is excellent and portions are decent. Would suggest asking for specials before ordering but menu offers a good selection. Gennaro is definitely one of the best Italian restaurants on the UWS.

2
★★★★☆

Gennaro almost always has a wait from 7 p.m. onwards... Go before then! Food is excellent and portions are decent. Would suggest asking for specials before ordering but menu offers a good selection. Gennaro is definitely one of the best Italian restaurants on the UWS.

Pros: Good food

Cons: Potential long wait, Small groups

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I always enjoy the food here. Most, not all, waiters are friendly. Some tend to be a little lacking in communication skills. The lines can discourage you, but go during the week. The lamb shank, special pastas and frise salad are excellent.

2
★★★★☆

I always enjoy the food here. Most, not all, waiters are friendly. Some tend to be a little lacking in communication skills. The lines can discourage you, but go during the week. The lamb shank, special pastas and frise salad are excellent.

Pros: food

Cons: , rushed service

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This Italian resturant overall had good reviews on food which I must agree but their management and service deserves 4 out of 10. When I was there with a friend the waiter who served us was pretty friendly. When we were done, another waiter came up to us and tapped my shoulder without saying "Excuse me" and said "Are you done because we have people waiting." We were not offered the dessert menu and that waiter was so rude!~
I was very offended after a good meal.

1
★★★☆☆

This Italian resturant overall had good reviews on food which I must agree but their management and service deserves 4 out of 10. When I was there with a friend the waiter who served us was pretty friendly. When we were done, another waiter came up to us and tapped my shoulder without saying "Excuse me" and said "Are you done because we have people waiting." We were not offered the dessert menu and that waiter was so rude!~
I was very offended after a good meal.

Pros: good food

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I live in Harlem and Gennaro is the closest restaurant I've found with moderately inventive, flavorful Italian food. It probably doesn't deserve the reputation it has as a sacrosanct mecca for gourmet-inclined Upper West Siders, but it is a decent value in a restaurant-challenged neighborhood. With that said, the wait is often unmanageable and the interior noisy and crowded. The appetizers are tasty across the board but the entrees are, more often than not, uninspired. The service is warm, if a bit rushed, and the ambience is fine if you don't mind involuntarily eavesdropping on your neighbor's conversation. All in all, Gennaro is good for the neighborhood but pales in comparison to better Italian restaurants downtown.

2
★★★★☆

I live in Harlem and Gennaro is the closest restaurant I've found with moderately inventive, flavorful Italian food. It probably doesn't deserve the reputation it has as a sacrosanct mecca for gourmet-inclined Upper West Siders, but it is a decent value in a restaurant-challenged neighborhood. With that said, the wait is often unmanageable and the interior noisy and crowded. The appetizers are tasty across the board but the entrees are, more often than not, uninspired. The service is warm, if a bit rushed, and the ambience is fine if you don't mind involuntarily eavesdropping on your neighbor's conversation. All in all, Gennaro is good for the neighborhood but pales in comparison to better Italian restaurants downtown.

Pros: Affordable wine list, Tasty appetizers, Warm service

Cons: , Unoriginal entrees, Noisy and crowded

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It WOULD be cheap, if there wasn't a $20 minimum per person! But the food was excellent (how could it be cheap, when it tastes this good?). The goat cheese, portabella tart is AMAZING. There was a special pesto linguine that was also very very delicious. The Gnocchi are light and yummy.

2
★★★★☆

It WOULD be cheap, if there wasn't a $20 minimum per person! But the food was excellent (how could it be cheap, when it tastes this good?). The goat cheese, portabella tart is AMAZING. There was a special pesto linguine that was also very very delicious. The Gnocchi are light and yummy.

Pros: Delicious

Cons: Not so cheap

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If a restaurant is not going to take reservations, it is imperative that the person working the door maintains a list and does not whimsically show favoritism. The doorman is rude, condescending, and repeatedly lets anyone he chooses sit down, regardless of arrival time. This is fine at a club; not at an Italian restaurant. Unfortunately, the food is good, though no one should support any establishment that lets this clown run the door.

1
★★☆☆☆

If a restaurant is not going to take reservations, it is imperative that the person working the door maintains a list and does not whimsically show favoritism. The doorman is rude, condescending, and repeatedly lets anyone he chooses sit down, regardless of arrival time. This is fine at a club; not at an Italian restaurant. Unfortunately, the food is good, though no one should support any establishment that lets this clown run the door.

Pros: Unusual fare

Cons: Door policy, Doorman, Cramped seating

.

I had read good reviews about the value and food quality at this restaurant, so I was not surprised to see a decently priced menu (pasta under $10 and entrees approx $12 to $15). When our waiter relayed the specials to us, they were a mile long and sounded better than the regular menu. So we ordered from there. Given the good value of the regular menu, imagine our shock to discover when receiving the bill, how expensive the specials were. The appetizers and entrees we chose were several dollars higher than the most expensive on the regular menu.

Overall, the service was decent, though a little rushed when clearing our table. The food was very tasty and it was a pleasant atmosphere. If you eat here, just keep in mind that the specials are much higher than the regular menu when ordering. And ask for the prices.

2
★★★★☆

I had read good reviews about the value and food quality at this restaurant, so I was not surprised to see a decently priced menu (pasta under $10 and entrees approx $12 to $15). When our waiter relayed the specials to us, they were a mile long and sounded better than the regular menu. So we ordered from there. Given the good value of the regular menu, imagine our shock to discover when receiving the bill, how expensive the specials were. The appetizers and entrees we chose were several dollars higher than the most expensive on the regular menu.

Overall, the service was decent, though a little rushed when clearing our table. The food was very tasty and it was a pleasant atmosphere. If you eat here, just keep in mind that the specials are much higher than the regular menu when ordering. And ask for the prices.

Pros: value regular menu

Cons: rushed, expensive specials

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Sure, the price is nice, but the food is just not worth the terrible service and unbelievably long lines. The pasta is mediocre at best; the hosts are always rude. There are far better restaurants on the Upper West Side to get a nice Italian fix; try Pomodoro or Carmine's instead.

1
★★☆☆☆

Sure, the price is nice, but the food is just not worth the terrible service and unbelievably long lines. The pasta is mediocre at best; the hosts are always rude. There are far better restaurants on the Upper West Side to get a nice Italian fix; try Pomodoro or Carmine's instead.

Pros: inexpensive

Cons: bad service, long wait

.

One of the best hidden Italian restaurants in the City. Hidden away on the upper west side, Gennaro offers an intimate, homestyle atmosphere just like mamma's kitchen. Like any good Italian kitchen, the place is packed and full of action. The menu is full of southern Italian standards like bread salad with tomatoes and mozzarella, penne pomodoro and spaghetti bolognese. In addition, the chef's daily specials would bring olive oil tears to anyone's eyes featuring osso buco and other veal dishes. When receiving the bill, do not be fooled as there wasn't a mathematical error. Dinner for two with a bottle of wine shouldn't cost more than $75. However, there is one caveat, make sure to constantly let the maitre'd know where you are because just like in mama's kitchen, if you don't politely shove your way to the table, you might not get to eat.

2
★★★★★

One of the best hidden Italian restaurants in the City. Hidden away on the upper west side, Gennaro offers an intimate, homestyle atmosphere just like mamma's kitchen. Like any good Italian kitchen, the place is packed and full of action. The menu is full of southern Italian standards like bread salad with tomatoes and mozzarella, penne pomodoro and spaghetti bolognese. In addition, the chef's daily specials would bring olive oil tears to anyone's eyes featuring osso buco and other veal dishes. When receiving the bill, do not be fooled as there wasn't a mathematical error. Dinner for two with a bottle of wine shouldn't cost more than $75. However, there is one caveat, make sure to constantly let the maitre'd know where you are because just like in mama's kitchen, if you don't politely shove your way to the table, you might not get to eat.

Pros: Great food, Great Atmosphere, Great value

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This place got a great review somewhere and still maintains the buzz... unfortunately, and after a few visits, the verdict is not good. Where the hell did Puccini get off to??? UWSiders are still morning its loss and Gennaro is an ill-suited understudy at best.

2
★★★★☆

This place got a great review somewhere and still maintains the buzz... unfortunately, and after a few visits, the verdict is not good. Where the hell did Puccini get off to??? UWSiders are still morning its loss and Gennaro is an ill-suited understudy at best.

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We had an excellent meal here recently. Unbelievable value ($12 entrees anyone?) and perfectly decent service. Hard to fathom what restaurant the low raters found might have patronized. Smokey grilled calamari infused with garlic had just the right bite. Porcini risotto was as good as it gets this side of Emilia Romagna. Exquisite ravioli in butter and sage sauce - tough dish to pull off given the spareness of the ingredients - was beautifully executed. Eclectic wine list that doesn't scream 300% mark-up. This is Babbo without the expense, month-in-advance reservations and tiresome pretentions of grosso Mario. We could use a few more like Gennaro delivering authentic Italian at prices that don't give you agita.

2
★★★★★

We had an excellent meal here recently. Unbelievable value ($12 entrees anyone?) and perfectly decent service. Hard to fathom what restaurant the low raters found might have patronized. Smokey grilled calamari infused with garlic had just the right bite. Porcini risotto was as good as it gets this side of Emilia Romagna. Exquisite ravioli in butter and sage sauce - tough dish to pull off given the spareness of the ingredients - was beautifully executed. Eclectic wine list that doesn't scream 300% mark-up. This is Babbo without the expense, month-in-advance reservations and tiresome pretentions of grosso Mario. We could use a few more like Gennaro delivering authentic Italian at prices that don't give you agita.

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Having heard a lot of people rave about this one, I gave it a try. It isn't bad, but it's certainly not worth all the hype and super-long wait to get in. Standard stuff done in a standard way -- but why wait so long and pay more to get what you can get at a number of other places, even in this neighborhood.

1
★★★☆☆

Having heard a lot of people rave about this one, I gave it a try. It isn't bad, but it's certainly not worth all the hype and super-long wait to get in. Standard stuff done in a standard way -- but why wait so long and pay more to get what you can get at a number of other places, even in this neighborhood.

Cons: Crowded, Long wait

Editorial from

Gennaro Picone, once on the fast track to becoming one of the city's most noted Italian chefs, gave it up to open this topnotch neighborhood spot. Caution: Call ahead; if he doesn't feel like cooking he may close up shop for the night.…

 

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