Some restaurants are frequented by people intent on getting a good meal, others by those who just don’t want to dirty a pot at home. Bettola is the latter. A massive oven produces charred thin-crust pizzas with house-made mozzarella and basic toppings. Chewy farro and white beans marry well with chicory salad; tender ravioli are filled with curried lamb and raisins. Owner Sebastiano Cappitta (Acqua, Isola) is blazing a successful trail through the Upper West Side, but some carelessness marred a recent meal, such as a skimpy portion of shrimp with pappardelle (four shrimp, four noodles) and a fish stew that had a whiff of iodine. But if sitting outdoors with a refreshing coffee granita on a patch of fenced-in sidewalk doesn’t exactly transport you to Italy, it does feel mighty neighborly.
412 Amsterdam Ave
|Cross street:||between 79th and 80th Sts|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Thu noon–11:30pm; Fri noon–midnight; Sat 11am–midnight; Sun 11am–11pm|
|Transport:||Subway: 1 to 79th St|
|Price:||Average main course: $18. AmEx, MC, V|