At swell little Branzini, opened by chef Rick Moonen beneath the Library Hotel, the menu doesn’t lie. Small-plate starters really are small; too bad, because they’re habit-forming, such as four fat lobster ravioli in tomato-basil broth or a meaty crab cake over salad. The second course compensates in size, whether it’s a simple roasted chicken or the restaurant’s namesake fish, with lemon and olive oil. The true large plates, however, come as dessert. The warm banana tart is enormous and wonderful, and caramel seeps through the fruit. The midtown address guarantees a lunchtime crowd; to avoid the crush, stop by in the evening for a reasonably priced dinner.
299 Madison Ave
|Cross street:||at 41st St|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Sat 11:30am–11:30pm|
|Transport:||Subway: 42nd St S, 4, 5, 6, 7 to 42nd St–Grand Central|
|Price:||Average main course: $17. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V|