This midtown trattoria set up shop decades before serious Italian restaurants were a lira a dozen (A Voce, we’re looking at you). The food at Lidia Bastianich’s 58th Street gem is as exuberant as it was when it opened nearly 30 years ago. An octopus “mosaic” is a brilliant dish—an impossibly delicate slice of cephalopod terrine spiked with chives and served with expertly charred tentacles. Pastas, including the ravioli-like krafi, stuffed with mild cheese and sweet, plump raisins, are uniformly fantastic; larger dishes like a three-way veal (braised cheeks, tenderloin and sweetbreads) are as smartly composed as any you’re likely to see. Consider it required eating.
243 E 58th St
|Cross street:||between Second and Third Aves|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Thu noon–2:30pm, 4:30–10:30pm; Fri noon–2:30pm, 5–11:30pm; Sat 5–11:30pm; Sun 4–10pm|
|Transport:||Subway: N, R, W to Lexington Ave–59th St; 4, 5, 6 to 59th St|
|Price:||Average main course: $30. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V|