In the wrong hands, a shoebox restaurant with bare walls and red lacquer tables could easily land on the icy side of cooler-than-thou. But the friendly spirit at Mangiarini is so warm and genuine, it makes the flickering candlelight almost redundant. Standards like fried calamari and lasagna are gussied up with caper aioli and pesto. For dessert, banana bread pudding is good, panna cotta is better, and palle di ricotta (deep-fried ricotta balls) are best, especially once your fork hits the mother-lode of warm, oozing chocolate.
1593 Second Ave
|Cross street:||between 82nd and 83rd Sts|
|Opening hours:||Daily 4–11pm|
|Transport:||Subway: 4, 5, 6 to 86th St|
|Price:||Average main course: $18. AmEx, MC, V|
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