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Lenox Hill
In this basement cave near Bloomingdale’s, diners ricochet like pinballs through the dolled-up, packed-tight crowd. The printed menu is really secondary; servers impressively recite the day’s three dozen or so specials from memory. Of the seafood-heavy picks, an immense Dover sole is the house favorite; gambling with whatever’s in season, such as lightly fried soft-shell crabs, also generally proves a safe bet. Pastas, like bowties dressed with bacon, portobello mushrooms and spinach, are well executed, and the simple, tasty grilled veal chop could feed half the Upper East Side. The kitchen presents such dessert classics as ricotta cheesecake and tiramisu, but after enjoying the generous portions and numerous tastes thrown in, few diners make it that far.
Venue name: Scalinatella
Address: 201 E 61st St
New York
Cross street: between Second and Third Aves
Opening hours: Mon–Sat noon–3pm, 5–11:30pm; Sun 5–10:30pm
Transport: Subway: F to Lexington Ave–63rd St; N, R to Lexington Ave–59th St; 4, 5, 6 to 59th St
Price: Average main course: $35. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V
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