With craft-beer bars proliferating these days, only a blockbuster like Eataly’s rooftop brewpub could stir you from your IPA-induced stupor. While other newcomers fostered loyal regulars, La Birreria has been a destination drinkery since Day One, practically demanding a pilgrimage to its lofty perch to worship at the altar of Italian brewing. Finally, Gotham’s brewhounds had a direct line to one of the world’s most exciting new beer regions: an unprecedented stash of beers from the Boot, as well as innovative house-made ales reflecting trends on both sides of the Atlantic. You guzzled them all with accomplished rustic eats (fat probusto sausages, fennel-laced quail, gorgeous salumi) that were as satisfying 15 stories high as they would be at a taverna in the Italian alps. 200 Fifth Ave at 23rd St (212-937-8910, eatalyny.com/eat/birreria)
Settepani may not serve the “seven breads” that its name recalls, but it does offer up a widely varied menu of Italian flatbreads, salads, pastas and other entrees. Start out with small bites like the spicy jumbo shrimps ($12), assorted bruschetta ($8) or flatbread with prosciutto and arugula ($14) before moving on to larger dishes. Why not follow the Italian tradition and order both a primi and secondi course? The spaghetti di mare with assorted seafood ($20) might lead to the grilled branzino ($27), and the bucatini with sardines, pine nuts, fennel and black currant ($18) would go nicely with the osso bucco with saffron risotto ($32). It’s not just for dinner, either—stop in before 4pm to order off the egg-laden brunch menu. Go for the classics, like quiche with ham and gruyere ($12) or eggs benedict ($14), or order up a freshly made flatbread for breakfast. When in Rome, right?
Venue says: “Join us EVERY Thursday from 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm for Ode to Harlem: A Night of Live Jazz! Quartet, 4/27 - Tine Bruhn. OUTDOOR CAFE IS NOW OPEN”