Emilio’s Ballato

Restaurants, Italian Nolita
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
3 Love It
Save it
 (Photograph: Tia Ryan)
Photograph: Tia Ryan
Emilio's Ballato
 (Photograph: Tia Ryan)
Photograph: Tia Ryan
Emilio's Ballato
 (Photograph: Tia Ryan)
Photograph: Tia Ryan
Emilio's Ballato
 (Photograph: Tia Ryan)
Photograph: Tia Ryan
Emilio's Ballato
Houston Street can feel like a no-man’s land, and this solid (if unspectacular) restaurant would likely benefit from a change of address. At its current location, formal waiters peddle tender fried calamari and creamy mozzarella with roasted red peppers to hardly a peep of fanfare. Middle-aged, Sinatra-loving regulars dine on well-balanced veal saltimbocca and skillfully blended fettuccine or rigatoni bolognese. In a private dining room, the owner hosts buddies like Denzel Washington, Lenny Kravitz and Russell Crowe.


Venue name: Emilio’s Ballato
Address: 55 E Houston St
New York
Cross street: between Mott and Mulberry Sts
Opening hours: Mon–Fri noon–11pm; Sat 4pm–midnight; Sun 4–11pm
Transport: Subway: B, D, F, V to Broadway–Lafayette St; 6 to Bleecker St
Price: Average main course: $16. AmEx, DC, MC, V
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Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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1 person listening
Jason K

The owner of this restaurant is a James Gandolfini type who screamed at us for five minutes when we pointed out that his waiter had charged us an extra $19 for our veal parmigiana. The menu listed chicken or veal parmigiana for $23 with another price scribbled out net to it. I thought they had decided to charge the same for each item, but they apparently assumed that the patron would understand that veal should cost more, so without a word they add $42 to the tab, nearly double the other items in that section. One would expect the owner to apologize for the "confusion," -- hell, I would have split the difference with him to end the matter -- but instead, Mr. Gandolfini, or whatever his name is, silenced the restaurant by repeatedly yelling, "I don't need your money!" and standing nearby breathing heavily and glaring at us menacingly. One goes to a restaurant to relax, but I wound up worrying that this guy was going to call his thugs out of the kitchen to break our kneecaps. We left more than the billed amount in cash, so he and his clever waiter could work out the tip. But I'm still a little rattled. The food was nothing to write home about, and now I have to wonder if I am safe walking around the neighborhood. 

Adam R

Emilio has a Deliciously designed menu.  He cares about the preparation involved in making food delicious.  I recommend everything on the menu.  If he likes you, a special focaccia style pizza may arrive.

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