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Photograph: Caroline Voagen NelsGnocchi at Rafele

Time Out says

Naples-born Raffaele Ronca, formerly chef at Bellavitae and Palma, debuts his first solo project: a 70-seat, bi-level trattoria devoted to his Italian roots and adopted New York home. Ronca works local ingredients (Long Island fish, Ottomanelli grass-fed meats and produce from upstate's Blooming Hill Farm) into traditional antipasti, primi and secondi dishes. Take a seat at the Venetian-marble counter and watch him pull plates from a mammoth brick oven in the dining room, where terra-cotta floors and reclaimed wood outfit the space. The imported wood-burning hearth from Acunto, an esteemed Italian manufacturer since 1892, lends a smoky scent to most dishes on the menu, including a boneless roasted chicken accompanied by kale and ramps, a tomato-based zuppa de pesce and porchetta-style pork belly. Ronca also douses the wood with different spirits (brandy, grappa) to add an extra layer of flavor. Downstairs, a glass-enclosed wine cellar housing 70 European selections doubles as an intimate private dining room, with a 20-seat table crafted from old beams.


29 Seventh Ave South
New York
Cross street:
at Morton St
Subway: A, C, E, B, D, F, M to W 4th St; 1 to Houston St
Average main course: $24. AmEx, MC, V
Opening hours:
Daily 5pm–midnight
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