Take a retrospective peek into the lavish lifestyles of the Gambino crime family in Gotti, a stylish den that serves up hearty Italian plates from start to finish. Before the feasting begins, park yourself at the dimly lit bar for a quick perk-me-up of the Capo Limoncello ($22), a refreshingly tangy Sicilian aperitif. There you can marvel at the unapologetically swanky interiors dominated by marbled mezzanine floors, lush velvet seats and shimmering gold metal detailing. All it takes is a thumping playlist and some fine Italian hospitality to make you feel like the real Teflon Don – or at least, part of his entourage.
In the kitchen, chef Ilham tends to the electric fire oven and kneads his bespoke 36-hour proof dough which will become the base for all pizzas in the restaurant. Inspired by the Sicilian Neapolitan pizza (from $28), his tweaked signature results in an evenly blistered crust that eats thicker than the usual Neapolitan-style pies, so expect a chewier bite. There's also a wide range of antipasti, pasta, risotto and hearty mains but the standout for us had to be the Branzino Livornese ($38). It is a smoky crisped-skin slab of seabass that sits on a garlic-spiked tomato sauce. To introduce a pop of colour and texture, zesty salsa and crushed pistachios are added as garnish.
An Italian feast isn't complete without decadent desserts that will require a nap after. Expect cannolis ($16), tiramisu ($16), parfaits ($14) and Bailey's affogato ($12) to satisfy your sweet tooth. You can also migrate back to the bar for a nice digestif or work your way through the curated cocktail list that pays homage to the five boroughs of New York City as well as, Sicily, Italy. You might learn a thing or two as each drink comes with an interesting anecdote tailored to spotlight John Gotti's climb to power in the Gambino crime family. We enjoyed The Wise Guy ($26), a stiff pecorino-laced martini with fat olives and the Cosa Nostra ($26), a wineskin-aged Negroni.