By: Debra Liu
Looking for a warm and cozy place to enjoy fresh pasta and risotto? Look no further. Radicchio Pasta & Risotto, located in Midtown East, is the perfect place for a delicious lunch time meal (definitely way better than the sandwich you slapped together last minute, I promise) or a romantic Italian dinner for two (your date will be impressed by how cute and quaint this place is).
Radicchio Pasta and Risotto opened its doors almost two decades ago in New Jersey and was introduced to New York City by Sati Sharma, the owner of the Brick Lane Restaurant Group, who bought the NJ-based restaurant a few years ago. Sharma is a passionate foodie, a chef as well, and wanted to bring the high-quality, homemade pasta goodness of Radicchio to NYC. Chef Daniel Felix Montoya, who has been with Radicchio since its inception 18 years ago, is still the chef who personally prepares all the pastas and risottos. When I visited the restaurant last week, Chef Montoya was out looking for the freshest ingredients in preparation for that evening’s dinner service.
As for the menu offerings, let’s start with dessert. Radicchio’s Chocolate Lava Cake is to-die-for. According to Harish Naik, the Manager of Radicchio, the delectable cake takes a while to make but people love it so much, they are willing to wait. When it comes to the more savory items, among the most popular are the Black Linguini Seafood which comes with mussels, clams, shrimp, scallops and squid, the New Zealand Lamb Chops made with a rosemary balsamic reduction, and the Pan Seared Calamari. Their lunch specials are super affordable too; you can get a Grilled Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo with a salad or soup for only $11. As such, Radicchio has a lot of loyal customers who come regularly for lunch. And to sweetly top it off, when you order lunch for delivery, they even give you fresh baked biscotti on-the-house!
The restaurant is special, not only because of the homemade pasta, but for its low-key, and romantic ambience. When you walk into Radicchio, you immediately realize how warm and cozy the restaurant is. The small space, the music, the single tables, lends itself to be the perfect romantic dining experience for couples. “It’s a great date spot and couples love this place,” says Naik.
So, the next time you are craving pasta for lunch, don’t just boil some boxed pasta and pour some store-bought marinara sauce and call it a day, order from Radicchio’s because their fresh, homemade pastas will leave you feeling blissfully happy and satisfied.
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