With nostalgia at the forefront, Carbone is plain gorgeous. While this big, bold, and beautiful ode to Italian-Americana comes alive at night under the low lights, lunch is equally admired among brash bankers with big appetites and Valentino-donning divas. That same sense of history pervades the entire space, which highlights plush banquettes, impressive ceramics, and glittering chandeliers. Was the striking tiled-floor inspired from a certain restaurant scene in The Godfather? Probably. Mid-century classics are what this menu is all about, but exalted ingredients, skill, and presentations will excite even the most cynical savant. Stylish servers—who work the floor with a little flirt and lot of flair—remain in character while presenting top antipasti like crusty garlic bread, soppressata, and fresh, particularly divine olive oil-dunked mozzarella. A Caesar salad tossed tableside with carb-worthy croutons and gently pickled white anchovies hits the ball out of the park, just as pale-yellow, ricotta-filled tortellini over an intensely rich and meaty ragù is a laudable delight. Desserts like a proper cheesecake set atop a cookie-crumb base and laced with lemon curd is New York in all its old-school glory.
- MICHELIN guide inspectors