Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Mia Dona
206 E. 58th St., nr. Third Ave.; 212-750-8170
Michael Psilakis, a proven meatball master, has taken the logical next step: introducing these soft and airy orbs to a bowl of spaghetti.
Spaghetti al Pomodoro
355 W. 14th St., nr. Ninth Ave.; 212-691-0555
As widely celebrated as Scott Conant’s signature is, it’s not without its critics—or make that critic—namely a blogger named Giorgio Armani, which only proves you can’t believe everything you read online.
- Capri Caffé
165 Church St., nr. Chambers St.; 212-513-1358
What makes this $7.50 plate of penne such a bargain is the sweet cherry tomatoes imported from Capri, and the kitchen’s knack for never overcooking the pasta.
25 W. Houston, nr. Greene St.; 212-219-2113
They serve Mamma Dora Marzovilla’s exquisitely textured handmade dumplings here in the classic Apulian way, with broccoli rabe.
Linguine with Clams
- Del Posto
85 Tenth Ave., nr. 16th St.; 212-497-8090
Locavores, avert your gaze: The secret is the singular vongole verace overnighted from the Veneto with a brief layover in Holland to skirt a pesky customs regulation.
45 Tudor Pl., at 42nd St.; 212-599-5045
Where some carbonaras are frighteningly gloppy, this modern interpretation is smooth as silk thanks to an unusual chicken-stock-enhanced pecorina fonduta.
141 E. 57th St., nr. Lexington Ave.; 212-826-7101
The classic Emilia-Romagna version: an orderly stack of skinny pasta sheets fortified with a rich ragù alla Bolognese and judicious lashings of Parmigiano-Reggiano throughout.
402 W. 43rd St., at Ninth Ave.; 212-564-7272
Maybe the last thing you’d expect to find at a fancy fish house: delicate sheep’s-milk gnocchi in a vibrant tomato sauce. Neglect them at your own peril.
777 Seventh Ave., at 51st St.; 212-582-1310
Marco Canora’s gnocchi are legend; his featherlight Swiss-chard gnudi (pictured), afloat in a Parmesan broth, might be even better.
Here’s the best of the basics.
From the 2009 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).