Mon-Wed, 5pm-11pm; Thu-Fri, 5pm-11:30pm; Sat, 11am-11:30pm; Sun, 11am-11pm
1, 2, 3 at 96th St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
89rd St. to 112th St., Central Park West to Riverside Dr.
The name signifies a gimmick, but it's a welcome one. Every region of Italy is represented by at least one dish on Regional's menu, making for a refreshing change from the profusion of cookie-cutter Italian joints in the area. The distinction continues in the décor: Two stacks of wine barrels and alternating green and orange canvases adorn an otherwise sleekly sparse space. In the culinary fog of the Upper West Side, Regional is a beacon of consistent cooking. If the main dishes are consistently average (cod over wan peppers and onions, tasty but grisly lamb chops), the pastas are consistently excellent, especially simple preparations and those with rich ragus. Fettuccine comes tangled with a mess of mushrooms and artichokes. And the rabbit and veal ragus that coat the papperdelle and twisty strozzapreti, respectively, qualify as real bargains.