6 at 77th St.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
69th St. to 89th St., East End Ave. to Fifth Ave.
This venue is closed.
The 10021 zip code gave a genteel cheer when specialty grocer Agata & Valentina opened a restaurant across the street from the store. This built-in fan base buoyed the restaurant through its first few months, as the kitchen developed more complex Italian dishes than the grocery's take-home standards. Now settled in as a polished spot all its own with a distinct Sicilian character, A&V turns out flavors that are assertive, occasionally surprising, and often salty: Bottarga (tuna roe) delivers an intense, briny snap to spaghetti with pine nuts and lemon zest; tennis-ball-size arancini (fried, stuffed rice balls) soak up a strongly seasoned beef ragu and the pasta pesto might catch you off guard with its ruddy, tomato-based, almond-sweetened sauce. The warmly lit dining room—from the buzzy, high-ceilinged area up front to the quieter, low-ceilinged space in back—reaches a busy peak in the morning, when undercaffeinated neighbors flock to the espresso bar.Group Dining
A mezzanine-level dining room can be booked for private parties of up to 40 people.Recommended Dishes
Arancini di riso, $12; spaghetti alla bottarga di tonno, $18