Sun-Thu, 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m.; Fri-Sat, 5:30 p.m.-midnight
4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R at 14th St.-Union Sq.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Chris Jaeckle and Chris Cannon, two alumni of Michael White's pasta empire, have partnered up and opened their own Italian restaurant near Union Square. All'onda's housed in a gorgeous, bi-level space: The downstairs leaves ample room for drinking at the bar (or grabbing a bite without a reservation), while the upstairs is outfitted with comfortable booths, dim lighting, and sleek wooden rafters. It's stylish but not too fussy—and the food and the friendly, relaxed service matches the vibe. Like Charlie Bird or Estela, this restaurant works for both special occasions and a casual weeknight meal. You'll definitely want to sample at least one of the six pastas, and the best of the bunch is the bucatini with smoked uni and spicy breadcrumbs. The name All'onda actually refers to a style of soupy risotto, but the salty risotto nero with sepia, radicchio, and bottarga's actually the weakest pasta dish. Instead, opt for the lumache served in a ragù of aged duck, roasted livers, and, surprisingly, chocolate (it's not sweet, though), then topped with Treviso: The dish is hearty enough that it can pass as an entree. But the restaurant's real specialty is seafood, which shows through in the excellent monkfish dish with sea-urchin polenta, squid ink, and arugula. (If you're obsessed with uni, this is the place for you.) While the dessert menu's limited, the classic olive-oil cake with ricotta gelato is a perfect way to end the meal.Recommended Dishes
Lumache with aged duck ragù, $18; monkfish with sea-urchin polenta, $25; bucatini with smoked uni and spicy breadcrumbs, $19