Sun-Thu, 11:30am-11:30pm; Fri, 11:30am-midnight; Sat, 11am-midnight
1 at 125th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
120th St. to 132nd St., Eighth Ave. to Riverside Dr.
Up near 125th Street, where the 1 train rises out of its tunnel and bounds north on Broadway above ground, Bettolona serves straightforward Italian to neighborhood regulars and Columbia students. Pizzas are featherweight, judiciously topped, and charred by the flames of a wood-fired oven. Bowls of pasta arrive at the table steaming hot and laden with chunks of eggplant and pillows of soft, fresh ricotta. Not every dish is a winner; an antipasti of truffled asparagus is a bit disjointed ó the thick truffle-laced sauce seems to want nothing to do with the spears it’s meant to coat, and drips off leaving the vegetable bare. But the smoky scent from the pizza oven fills the spacious dining room and makes you forgive any missteps. Plus, wines by the glassóa mouth-pleasing Montepulciano or a darkóChiantiórange from just $6 to $9. Even when you tack on a taste from the dessert list (a standard but perky tiramisu, perhaps?), Bettolona’s prices can have a table of two out the door for under $70.Recommended Dishes
Insalata Romana, $9; prosciutto pizza, $12.50; penne Siciliana, $11.50