Daily, noon-3pm and 5pm-11pm
4, 5, 6 at 59th St.; N, Q, R at Lexington Ave.-59th St.; F at Lexington Ave.-63rd St.
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa
56th St. to 63rd St., First Ave. to Park Ave.
Warm, intimate Canaletto applies its namesake Venetian painter's fluid style and eye for detail to Northern Italian cooking. Past the cozy bar is a softly lit dining room studded with wine racks, a collection of majolica, and widely spaced tables. While you peruse the menu, the server delivers a small plate of sopressata and parmigiano-reggiano, a ramekin of sun-dried tomato spread, and a basket filled with warm bread, hand-made breadsticks, and squares of tomato-topped focaccianone of it innovative, but all of it expertly prepared. The Carciofini e Funghi, a tangle of luscious, earthy, crisply sautéed artichoke hearts and shiitake mushrooms, comes with garlicky olive oil and a crust of bread to mop it up with. But not every dish is sublime: the carpaccio, delicate slices of gleaming raw beef arrayed with slivered raw mushroom caps, petite slabs of parmesan, and a shock of arugula, is bellissimo, but the meat is so chilled it blunts the flavor. Tagliatelle, one of several fresh pastas, is tossed with brawny wild mushrooms and diced tomatoes, its skillful composition transforming the humble ingredients into memorable, well-blended flavors. Desserts are equally accomplished. Ricotta cheesecake, dotted with fresh berries, is so fluffy you'll be floating back onto 60th Street on a cloud of lemony sweetness.Recommended Dishes
Carciofini e funghi saltati, $11.50; pollo all’aceto balsamico, $24; tagliatelle ai funghetti di bosco, $19