L at First Ave.; A, C, E at Canal St.
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa
This venue is closed.
Della Rovere is an old-fashioned Italian madhouse. Sinatra songs bray incessantly from the sound system, and the bar is jammed most evenings with bands of gray-suited corporate revelers. The restaurant consists of two rooms and an open kitchen, and within this setup, every imaginable Italian-restaurant cliche is on display. If you peep in the kitchen, you'll even see that heartwarming, eternally Italian spectacle of portly, pink-cheeked chefs standing over steaming vats of pasta. Luckily, those portly chefs can cook. There's plenty of trendy crudi on the menu (try the anchovies, draped over a nice onion-and-raisin relish), and also cichetti (a newly fashionable Venetian version of tapas), which is presented in white bowls filled with milky ricotta, say, or pureed eggplant, or baby cauliflower tossed with anchovies. Among the pastas, there's a long, carrot-shaped gnocchi studded with pieces of good braised rabbit and a platter of superior tortellini stuffed with mashed osso buco and topped with crispy little nickels of bone marrow. If you're still upright after this barrage of earthy grub, the braised veal cheeks are good, and so is the Cornish hen, which is tinged with honey.Recommended Dishes
Pea-and-pancetta risotto, Osso buco tortellini, Veal cheeks, Milk-chocolate panna cotta.