Mon-Thu, 6:30am-8:30pm; Fri, 6:30am-6pm; Sat-Sun, closed
6 at 51st St.; E, M at Fifth Ave.-53rd St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
47th St. to 57th St., Third Ave. to Sixth Ave.
The sit-down and takeout offshoot of the Scotto family's Fresco restaurant just down the block runs with the Italian theme while taking its cues from lunchtime standards—soups, sandwiches, burritos and even stir-fries, with some of the cooking done at the individual stations. A few of the Italian dishes shine, particularly Mom's Meatball Lasagna, layered with fluffy ricotta, savory meat and fresh red sauce, as well as the cooked-to-order pastas tossed with earthy sautéed veggies. The grilled pizzas have a crisp, lopsided homemade crust, though the line at the counter can prevent them from getting cooked to full heat, and the Tuscan white bean soup uses a tomato-based broth rather than a puree. Sandwiches and salads, like the tangy herbed tuna, tend to fare better than hot panini—the flavors of prosciutto and mozzarella get lost in the bread. Stuffed potatoes, wok dishes, and homemade baked goods, among them a brownie-like chocolate oatmeal cookie, are more of the options that keep Midtown's junior execs coming back. The tables are often full upon entering, but tend to turn over quickly, and the terracotta colors whet the appetite for a Tuscan, or New Tuscan, feast.Extra
Fresco serves pancakes, omelets and muffins in the morning, and caters parties as well. A few sidewalk tables open up in the spring.Recommended Dishes
Mom's meatball lasagna, $10.95; pasta with sausage and sautéed vegetables, $9.95; chocolate oatmeal cookie, $1.95