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L’Amico

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

849 Sixth Ave., New York, NY 10001 40.747181 -73.989703
at 30th St.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-201-4065 Send to Phone

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  • Cuisine: Italian, Pizza
  • Price Range: $$$

    Key to Prices and ratings

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    • Generally Excellent
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    • Good
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  • Critics' Rating: **

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Reader Rating: Write a Review

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Official Website

lamico.nyc

Hours

Mon-Sat, 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30-11pm; Sun, 11:30am-3:30pm

Nearby Subway Stops

N, R at 28th St.; B, D, F, M, N, Q, R at 34th St.-Herald Sq.

Prices

$13-$28

Payment Methods

American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Brunch - Weekend
  • Hot Spot
  • Lunch
  • Notable Chef
  • Outdoor Dining
  • Private Dining/Party Space
  • Online Reservation

Alcohol

  • Full Bar

Reservations

Recommended

Profile

Like a venerable touring theater director, Laurent Tourondel has mounted many productions over the years on a hundred different stages, although the setting for his latest restaurant, L’Amico, could be better. Casual Italian cooking is the theme of the maestro’s new production (past themes have included burgers, steak, and, as his most devoted fans will recall, the intricate glories of haute seafood), and the room sits off the north end of the lobby of the Eventi Hotel in the Flower District. The new Portuguese restaurant Lupulo happens to sit off the south end, which gives the whole operation an unfortunate food-court feel. L’Amico also borders the east side of the building, which means that on warm evenings, the windows are thrown open to the noisy chaos of Sixth Avenue and you can enjoy the fresh-baked aroma of your wood-fired pizza mingled with traffic fumes emanating from the street.

Thankfully, the quality of said pizza at L’Amico (like the quality of, say, the cod casserole or the grilled sardines at Lupulo) goes a long way toward mitigating these potentially challenging circumstances, and on a dark fall evening, with the windows shut tight and the wood-burning oven emitting pleasing baking smells from the corner of the open kitchen, you may not notice them at all. Tourondel is a Frenchman, but he and his chef de cuisine, Amy Eubanks, imbue their pizza with characteristics of both the New York and Neapolitan styles, which means the pie is a small, civilized size, the soft edges are puffed up in a comforting Neapolitan way, and the toppings are inventively sourced (try the classic soppressata, or the mushroom, or the strangely refreshing combination of shishito peppers, onions, and Esposito sausage), and the crust has a nicely charred New York crunch.

The same kind of skill goes into constructing the crostini (with three kinds of toppings, including peekytoe crab), the antipasti, and the pastas, although, in the custom of rustico Italian establishments everywhere, some of the portion sizes and the bounty of choices can be overwhelming. The veal-and-pork-meatball appetizer is a meal in itself, especially if you choose to complement these little monsters with a helping of yellowtail crudo (brightly flavored with shavings of lime) or a chunk of country toast, which the kitchen spreads with Gorgonzola, slices of roasted pear, and thick ribbons of prosciutto. If you’re still hungry, there are several salads to choose from (try the Brussels sprouts with salsify) and six varieties of ravioli and pasta, all covered with uniformly rich, gut-busting toppings like veal shoulder Bolognese (over the pipe rigate), spicy sausage (the fusilli), and disks of black truffle poured with brown butter (the excellent smoked-ricotta gnudi).

Being a hotel operation, L’Amico is also open for lunch as well as Sunday brunch, so you may want to return another time to the noisy little room to sample the entrées and desserts, several of which are a cut above the usual rustico experience. The poultry dishes I sampled (the pink, crispy-skinned duck breast with farro; the charred, lemony chunks of roast chicken) are textbook examples of the wood-oven-cooking technique, and the fillet of black sea bass (served over a pillow of olive-oil mashed potatoes) looked and tasted like an elegant holdover from one of Tourondel’s grand old seafood productions. Ditto the desserts, in particular a dense, caramel-colored apple-walnut cake, and the scoop of housemade Meyer-lemon gelato, which is folded with blue­berries and hidden bits of crunchy meringue and served inside a hollowed-out frozen lemon, atop a little pedestal of ice.

Note

L’Amico is only open for brunch on Sundays.

Related Stories

New York Magazine Reviews
Adam Platt’s Full Review(11/11/15)

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44 of Fall’s Most-Anticipated Restaurant Openings  (8/25/15)

Ideal Meal

Brussels-sprout salad, sausage pizza, black sea bass, Meyer-lemon gelato. 

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