Mon-Sat, 11:30am-10:30pm; Sun, closed
4, 5, 6 at 59th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
46th St. to 66th St., FDR Dr. to Sixth Ave.
Montebello has been a mainstay of upscale Northern Italian fare for nearly two decades, with a sturdy menu heavy on the seafood and pasta of the region. Suits meet in the afternoon for lunch, settling in the brown banquettes to crunch numbers over capellini; out-of-town parents and nervous first dates crowd the place in the evening. The decorating feels like by-the-numbers mid-eighties—inoffensive, but a little bland, with peach walls, oversized wine bottles, and candlelight flickering over giant, incomplete Da Vinci–ish sketches. Fish specials, like a whole roast monkfish or a sautéed sole, deboned at the table, are popular, as well as the pasta specials with white wine, fresh garlic, chopped tomatoes, and basil that servers prepare on portable stoves. Avoid the suspiciously affordable pre fixe menu, which offers all the dining mediocrity one dreads; goopy eggplant Parmesan, a veal overpowered with sherry, dry breaded chicken breast, and a stale chocolate mousse cake drizzled with Hershey’s syrup. Stick to the dinner menu; its popular regional seafood specialties are much better bets.Recommended Dishes
Capellini di angelo, $27; coda de rospo, $37