Mon-Fri, 11:30am-11pm; Sat-Sun, noon-11pm
6 at 77th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
63rd St. to 83rd St., York Ave. to Fifth Ave.
Upscale eastsiders, including families towing SUV-size strollers, love the sprawling, saffron-colored dining room inside Petaluma and its Northern California vibe—sizable windows, large tables, plush seating. Petaluma's version of Italian is serviceable but in most dishes unadventurous: crispy, wood-fired brick oven pizzas with Gruyere or prosciutto; pastas in savory sauces, and crowd-pleasing grilled meats and fish. The excellent Risotto Porcini Tartufato is firm to the bite, nutty, and satisfyingly creamy. Fegato Veneziana (calf's liver), sautéed in onions and seasoned with vinegar and bay leaf, was subtle—but unevenly cooked. One piece was tender, the other tough. The veal dishes are preeminent. Piccata con limone e capper (veal scaloppini with lemon and capers) has enough tang to accent but not overpower the meat. Also delicious is the scallopine dello chef, tender, spicy, medallions of veal cooked in fresh herbs and a tomato sauce, with melted mozzarella pouring down the sides like lava. Petaluma also nods to its namesake town in Northern California by offering a wide selection of Italian and Californian wines, plus select Australian reds. Desserts are homemade: Chocolate soufflé has a wonderfully gooey fudge interior, and the airy, cautiously sweet tirami su is one of the best (and largest) in town.Recommended Dishes
Bresaola alba (cured beef with mushrooms, parmesan, lemon, and truffle oil), $13.50; pizza tre sapori (goat cheese, roasted pepper, and sausage), $15.50; scalopine dello chef (veal with fresh herbs, tomatoes, and mozzarella gratin), $19; tirami su, $8