Mon-Fri, 11:30am-11:30pm; Sat, 4pm-11:30pm; Sun, 4pm-11pm
7 at Fifth Ave.; B, D, F, M at 47th-50th Sts.-Rockefeller Center
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
40th St. to 50th St., Lexington Ave. to Eighth Ave.
ReSette, meaning "seven kings," derives its name from an Italian card game's winning hand. But this Midtown Italian restaurant doesn't play around. Serving elegantly dressed businessmen and backpack-toting tourists, it presents the rustic flavors of Bari, the capital of the Puglia region famous for its fruity olive oils, durum wheat pasta, and simply prepared vegetables, seafood, and meats. But ReSette is not afraid to borrow from the North or to innovate: The Del Re version of pizza is baked with an ingeniously sweet and salty mixture of fig jam, caramelized onions, prosciutto, and gorgonzola cheese. The interior is eclectic: An unusually vertical and dramatically spotlit black bar stocked with multiple tiers of wine bottles rules the front room; a flickering electric candelabrum above creates a Baroque, Phantom of the Opera feel. The back room charms with salmon-hued walls, exposed brick, and brown leather banquettes. Most importantly, the kitchen performs. Calamari are lightly breaded and flash-fried, resulting in uncommonly tender rings that stand up to spicy marinara sauce. Even baby pork tenderloin, sauced with a tantalizingly port wine reduction, has unusual zing. Pastas are homemade—the squid-ink linguini puttanesca abounds in lively olives and capers. At dinner, everyone wins.Recommended Dishes
Calamari dorati, $14