Sun-Thu, noon-11pm; Fri-Sat, noon-midnight
7 at Vernon Blvd.-Jackson Ave.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
49th Ave. to 43rd Ave., Jackson Ave. to Center Blvd.
With its reclaimed wood and whitewashed brick, Testaccio has the feel of an updated Tuscan barn. Soaring ceilings stow a small loft cleverly separated from the dining room below by a glass wall that multitasks as a glamorous wine rack. Groups sit around wide, family-style tables, sharing sprawling platters of crusty bruschetta and wooden platters heavy with antipasti like artfully frittered artichokes. A bright salad of tri-colored tomatoes, accented by crunchy chunks of tomatillo, is another a strong starter. A domed, wood-burning oven produces surprisingly uninteresting pizza crusts, but the pies are saved by inventive toppings—a spicy salamino adds smoky flavor and chewy texture. The mains on the menu offer a mixed bag of highs and lows: The spaghetti carbonara is a perfect al dente, its bits of guanciale hitting the palate like salty little pillows. Compare the delights of that dish to the disappointment of a $30 bland, oversauced filet, the accompaniment a soupy mess of a polenta gratin. Wines by the glass are poured with a heavy hand—sipping one in the rustic space might transport you to Italy, but the accents of your fellow diners will bring you right back to Queens County.Recommended Dishes
Insalata di pomidori, $11; spaghetti alla carbonara, $16