Mon-Fri, 11am-midnight; Sat-Sun, 10:30am-midnight
1 at 145th St.
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Tonalli opened along a stretch of Broadway, in Hamilton Heights, that’s one of the most heavily concentrated Kentucky/Crown Fried Chicken areas in town. Actually, the owner, Angel Tenesaca, is Ecuadorian, and owns two nearby restaurants (Trufa, serving continental fare, and Picante Bar & Lounge, which has a Mexican menu). Ain’t that America! So why open a restaurant serving what he calls “renovated Italian” cuisine? “The neighborhood is dramatically changing,” says Tenesaca. “There are a lot of American people and students coming, and the neighborhood needs something different. Right now it’s only a choice of Latin food.” His team includes manager Derrick Monahan (a Red Rooster vet) and chef Omar Antonio, who has created a menu heavy on homemade pastas (fettuccini with Black Angus Bolognese; rigatoni alla puttanesca) and Panini (prosciutto with roasted red peppers; grilled vegetables with arugula). As for the best dish, Tenesaca reckons it’s (what else?) the burger.