Mon-Fri, 11:30am-10:30pm; Sat, 5pm-10:30pm; Sun, 4pm-9pm
6 at 33rd St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
You may not find a wiseguy in the joint, but you get the feeling Tony Soprano would approve of Villa Berulia. A gratifying mix of mafioso camaraderie and hearty Northern Italian-American fare attracts a casual, over-45 crowd to this Midtown throwback with dark-wood accents and glassed-in wine cabinets. Filtered light splashes a pinkish shade—and eighties pall—over much of the restaurant. That's only apropos since the walls are hung with pictures in gilded frames. In the dining area, arched nooks create cozy, if cold, dining spaces. A familiar list of antipasti, from fried calamari to Mozzarella Caprese, anchors the list of starters, while entrees slant heavily to grilled and sautéed meats. The kitchen is usually reliable. The thick slab of Black Angus filet mignon arrives juicy and tender; the brandy peppercorn sauce packs so much heat it overwhelms the meat. Mediterranean sea bass fares better: Garlic, plum tomatoes, and herbs add lively notes to flakey white meat. The list of pastas is short, but don't let that deter you: Near-perfect agnolotti—tender spinach crescents stuffed with mascarpone cheese and purée of artichoke hearts in a decadent vodka sauce—may alone justify your trip.Recommended Dishes
Agnoloti, $18; spigola al marichiaro, $25