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I thought it was Tuscan—Now it’s English?

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Given chef-partner Todd English’s heritage, it’s now sophisticated (Todd) Calabrian (his grandparents) with a little Bronx (Mom), tossed in for feeding titan Jeffrey Chodorow’s third try on this corner. We’re eating cute. Let the waiter explain. Just say two courses for the table ($34 per person) or three ($39). Wait-crew in wing formation brings it on. Savory little balls of cod and arancini oozing mozzarella. Eat them hot. Crostini, inevitably. A platter of salumi with rhubarb mostarda, a sophistication beyond Calabria and the Bronx, too. Buffalo mozzarella ($15 extra) gets massaged tableside, then too rubberized (for me) in the sauté pan. My pal spies a big bowl of eggplant caponata passing by. “Why didn’t we get that?” she cries. “It’s not too late,” our server insists, apologizing. And then a swoop of mostly delicious pastas disarms. Al dente spaghettini with clams in tomato sauce is impressive, and I’m wild about macaroni and cheese—shells in a marvelous cheese melt under a garlicky crumb crust. Tonight’s entrées, orata, pleasant chicken cacciatore, and properly fatty brisket, are ignored as the four of us share the 28-ounce bistecca ($45 extra). Like the steaks of Italy, it’s tasty and really tough. But the parmigiana-sprinkled arugula salad alongside is exquisite. Some good grub here, but it’s more a feast for gluttons than gourmands. What will happen when I want to eat what I want to eat?
English is Italian
622 Third Ave., at 40th St.; 212-404-1700.


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