- Il Gattopardo
33 West 54th Street, 212-246-0412
It used to be that the humble Italian-American meatball never went anywhere without its constant companion, spaghetti. Recently, though, thanks to the surge in popularity of a more authentic southern-Italian cooking—or perhaps because of creative differences with its former pasta partner—meatballs have gone solo, assuming leading roles in restaurants from the Rocco DiSpirito–revamped Tuscan to Frank DeCarlo’s Peasant spinoff, Ápizz. Our award, however, goes to the unimpeachably authentic Neapolitan version at Il Gattopardo. Made from veal and beef and wrapped in an almost translucent Savoy-cabbage leaf that seals in the juices and makes for cute little bundles that resemble Shanghai dumplings, they’re much lighter than their Americanized cousins, airiness being the mark of a good meatball. Salerno-born chef Vito Gnazzo serves them three to an order as an appetizer on a bed of baby greens with a fragrant thyme-white-wine sauce—one bite and you’ll never think of them as spaghetti’s sidekick again. .
From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
Where can you find the city’s top dog groomer? Last-minute tailor? Beef tongue? We eat, drink, dance, shop, shvitz, and trampoline our way around the city, not to mention poll scores of in-the-know colleagues, hard-partying friends, opinionated family members, and, this year, a team of guest expert bloggers to bring you answers to all of the above questions, and hundreds more, in the form of our annual “Best of New York” issue.