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75 Solid

The Francophiliac restaurateur behind Balthazar and Pastis is behind this casual Italian restaurant.

211 Waverly Pl., New York, NY, 10014


Reserve on OpenTable

Known For

The lowdown

At this point in Keith McNally’s impressive career, it probably doesn’t matter where he situates his restaurants. The great franchiser of facile, casually racy Euro-style dining could open a brasserie in the Rockaways and people would still show up in their glittering limousines. The room, with its close ceiling and buffed brick walls, seems designed to convey a feeling of busyness and density. Unfortunately, this means the noise in the room reaches such bedlam levels that to ask your neighbor for the salt, you must yell like a lunatic at the top of your lungs. McNally’s singular contribution to the Zeitgeist is, of course, the faux French brasserie meal, which he helped introduce, in the ‘80s, at Odeon, then perfected at Balthazar. But Italian food is not news to New Yorkers, and there’s not much on the menu at Morandi that any restaurant hound hasn’t seen a hundred times before. In the flurry, keep an eye out for smaller, less complicated items, like the salty fritto misto containing crunchy, fresh head-on shrimp, and the frizzled artichokes served with their stalks, just like in Rome.

Adam Platt

What you need to know

DrinksFull Bar

Noise LevelBring earplugs!