As you might guess from the name, Carbone is all about Italian-American cuisine. Created by Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick, this Greenwich Village joint is a quirky mix of elegant and unpretentious in the decor, and oversized portions and fine dining in the food. It’s a great combination. In fact, Carbone is catnip to Italian food loving locals, with many longstanding favourites gracing the comprehensive menu, including Linguine Vongole and Veal Parmesan.
The décor here conjures the old school Italian-American restaurants of mid-20th century New York. We’re talking crisp white table linens and chequerboard tiled floors; there’s even a red neon sign beckoning you inside. When you do venture in, waiters in maroon tuxedos and bowties glide about the room, bringing dish after dish of beautifully crafted Italian classics to expectant diners. Lobster Ravioli comes winging around one corner, then a plate of Osso Bucco or Lamb Chops. Perhaps some creamed escarole or the Prime Porterhouse (for two – if you can bring yourself to share). Indeed, all manner of pasta, meat and fish dishes are represented here.
For the true Carbone experience, start your meal with a cocktail (a Manhattan would be appropriate), before skimming the delectable wine list for an appropriately full-bodied red, and then let the fun begin.