Novita Italian Restaurant: There is nothing I like better than when I unexpectedly get wowed by restaurant. We were staying at Gramercy Park Hotel (Click here to read our review of Gramercy Park Hotel) and we asked the concierge for his recommendation for a great Italian restaurant in New York. We wanted something nearby, had great food, great wine and was a more bit more upscale. Instantly, he recommended Novita, which was literally just around the block (less than a five minute walk from the hotel).
Since I had never heard of Novita Italian Restaurant in New York, I was a bit skeptical, and wondered if maybe he was recommending it solely because it was nearby, and that it may not meet my other criteria. Oh, how wrong I was! From start to finish, Novita surpassed my every single expectation!
We arrived at Novita on time, only to find our table was not quite ready. We were offered a seat at the bar and a complimentary drink while we waited. The small bar area was cramped, but the scent of the food and upscale atmosphere made it not only bearable, but made our anticipation for what was to come, grow. While we waited, we took the time to scope out the diners and the décor.
The décor was casual, yet decidedly upscale, with medium colored walls and peachy/beige walls. The double-layered, white cloth covered tables were closely packed together and adorned with small candles, nice cutlery, and "nothing special" wine glasses. Somehow, the mix of elegant and ordinary worked well for Novita.
The patrons at Novita were definitely dressed for an upscale Italian dinner; most of the men were clad in jackets, and the women were dressed for a night out in New York. However, sans jacket and dressed in just dressy jeans and a long-sleeved, trendy shirt, I still felt very much at home. Novita was much more about substance than style.
After a short ten minute wait, we were showed to our table. Walking through the crowded restaurant made me glad we made reservations for Novita Italian Restaurant, I highly, highly recommend you do the same!
Novita’s menu was large enough that choosing our dishes was difficult; there were just too many great things to pick from! However, with some help from our knowledgeable and service oriented waiter, we placed our order: corn soup with avocado and crab for both me and my dining partner, and an order of shrimp stuffed calamari to share, followed by lamb ragu for my main course, and lobster spaghetti as my partner’s main course. Our wine (from their extensive wine list) was a gorgeous Italian Brunello.
Our first dish, the corn soup with avocado and crab was amazing, it was sweet, and the avocado added some texture and flavor. The crab was fresh and tasty as well. What a beautiful dish to start our night.
The shrimp stuffed calamari was delectable, it came with two sauces, but it was so good that we barely touched the sauces.
Our main courses were, in a word, bombastic; in two words, fantastic bombastic! The lamb ragu was saucy and scrumptious; thinking about it now makes me start salivating for its sensational taste. The lobster spaghetti was just as good. We are always on the lookout for a lobster spaghetti which measures up to the dishes we’ve had in the south of Italy, and Novita’s rendition surely did just that.
By the end of our dinner, we were had no room left, but the waiter’s description of the tiramisu just didn’t let us go without at least sampling it. We placed an order for one piece to share, thinking we’d just "taste" it. Needless to say, it didn’t take us long to devour the whole thing. As with every dish we had at Novita, the tiramisu was beyond delectable.
Throughout dinner, service was attentive to the point we felt like the most important people in the room. Never did we feel rushed or ignored; it was the perfect mix.
Novita Italian Restaurant in New York easily gets our rating of bombastic. If you want a great Italian restaurant in New York, be sure to reserve a table at Novita.
What I liked: Everything
What I didn’t like: Nothing
Address and Telephone Number for Novita Restaurant in New York: 102 East 22nd Street
New York, NY 10010