Scoring courtside seats to the NBA Finals is arguably easier than scoring a reservation before ten o’clock at Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi’s new-school take on an old-school red sauce joint. Packed every night with celebrities, scenesters, and a first rate, maroon bow tie-clad wait staff, Carbone serves up traditional Italian food for hipsters while Frank Sinatra croons from every corner. Everything on the newspaper sized menu is perfectly executed, but we here at Harden are especially partial to the ceasar salad alla ZZ, spicy rigatoni vodka, lobster fra diavolo, and the pizza-sized veal parm. The Daiquiri–tinged with chartreuse–is not to be missed, and neither is the carrot cake–without a doubt the most mouthwatering of all of the desserts on the massive dessert cart. If you don’t leave Carbone feeling uncomfortably full, you’re doing something wrong.
181 Thompson St
New York, NY 10012