Buon Appetito: 14 of NYC's Most Romantic Italian Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 02/06/2013
Photo: Phil Kline
321 W. 46th St., 212-246-9171, Theatre District, Manhattan
Lovers of a certain age or couples who are into Gilded Age dining experiences will be enraptured by Barbetta, open since 1906 (and still run by the same family after all these years). The interiors of the 19th-century town house (once owned by the Astors) are embellished with Piemontese antiques, candelabra and a grand chandelier worthy of Liberace. In back is a lush garden complete with a cherub-adorned fountain. The entire experience is anti-hip and the opposite of rustic Italian. The $58 prix-fixe menu is traditional as can be and geared toward pretheater dining, featuring crespelle, garganelli in a simple tomato-basil sauce and beef braised in red wine. On Friday and Saturday nights, a pianist tickles the ivories.