dining

Buon Appetito: 14 of NYC's Most Romantic Italian Restaurants

by Julie Besonen, 02/06/2013

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  • Roberto Restaurant
    603 Crescent Ave., 718-733-9503, Little Italy, Bronx
    Arthur Avenue is the Little Italy of the Bronx, scattered with a charming array of mom-and-pop specialty food shops and old-school restaurants. Even though it is just off Arthur Avenue, the dark, inviting Roberto is considered the best in the area, named for executive chef Roberto Paciullo, an expat from Salerno who often makes the rounds to ensure his customers are happy. How could they not be? His Southern Italian background is reflected in the excellent grilled sardines with pine nuts, grilled swordfish and flavorful pasta with cauliflower, garlic and breadcrumbs. Great, fresh-baked bread comes from a local bakery. Reservations are not accepted, but the bar is a pleasant place to idle and the staff are such pros that you'll never want for attention. The neighborhood is off the beaten path (getting here by car is recommended), but isn't amore enhanced when you go out of your way?

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