DELICIOUS DEBUTS
Tessa to Open Tomorrow Night + More Spring Openings


For foodies, this spring is bound to bear more than just warm weather.

Tessa, a well-designed Mediterranean joint, will be moving into a prime 1,750-square-foot space on the Upper West Side that has seen restaurants come and go over the years. Named after one of the owner’s daughters, it is to feature world class French and Italian flavors. The spot will be headed by Chef Cedric Tovar, who has spent time at both Bobo and Rosemary’s, both gems in the downtown culinary scene. Similar to other up-and-coming restaurants north of Lincoln Center, Tessa features modern design with equal attention to both form and function. The design showcases a ground level bar area and an upstairs dining room. Tessa opens this Thursday. It is located at 349 Amsterdam Avenue.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Celebrate Ravioli Day with Cafe Prima Pasta

Get ready to put the beer down and grab a plate cause Café Prima Pasta Celebrates National Ravioli Day this Thursday, March 20th! Take a load of the tastiest pasta in Miami with complimentary pasta bites throughout the night.

The critically acclaimed Italian spot is celebrating with free home made ravioli bites on Pasta's biggest night! Cafe Prima Pasta is definitely going big this year. On arrival, guests will receive a tasty cocktail concoction of Bellini made with fresh peach puree and authentic Italian champagne. Every patron will also receive an individual Fiocchi Rapera, a homemade pasta purse stuffed with Asian pear and an array of gourmet cheeses tossed in a truffle sauce with crispy prosciutto.

DELICIOUS DEBUTS
Delicious Debut: Arco Cafe

If you’re looking to get in on some Sardinian food, you need not book a flight: a new Sardinian restaurant just opened on the UWS, and it does Sardinian home cooking formidable justice. Arco Cafe is the newest creation of Sardinian native Sebastiano Cappitta (of Acqua, Bettola, Bettolona, Buca, Coccola, and Isola, all of which feature regional Italian foods). The restaurant is designed as a casual, inexpensive, and accessible place to introduce and celebrate Sardinian food. Working with Executive Chef Roberto Ruiu (also a Sardinian native, and a veteran of many popular Sardinian restaurants), Cappita designed a menu that revolves around Sardinian dishes offered affordably: no dish will run you more than $16. It features traditional soups and stews (like Zuppa Gallurese, a hearty cheese-and-bread thickened soup, and Cozze alla Marinara, a spicy mussel soup with a tomato and Vermentino wine broth), as well as pastas like the Maloreddos alla Montanara, a classic Sardinian preparation with mushroom, sausage, and tomato. If you’re looking for something light, the menu also provides small plates, such as a serving of Pane Frattau, a thin Sardinian bread served with tomato sauce, parmesan, and a poached egg. Arco Cafe also extends the Sardinian theme to their wine list, which features wine pressed from native Sardinian grapes.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Restaurant Week Review: Lunch at Remi

“You have a reservation?” the hostess asked, and we told her we did. Seconds later, she’d made a quick adjustment to the computer and was leading us through Remi’s gorgeous interior. We followed her past the bar and into the depths of the Ground Canal Room, featuring a 25-foot high ceiling and Venetian glass chandeliers.

Her heels clicked rhythmically against the polished floor as we passed dozens of other customers who were already halfway through their lunches, through the hum of conversations ranging from that crazy ex-boss who wouldn’t quit cyber-stalking half the women on his floor, to George’s new mistress—a sexy $9k Ducati. Sconces on the wall emitted soft lighting that bounced off the floors and the rest of the space was well-lit by natural light streaming through the windows.

DELICIOUS DEBUTS
JoonBug is “All in” On All’onda!

Monday night just could not arrive fast enough for JoonBug’s 7:30 reservation at All’onda, a new Italian restaurant located on 22 E 13th Street that opened on December 23rd, 2013. Braving the cold that evening, we hopped on the L train and arrived in Union Square with huge appetites. Passing the other shivering New Yorkers and straining against the brisk January night, the warm look of the restaurant with its glow of iridescent lights and open windows looking in on the happy diners, was inviting and exciting.

DAILY BITES
Dinner at Union Square Cafe

Danny Meyer is gracing the front line as one of NYC's most sought-after restaurateurs. He owns Shake Shack, Blue Smoke and Jazz Standard and the Gramercy Tavern, and his 1985 culinary pride — Union Square Café continues to deliver succulent Italian-American cuisine in a clean, relaxed setting just west of Union Square.

DAILY BITES
Brunching at Antika Pizzeria

A couple friends came to visit this weekend, so naturally, we decided to go out to brunch. Originally the plan was Il Bambino, a local eatery with supposedly wonderful paninis that we'd been dying to try, but the wait was almost an hour. A bit disappointed and hungry, we wandered around 30th Avenue in Astoria for a place that could satisfy our craving for Italian.

The first thing that caught our eye at Antika Pizzeria was their outdoor sign: "$9 Unlimited Mimosa, Sangria, Bloody Mary." The restaurant was crowded, but not busy enough to deter us. So we opted in, and prepared ourselves for a delicious, if perhaps unconventional, brunch.

CHEAP EATS
Sunday Brunch at Locale

When it comes to brunch, we like to scout for cute, cozy little places with amazing menus and a lively crowd. That was how we discovered Locale.

Nestled in the cultural neighborhood of Astoria, Locale prides itself on serving quality Italian cuisine with an American influence. Brunch on a Sunday morning attracts a wide range of people — the Astorians from several blocks away who have made this their weekend brunch spot, the magazine editors in their chic pleather jackets and classy totes hanging from the side of their chairs, the best friends catching up over a Bloody Mary and coffee at the bar, the big family at the long table with three kids, the couple on their first date, and then you have the major foodies like ourselves.

WEEKEND PICKS
Let's Toast to this Italian-Argentinian Infused Bite!

Starting Monday, November 11th, 2013, everyone can unite and toast to this Miami Beach hot spot. Café Prima Pasta will be inviting patrons to come complimentary bites to celebrate two decades of serving some of the finest and best reviewed food in South Florida.

It’s been hailed as the number one Italian restaurant by Tripadvisor.com and The New York Times as best daily happy hour. This tasty eatery will sure to reel you in for more than just your average pasta.

DAILY BITES
Classic Meets Modern at Marco Polo Ristorante

Carroll Gardens is a strange neighborhood for Manhattanites: the blocks packed with residences and a few businesses, many of which close before 10pm, feels more suburban than New York, but for those willing to make the trek (or perhaps just walk over from bustling Brooklyn neighborhoods), Carroll Gardens is home to many culinary gems.

Marco Polo Ristorante opened in 1983, serving upscale Italian cuisine, from seafood to fresh pastas, in a formal dining room decked out with white tableclothes, a full-size wooden bar, and a piano.