There’s Italian food and then there’s Italian American food. And for decades the latter version was looked down on as being, well, a bit déclassé. No more. This proudly old-fashioned red sauce joint does such a superb job with the “canon” of Italian American staples—chicken parmigiana, sausage and peppers, baked ziti—that you come away feeling like you’ve experienced something brand new (and very satisfying). And all in a cute, checkered-tablecloth restaurant that will bring you back, in spirit, to 1950s NYC. This roomy, uptown outlet is sister to the original down in Little Italy.
- Pauline Frommer