Best Italian Restaurant: (TLD Suggests) Sorella and Gaia

Gaia Bagnasacco.

Gaia Bagnasacco of Gaia Italian Cafe. .

Many people think of Sorella as a “splurge,” and it’s certainly possible to do a lot of damage in the small-plates Northern Italian restaurant. But if you’re looking for an adult environment in which to have an actual conversation, enjoy a nice glass of wine at the bar and perhaps nibble on a few appetizers, it’s an ideal spot. An addictive fried broccoli dish and anchovies with salsa verde are both $10. Bartenders know how to mix a proper cocktail and will gladly guide you through the extensive wine list.

Sorella also excels at desserts, including homemade gelato and bomboloni (warm doughnuts made with a variety of fillings).

Another place we feel compelled to mention is Gaia, a little sole-proprietor subterranean cafe on East Houston Street. The panini, salads and fresh pasta dishes are all delicious and incredibly cheap, and many ingredients, including the cured meats, are flown over from Italy weekly.

Sorella
95 Allen St.
212-274-9595
 
Gaia Italian Cafe
251 East Houston St.
646-350-3977
 
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