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622 Third Ave. (E. 40th St.) Send to Phone
Celebrity chef's expensively “rustic,” family-style Italian eatery in Midtown is theater for the eyes and the taste buds.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly
Open late Thurs.-Sat.

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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED English is Italian Restaurant Review

: Todd English is Italian by ancestry; hence the curious name of this massive three-level theatre where the Olives chef can focus on a sophisticated version of his forebears' rustic family-style cuisine. The dark-wood room with a balcony is geared towards large groups, with well-spaced tables to avoid the sense of crowding that afflicts similar endeavors. English, along with partner Jeffrey Chodorow, has introduced several innovations here: one is the mozzarella, freshly whipped up at tableside (curds and hot water plus much stirring = cheese); the other is the idea of presenting a prix-fixe menu with an automatic serving of four different antipasti for sharing, eliminating the need to pick and choose appetizers. (If we'd had a choice, the gummy rice balls would have been banished, and the bruschetta selection multiplied.) Decisions do have to be made for secondi, or entrées, of which there are almost a dozen to ponder, including excellent seared sea scallops (giant and meaty yet tender, topped with a cranberry-bean ragù and arugula pesto); grilled paninis; roasted chicken breast with walnut pesto; or the popular sliced sirloin with charred romaine. Desserts, mostly classics like cannoli and ricotta cheesecake, seem like an afterthought, and are not included in the prix-fixe.

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