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2132 First Ave. Send to Phone

Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly

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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Il Gambero Restaurant Review

: Romance and garlic so often go hand-in-hand, and this intimate, brick-walled, candle-lit spot offers plenty of both. Il gambero means shrimp in Italian and owner/chef Gaspare Trani certainly has an affinity for those crustaceans, perhaps because he’s a native of the island of Ischia, off Naples. We like ’em any way Trani does ’em: brushed with olive oil and grilled on a rosemary skewer, served over lemony linguine or nestled into risotto along with squid, scallops, clams and mussels. Trani’s antipasto of grilled vegetables comes layered like a terrine, surrounded with coins of fresh mozzarella. Among the pastas that dominate the short menu, we favor fettuccine in a broth of mushroom and tomatoes. Chicken tonight? We prefer the pollo diplomatico, a tender breast sauced with lemon, wine and rosemary, overlaid with prosciutto and shiitakes and oozing smoked mozzarella. Inevitably we find ourselves reluctant to leave. We savor Sinatra along with the remains of a lusty, Southern Italian wine, and eventually succumb to the charms of that rich, ice cream-filled truffle called tartuffo.


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