"A bottle of white, a bottle of red, Perhaps a bottle of rose instead...."
Everyone loves Italian food from lasagna and spaghetti, to ravioli and manicotti. Italian restaurants are located in every town all over the country, in fact there are probably more Italian restaurants in the United States then there are in Italy! So while you wrap your head that thought, check out our list of the greatest Italian restaurants in right here in America!
Coming in at number 1 is another NYC restaurant and celebrity chef Mario Batali's flagship. The one and only Babbo. Opened in 1998 and located in the heart of Greenwich Village Manhattan, Babbo may be more Italian than most restaurants in Italy. Many of the staff have been trained in Italy, ingredients imported from Italy, and wines directly from... yep you guessed it. A restaurant doesn't get much more Italian than this.
"...A bottle of red, a bottle of white, It all depends on your appetite.
I'll meet you any time you want, In our Italian Restaurant."
- Billy Joel
Located on Melrose Ave in the heart of Los Angeles is chef Mario Battali's award winning Italian restaurant Osteria Mozza - known to all of the celebrities that dine there simply as 'Mozza'. Rightfully named as well since it offers it's own mozzarella bar in addition to more interesting items such as Calf's Brain Ravioli and Squid Ink Chitarra Freddi. Just remember to dress to impress since you're bound to run into a movie star or two.
Do you like truffle?? You know those expensive mushrooms that supposedly only pigs can sniff out. If so then Da Marcos in Houston is the Italian restaurant for you. Specializing in pasta dishes made with either white or black truffle (depending on the season), Da Marcos is known throughout the lone star state as one of the best Italian restaurants in Texas.
Another Italian restaurant that often appears on greatest lists (and now ours!) throughout the country is Davanti Enoteca in Chicago. Southern Italian cuisine in a rustic environment and a menu that's not comparable outside of Italy itself (it actually comes with its own glossary). To top it all the restaurant has it's own wine store that allows patrons to purchase excellent wine to go with their meal at retail prices, making Davanti Enoteca our greatest quality for the price (try their truffle egg toast shown here).
Most great Italian restaurants make their own pasta in house. but Agrodolce in Seattle takes it one step further and mills their own grain for the flour in the pasta! With a mission to be ultra organic and an attention to detail, Agrodolce also grows and ferments some their ingredients for their food. And with menu items such as red wheat spaghetti, bluebird grain rigatoni, and grass fed lamb burgers, this may be the healthiest Italian restaurant in the world.
Imagine dining on Italian food from award winning chefs inside your own private cabana, next to a lagoon in the middle of the desert. If you're thinking that's only possible in Vegas then you're right! Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare located in the Winn hotel in Las Vegas makes our list of the greatest with some of the best scenery in the country. To top it off, all of their pasta is made in-house, they offer 40 different types of fish (that's right.. 40) and even fly in their shellfish directly from the coast of Italy everyday!
New York City is the mecca of Italian restaurants. Hundreds of them have lined the city streets for over a century. It's home to some of the greatest restaurants in the world, in fact there are 2 NYC Italian restaurants on this list and Del Posto in Manhattan is the first (you'll just have to read on for the other). To give you an idea of how amazing it is, the NY Times awarded it a 4 star rating - the first Italian restaurant out of all in NYC to receive that rating in 40 years!
Coming from NYC, where Italian food reigns king, it's always great to sample different Italian restaurants around the country. So when an overwhelming number of recommendations came in for one in Georgia, I had to try it out. Just north of Atlanta in the Alpharetta / Johns Creek area is the family run RosaMia Ristorante. Hailed as the most authentic Italian restaurant in Georgia, RosaMia serves up everything from hand cut pappardelle, homemade gnocchi, and roast beef carpaccio to their signature Malva pudding and imported lemoncello gelato. And wouldn't you know, after some investigating it turns out the owners are from New York!
When an Italian restaurant is located in an underground wine cellar, you know it's going to be special. Noto's Old World Restaurant is just that - enjoy a 9 course meal paired with any one (or two) of the 1,200 different bottles of wine while surrounded by the brick arches of the cellar. Then after your meal (remember salad is towards the end in Italy), enjoy a cappuccino and head outside for a bocce tournament with your friends an family... now that's an Italian experience!
Take a Master Sommelier with experience working with the best at The French Laundry in California, and take an award winning chef from a Michelin rated restaurant, bring them together to open an Italian eatery and you have Frasca in Boulder Colorado. Widely regarded as the top restaurant in the area and winner of prestigious awards such as the James Beard award, Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson of Frasca (pictured here) easily make our list of greatest Italian restaurants in America.
Everyone loves tasting Italian cooking and learning about Italian cooking and our next restaurant on the list takes this idea to the next level. Taranta in Boston takes so much pride in the freshness and origin of their ingredients that they print a QR code on the plate (in actual squid ink) so patrons can learn about the dish. Simply scan the code with a smartphone and learn about the origins of the fish on your plate or how the vegetables were locally grown. Don't ask us how they do it but it's genius!
Our first restaurant on our greatest Italian list is known in the elite circle of Italian restaurants to be one of the best on the East Coast. The problem is, it's been historically impossible to get in. For decades Chef Vola's in Atlantic City, New Jersey was reserved only for casino high rollers, politicians and celebrities. Guests would need to have a special invitation code to dine inside. Situated in an inconspicuous location just outside of Atlantic City, it has opened its doors to the public although limited seating still makes it difficult to get a reservation (there's still even a pass code area on their website).