The Godfather movies are considered by many to be the greatest Italian trilogy of all time. However, over the past few years, there is only one Italian trilogy that stands above the rest in New York City’s dining scene; Il Gattopardo, The Leopard at des Artistes, and Mozzarella & Vino. These three restaurants set the standard in fine Italian dining, with the only debate being whose everyone’s favorite of the three is. For certain, all three are sure to satiate your appetite with their delectable dishes – especially this Thanksgiving holiday.
The Il Gattopardo family of restaurants is owned by husband-and-wife team of Gianfranco and Paula Bolla Sorrentino, and Partner Chef Vito Gnazzo. Originally from Naples, Italy, Gianfranco Sorrentino carries over 40 years of experience in restaurant management from the Quisitana Hotel in Capri, Dorchester Hotel in London, Four Seasons Hotel in Tokyo, Bice restaurant in New York, Sette MoMA restaurant at the Museum of Modern Art of New York, and Union Bar & Grill in Great Barrington, MA. In September 2001 he opened Il Gattopardo, just across from MoMA, along with his wife Paula Bolla-Sorrentino, and his talented Executive Chef Vito Gnazzo. Most recently the Sorrentinos embraced in one of the most rewarding journeys of their careers, the re-birth of the New York landmarked des Artistes restaurant.
PART I: IL GATTOPARDO
Fine dining icon Il Gattopardo opened in 2001, and still attracts a loyal clientele who come for both the authentic southern Italian cuisine and the warm, Italian hospitality. Il Gattopardo is located in the historically landmarked Rockefeller Townhouses at 13-15 West 54th Street.
Aside from the sleek, modern main dining room, the restaurant also boasts a beautiful, lushly-planted 6-story Atrium, in which weekend brunch is served (with live jazz on Saturdays), and a wide range of private events are held.
Il Gattopardo serves traditional Southern Italian comfort food that has been adapted for the contemporary palate without compromising the authenticity of the cuisine, which became a must to its loyal upscale New Yorker clientele.
This Thanksgiving Il Gattopardo will also feature the Chef’s mouthwatering holiday favorites, including Homemade Ravioli filled with butternut squash, sheep’s milk ricotta, and parmesan cheese, served with walnut and cinnamon sauce, Sautéed Sicilian Shrimp with braised artichokes, organic frisee, and oven-dried cherry tomatoes, and tasty desserts such as Pumpkin Pie with maple gelato and caramel sauce.
For more information, call 212-246-0412, or visit www.ilgattopardonyc.com
PART II: THE LEOPARD AT DES ARTISTES
Five years ago, in the historically landmarked Hotel des Artistes at 1 West 67th Street, on a beautiful, tree-lined block between Central Park and Lincoln Center, Gianfranco Sorrentino and his wife Paula Bolla Sorrentino, along with Partner Chef Vito Gnazzo, opened The Leopard at des Artistes. The opening included a floor-to-ceiling renovation of the existing space, and a complete restoration of the original, famed Howard Chandler Christy murals that adorn its walls.
The Leopard at des Artistes boasts a diverse menu that finds its roots in the area once known as The Kingdom of Two Sicilies of the mid-1800s, and the culinary traditions of Campania, Basilicata, Calabria, Apulia, Sardinia, and of course, Sicily. The menu also features dishes traditionally found in regions outside of southern Italy, such as Lazio and Umbria.
At the Leopard at des Artistes, Chef Vito’s culinary signature of authentic southern Italian comfort food is what visitors and locals alike flock to the restaurant for. This Thanksgiving his menu holds true to that core philosophy, and will include such dishes as his Thanksgiving Crab Cake with arrabiata sauce and wild greens, a Wild Mushroom and Italian Hazelnut Risotto, and Broiled Dover Sole, braised escarole, Gaeta olives and raisins.
For more information, call 212-787-8767, or visit www.theleopardnyc.com
PART III: MOZZARELLA & VINO
Mozzarella & Vino, located at the former Il Gattopardo space, at 33 west 54th Street – as you may know, Il Gattopardo moved to the new location, on the same block at number 13 West. Their talented Chef Vito Gnazzo is responsible for the mouthwatering menu that reflects the simplicity of authentic Italian ingredients, with a heavy emphasis on the Mozzarella di bufala Campana, Italian cheeses and affettati. Based mostly on classic Italian antipasti, such as arancini, panzarotti, and mozzarella rolls, they also serve a wonderful selection of panini , soups, salads, and of course mozzarella on all shapes and combinations … even on desserts.
Their enoteca style bar focuses on showcasing rather smaller family estates and independent Italian winemakers. They proudly share beloved wines, definitely not mainstream, wines that translates history, quality and good value. A variety of by the glass is offered, as well as by the bottle. Their selection greatly varies due to constant new discoveries. Mozzarella & Vino is located on 33 West 54th Street.
For more information, call 646-692-8849, or visit www.mozzarellaevino.com