My buddy Len recommended Scalinatella and we went the last minute. It was NYC at its finest, crowded, noisey, alive and exciting. All the tables are close but large enough to enjoy your meal. We started with their house comp antipasti and followed with the Spanish Ham - yes it was better than Parma ham and served with creme freshe. Bread was New York amazing and we were off to a great meal. We shared the gnocchi pasta pomadora, a smooth non spicy sauce with fresh basile, just like in Roma on a summer day. My wife had the hallibut with a chopped tomato basil garden sauce - to die for. I had the veal chop - pounded to perfection on the bone, then grilled, and topped with fresh arouga, tomatoes and onions. Everything was perfect, especially the local patrons who are worth watching. Waiters still finish all dishes by your table -so it was piping hot.
We order a fine Brunello 2005 by the glass ($30 big pour) and it was worth it. Stayed with it instead of switching to the Amerone 2004. Wines by the glass were great - wine list was very pricey and not especially well thought out. Be carefull and be sure you let the server know you have a budget.
Service by Patriot, our waiter, was outstanding and he made the meal enjoyable; nice when the waiter has a sense of conversatin and adds to the evening. Coffee was hot and espresso was a real italian blend, strong and fragrant. Now believe it of not, the best Italian cheesecake I have ever had- started with 1 forkfull and we finished it together. Scalinatella is not for faint of heart when the bill comes - $100 to $120 per person for our full meal & figure $50 to $75 per person for drinks and wine. We love the night and will be back. a must for either business, friends or couples.