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5 of 5 bubbles Review of Il Gattopardo

Il Gattopardo
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Ranked #63 of 13,559 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $45 - $100
Cuisines: Italian, Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: Midtown
Cross street: 5th Ave & 6th Ave.
Fly Creek, New York
Level Contributor
69 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2014

IL GATTOPARDO has to be one of the most sensational Southern Italian restaurants in all of Manhattan -- besides being named for Tomasi di Lampedusa's Italian novel of the same name, and quoted on the restaurant's website: "Se vogliamo che tutto rimanga com'e bisogna che tutto cambi" ("If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change").
There's a message in this quote, about renewing and revitalizing the grandest of Southern Italian tradition, which this restaurant does stunningly well.
There's an even more pointed message in the restaurant's pledge that "passion is our main ingredient." Having enjoyed a most memorable evening at Il Gattopardo, I would have to say that this is no idle boast.
Invited out of the blue by an old friend to dine here (it's in his hood!), we were charmed from the first moment we stepped into this elegant townhouse basement restaurant across from MOMA.
Contrary to the occasional complaint I've read on TripAdvisor about poor service, we were treated extraordinarily well by the staff.We particularly enjoyed our solicitous young waiter, who regaled us with tales of his Sicilian grandmother.
We also loved the spiced dipping oil and ample bread basket, which came (unusually for an Italian restaurant) with a beautiful dark bread that hinted of fruit and nut. The chef sent us an amuse bouche plate that included tasty little fried rice balls. We were savoring the restaurant before we had even ordered a thing.
Our friend's wife assured us that we could order anything because "EVERYTHING is good." She was absolutely correct. Her tip, which I pass on to future diners at this fabulous restaurant is: "Go for the specials -- especially the fish."
I followed her example and chose the stuffed zucchini blossoms for an appetizer, followed by the best filleted Dover sole I've ever eaten anywhere, including Italy. So simple, but so good!
My husband ordered the Scialatielli pasta with shellfish ragout for an appetizer, followed by the Mangalitsa pork chop (from a special pig, with meat that tastes more like steak than pork). Both were beyond delicious.
Feeling quite full, we ordered only two desserts to share between the four of us: a rhubarb crostata and a warm soft chocolate souffle with vanilla gelato. Both were spectacular, but if you like chocolate, do not miss the souffle. It's heaven.
The chef surprised us with a beautiful little plate of biscotti to make sure we didn't go home hungry.
If you're looking for a perfect meal, this is it.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank sylvandiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Cuenca, Ecuador
Level Contributor
53 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great place - excelent food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2014

Great atmosphera, good food, the service is excellent, good wine , excellent fish, steaks and pasta

The vainilla ice cream home made is great dessert

Visited July 2014
Thank fmoscoso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
97 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Try the lamb meatballs”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2014 via mobile

A great little pplace. We. Spilt a couple apps for dinner and it was just enough and really tasty. Each dish is well thought out

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank janfrommichigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Level Contributor
37 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2014 via mobile

Great location -- across from MOMA. Fabulous Italian food and outstanding service.

Brunch, lunch, and dinner all good. Downstairs is best space but may only be open for brunch and lunch.

Also had a party for fourteen here in December. Wonderful experience.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank mare_z077
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
98 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Low-key, intimate and great food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 10, 2014

This place is a real find, if you want a lovely experience away from all the hype, glitz and glamour. The food and service are first rate. The prices are moderately high, but not excessive. The wine list was quite pleasant, expecially if you like red wine. It is easily accessible from mid-down, but a bit of a hike from the UWS where we were staying. We did enjoy the the walk along broadway, so didn't mind a 40 minute walk from 77th. They helped facilitate a surprise celebration for me with aplomb and discretion. With tip, our dinner for two cost $300 for an (expensive) champagne aperitif, entrees and mains, plus a bottle of $55 wine and a celebration-themed dessert. Appetisers were in the mid- to high-teens and mains in the mid- to high-thirties.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank CRANBR23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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