TripAdvisor helped me find this place and it was a revelation. My girlfriend and I go every single time we're in NYC.
First off, it's small restaurant so the setting is intimate. If you're sitting at one of the 2-seater tables you'll end up sitting fairly close to the other couple dining around you. However, this turns out to be a blessing since you can see what everyone is eating and can politely ask your neighbours if they'd recommend anything. (Although I should mention that every single thing on this menu is delectable so you can't go wrong no matter what you choose.)
The buffalo mozzarella is a must-have. I've never tasted fresher, melt-in-your-mouth buffalo mozzarella -- it's 100% comparable to the mozzarella I bought fresh off a buffalo farm in Italy last summer. The crab cakes are also the freshest I've ever tasted. I've also had the papardele with wild boar ragu and the gnocchi with gorgonzola and both were too delicious for words.
It's location -- blocks away from the south tip of Central Park and 10 blocks north of Times Square -- makes it the perfect place to eat before or after a Broadway show or before or after a stroll in the park.
I can say, without hesitation, Basso56 is my favourite restaurant in North America.
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