Though its demographics have shifted over the years, the borough remains a hotbed of Italian food. Arthur Avenue—known to many as the “real” Little Italy—is home to many specialty stores and restaurants, as well as Arthur Avenue Market, an enclosed culinary oasis featuring fresh pasta, homemade sausages and cuts of meat of all kinds, extra-virgin olive oil, and various prepared foods. For a meal after picking up a few Italian provisions, these are the best Italian restaurants in The Bronx.
In addition to the regular menu here (think fun shapes of pasta al cartoccio as well as other classic entrées like grilled pork chop), it’s always worth a look at the chef’s delicious daily specials. Of course, save the best for last as evidenced by the sbriciolata crumb cake with amaretto, chunks of chocolate, ricotta and almonds.
Enzo’s offers the kind of cooking that revolves around long-simmered meat sauces and myriad interpretations of house-made pasta. Yet the kitchen knows just how to break a few rules, as seen in the spicy and creamy penne alla vodka. Other highlights include perfectly cooked chicken scarpariello made with dark, juicy morsels of bone-in meat married with a bit of garlic, wine and excellent olive oil.
Dedicated locals come here for the southern-leaning fare—ranging from unexpected pizzas (think butternut squash, mushrooms and truffle cream) to pastas like “al cartoccio” baked to perfection. Also indulge in such runaway hits as linguine with spicy nero di seppia; or ragù Salernitano—a hearty amalgam of pork and beef braciole.
The kitchen here creates each plate with great care and portions are generous. Stuffed mushrooms, bound by garlic, parsley and breadcrumbs, are forever earthy; while a glossy, tomato-based risotto with shrimp, clams and lobster is luxury on a plate. Veal with a sherry-shallot demi-glace is so exemplary that you won't miss dessert.
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