Welcome to Nosh Pit’s week of unsung heroes, in which we gently remind you of some fine establishments that sometimes get overlooked for newer spots.
Open since: 1992
Chef Walter Pisano’s exacting Italian food has earned a loyal fan club, but doesn’t quite attract the newcomers it should. He’s also headed up the kitchen since the day the restaurant opened 20 years ago (and didn’t have its own sign for the first decade).
This handsome white-linen, wood-paneled ristorante off the downtown Hotel Vintage Park might appear the product of a hotel-restaurant cookie cutter, from waiters with Continental accents to busers in neckties. But closer inspection rewards with inspired-Italian-with-a-flourish fare—a melting braised pork shank over fat corona beans crowned with horseradish gremolata; crispy duck over farro studded with marinated figs; a distinctively seasoned pasta alla chitarra with braised pork, rosemary, and ricotta—and a record of consistency unusual in a hotel property. The centrally located room is intimate, warmed by a wood-burning oven, and upstairs boasts a private room resembling an aristocrat’s library.