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If you’re an Italian food-lover, you probably know the name Mario Batali. An American chef and restaurateur, Batali opened his first restaurant, Pó, in 1993 in New York City with great success. Nearly 25 years later, he now owns a mecca of amazing restaurants and food markets scattered around USA and beyond. New York City, though, is home many his best offerings. From high-end special occasion type places to casual pizzerias, Batali’s restaurant reach is far and wide and you could spend an entire weekend in  NYC exploring his cuisine.

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White clam pizza from Otto | Photo by Compass + Twine

OTTO ENOTECA PIZZERIA
A friendly pizza joint in the heart of Greenwich Village, Otto is a favorite among locals. The space is pretty big by New York standards, which means you can usually snag a table without a reservation. Start with some of the house-made charcuterie paired with a cheese selection and some wine, taking your time to look over the pizza choices. You can’t go wrong with a standard pepperoni pie but our favorite is the white clam pizza. The sauce-less pizza is layered with gooey cheese and herbs and topped with a healthy handful of savory clams still in the shell. The briny clams are addictive and pair perfectly with the melted cheese and crisp crust. Luckily, the pizzas here are all thin crust so order two and share!

Bavette Cacio e Pepe at Lupa | Photo by Compass + Twine

LUPA
Listen to just about any interview with Mario Batali and you’ll walk away fully aware of his love affair with Rome. He visits frequently and has a dozen or so go-to restaurants when he’s there. It’s no surprise, then, that he would own a Roman trattoria. Lupa, just a few blocks south of Washington Square Park, is a casual pasta eatery set within a cozy and dimly space with maps of Rome decorating the walls. The menu is chock full of Roman classics like bavette cacio e pepe and bucatini all’amatriciana. If you can’t decide, opt for one of the Roman tasting menus and try a bit of everything. No matter what you settle on, be sure to finish your meal with a glass of limoncello!

Fresh produce alongside food and wine counters at Eataly NYC Flatiron. | Photo by Compass + Twine

EATALY NYC FLATIRON
Just steps from the iconic Flatiron Building sits Batali’s first NYC foray into the Italian food market scene. Eataly is a kaleidoscope of Italian flavors, from freshly made pastas to just-caught seafood, it’s a one-stop shop for all your grocery needs. Equal parts food market and restaurants, Eataly is comprised of a café, gelateria, grocery store, several food counters and five restaurants. One of the restaurants sits on the 14th floor rooftop and changes depending on the season. During the winter, the enclosed space is called Baita, serving dishes from the Italian alps. Birreria takes over the rooftop during the warmer months, when the protective tent walls are taken down, and you can sip on-tap wines while enjoying the fresh breeze and killer views.

Dessert at Del Posto | Photo courtesy of Flickr CC: Becky Stern

DEL POSTO
With a grand two-level dining space, crisp white table clothes and impeccable service, Del Posto is the most high-end establishment of the Batali empire. Decadent tasting menu options combine with world-class wine pairings to offer a truly luxurious Italian dining experience. No detail is left unaccounted for at Del Posto, and the critics agree. It remains the only Italian restaurant in the city to receive four stars from the New York Times. While dinner is their signature meal, they do offer a great prix-fixe lunch option (3 courses for $49) should you wish to experience the acclaimed restaurant at a lower price point.

The charming facade of Babbo in Greenwich Village | Photo by Compass + Twine

BABBO
Babbo just might be the most beloved of Batali’s restaurants in the city. The cozy, fine-dining space in Greenwich Village is always buzzing with excitement. The same maître-d’ has overseen the restaurant for years, conducting an endless flow each night of reservations holders and eager walk-ins looking for seat. Once you’ve nestled into your table, have the sommelier guide you through their impressive wine list. Can’t miss items on the menu include the goose liver ravioli, bucatini all’amatriciana, branzino, the pork chop or any of the steak or special dishes.

Fresh pasta to take home at Eataly NYC Downtown. | Photo by Compass + Twine

EATALY NYC DOWNTOWN
Lower Manhattan has experienced tremendous growth and development in recent years, making it one of the most desired neighborhoods in New York. One of the most exciting openings to hit the area this past summer was none other than a second NYC Eataly location—Eataly NYC Downtown. Located in the 4 World Trade Center building, the space has beautiful views of the 9/11 Memorial and reflection pools below. This Eataly establishment consists of multiple eateries, a fresh food market, cheese, meat, fish & pasta counters, a wine bar and more. However, it’s the signature restaurant, Osteria della Pace, that has us coming back time and time again. Focusing on southern Italian cuisine, dishes like the ziti alla genovese with slow-braised onion and veal ragù just melt in your mouth.

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Tagged: New York

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Compass + Twine
Sarah Driggs and Lindsay Ridenour are the story-tellers behind the NYC-based luxury travel blog, Compass + Twine. Follow along on Instagram @compassandtwine as they unearth some of the best hotels and travel experiences around the globe. From scenic landscapes to local cafés, they reveal the true character of a destination, always highlighting the best place to stay on compassandtwine.com .

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