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Il Cantinori: Romance Abloom

Il Cantinori, famous via Sex & The City and beloved by locals, used to be one of the hottest reservations in town. Chic New Yorkers would flock to the intimate and rustic space on the Gold Coast to revel in Antonio Cinardi’s traditional and masterful Italian cuisine. And while Il Cantinori has lost some of that hotspot buzz and reservations are easier to come by, the magic of this charming spot certainly lives on.

The vibe is rustic and romantic: soft saffron walls, low golden lighting, farmhouse chairs and wood tables, small clusters of fresh flowers on each table, tealight candles, and a earthy tiled floor. The mood is mellow and friendly. Quietly murmuring couples, round tables of friends, and families fill the rooms, keeping the atmosphere lively yet laidback.

The food is, in one word, luscious. The original chef, Antonio Cinardi, still cooks in the kitchen – showing remarkable continuity in flavors and style. The cuisine is traditional Italian made from the freshest ingredients. Cinardi keeps it simple – he lets the ingredients and flavors speak for themselves. The food he prepares is classic, pure, healthy. The pasta is all homemade and left uncomplicated by too many additional flavors. Expect a caprese salad, assorted salumi, grilled squid, a risotto, a scampi, and assorted fish & game dishes to show up on the menu. Hints: anything with their plump and creamy buffalo mozzarella is divine, the home-made pastas truly shine, and the tiramisu is to die for.

Il Cantinori still charms with its fresh Tuscan cuisine. It casts a spell on you with its warm dinner service, passionate cuisine, and delightful environs. A neighborhood standby for local celebrities, Il Cantinori remains unpretentious. The relaxed and private vibe makes it perfect for a romantic evening.

Il Cantinori on Urbanspoon

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