After reading a rave review in the New York Times about Ballato’s elite celeb clientele the forever-tourist in me made a mental note that I HAD to get there. Saturday night I end up down the street with close friends after a few glasses of wine and the clock struck 1045 and we figured that maybe we had a chance in hell to get in. You see, on my way to my friend’s apartment I noticed a massive crowd waiting outside the door. Luck would have it, by 10:45 at night there weren’t that many people left. We walked in, past Emilio Vitolo, the owner who scrutinizes Ballato virgins newcomers from his front corner table.
We quickly felt at home though after ordering zucchini fritti and baked clams (both of which were cooked to perfection). The entire menu is classic, unfrilly dishes. And the Tuscan decor set the perfect tone for a perfect class of wine to go with your delicious plate of pasta! We sampled the Spaghetti and Meatballs and Chicken Parm, both of which were the moistest meatballs I’ve ever tasted and pounded to perfection, respectively.
We didn’t see any celebs but our meal was impeccable. There is a private dining space in the back to host celeb clientele like Lenny Kravits, Billy Joel, Drew Barrymore, Tom Hanks amongst others. Keeps the rif raf like moi out!
Honestly this restaurant feels like one of those great NYC gems that only the locals know about. Food is delicious, ambience feels authentic, portions are good and prices are reasonable.
Be sure to eat the bread and get some meatballs! Tell ’em Smartypanties sent ya!
Visit Ballato’s in NYC! You’ll Grazi me! xoxo
Check out my sweet pics…
All that remained of my dinner!
Celebs sign the wall! One day, Emilio! One day… Smartypanties will be up there!