Let’s Dish: Abboccato {New York, NY}

{photo credit: Paul Johnson} 

With Spring in full swing, we’re all itching to enjoy a night out, dressed in anything but our winter garb, of course. Couples are looking forward to a date night out instead of the same old movie night that’s been happening all winter, and singles are looking for a chance to explore the dating scene without the mess of hat hair from their winter caps. One of the most ideal date night spots in the city lies within steps of Manhattan’s Theatre District, and boasts simple Italian cuisine, highlighting items from the diverse regions of Italy- from Sicily to
Lombardi. Allow us to introduce you to Abboccato

Whether you’re looking for a Friday night date spot or a place to catch up with friends, Abboccato is a classy place to spend your evening. Located in the heart of Midtown West, Abboccato brings a homey feel to New York’s fine dining scene.

Sharing is definitely caring at this establishment, where your best bet is to try as many dishes as possible. I suggest starting with some small bites, such as the truffle arancini, before you move onto salads. Many of Abboccato’s salads offer selections of fresh fish and the tuna tartare is not to pass up. Make sure you save the most room for their pasta selections, which are large but manageable if you order one per person and share. Most of the pasta dough is made in house, which will be clear when you taste it!

If you’re too full for dessert, which you very well may be, dessert drinks are always an option. I chose a coffee with Kahlua and was pleasantly surprised to see it come in a wine glass with whipped cream on top. The inviting, cozy atmosphere is a great way to not only start a night, but end one as well!


Yellowfin tuna, preserved lemon, currants, pine nuts, lemon dressing

Crispy Risotto Fritters, Truffle

Nonna’s Meatballs, Whipped Ricotta, Sour Dough Crostini

“Small Shell” Pasta, Eggplant, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Tomato, Garlic
Abboccato_Ricotta Cavatelli

The 75-seat casual Italian restaurant owned by the Livanos family is perfectly suited
for a leisurely meal and pre-theatre bite without the hectic tumult of Times Square.
30-year-old David Arias is the new Executive Chef at Abboccato Italian Kitchen,
formerly known as Abboccato Ristorante. Here, authentic regional dishes spanning Italy are
showcased in a menu featuring ten varieties of handmade pasta, a selection of shared-plates,
and an approachable six-course chef’s tasting menu. To accompany the meal, guests can enjoy
Italian wines and cocktails featuring traditional Italian spirits and modern preparations,
including herb and fruit-infused ice cubes.

The extraordinary legacy of the Livanos family in the restaurant industry began over
fifty years ago when John Livanos immigrated to the United States from Greece in 1957. With a
career that started in the dishwashing station and advanced to the position of business owner,
it’s no wonder John and his family own and operate some of Greater New York’s most beloved
restaurants. John and his children—Nick, Bill, and Corina—own, operate and manage the
critically acclaimed Oceana, Abboccato Italian Kitchen, and Molyvos in New York City, as well
as City Limits in White Plains, NY and Stamford, CT, Burger Deluxe in Wayne, NJ, and
Moderne Barn in Armonk, NY. The family is dedicated to offering a quality experience for their
customers from the moment they enter the doors. “We’re very hands on business owners,” says
Nick Livanos. “We have the privilege of really getting to know our regular guests. Generations
of families have grown up with us.”

Abboccato Italian Kitchen showcases authentic regional dishes spanning Italy, drawing
inspiration from Nick Livanos’s wife, a native Sicilian; the result is authentic Italian cuisine with
a lighthearted touch, executed by Executive Chef David Arias, who has been an integral part of
the Abboccato family since its early inception.
Executive Chef David Arias offers menus for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, as well as a
special Cicchetti (little plates) menu, Terraza happy hour selection, and prix-fixe menus for the
pre-theatre crowd. The Terraza happy hour menu, offered Monday-Saturday from 3- 5p.m., includes a selection of cicchetti (small plates), insalatas, primi, and secondi, in addition to
specially priced cocktails ($6), beer ($5), and Italian wines by-the-glass ($6).
Lunch includes a selection of cicchetti, full-size appetizers, hot pressed sandwiches,
primi (half portions available), secondi, and contorni. The dinner menu expands to feature
antipasti, a six-course chef’s tasting menu, and a “To Share…Or Not” section, and a broader
range of handmade pastas, and entrées, as well as a daily selection of whole fish.

Abboccato’s design is a mix of rustic and contemporary elements that are a testament to
the casually refined dining offered within. A textural combination of rich, dark woods, fabrics,
and stone greet diners in shades of red, cream, and chestnut, imparting a feeling of warmth and
comfort perfectly suited to the menu. The lighting is soft yet warm, and the exposed wine
collection hints at the depth of the list’s offerings. The restaurant’s seashell-encrusted bar front
offers a coastal accent to the design.
A prominent feature of the restaurant is Abboccato’s lovely Terraza. Situated across
from the New York City Center with floor-to-ceiling windows that open to the bustling
sidewalk on 55th Street, the Terraza provides a chic hideaway where guests can relax and enjoy
an authentic Italian meal. It also doubles as a private room for special events.



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