The Upper East Side is often in need of a fresh new restaurant. The neighborhood has its classics, but sometimes you are just looking for a modern place with classic cuisine. Cucina Ciano at 181 E. 78th St. is a good answer to that. First off, the street views and great corner location are inviting whether you are stopping in for a weekend brunch or fancy evening date.
As for the cuisine, you get a tour of Italy once inside with Italian fare changing with the seasons, from Northern inspirations in the winter, to Southern in the warmer months. Executive Chef Tin Huynh has created a “farm to fork” menu that offers something for everyone, with a variety of traditional appetizers and entrees that are sure to satisfy guests with delicious menu offerings including Veal meatballs, Panzanella salad with fresh Burrata cheese from Italy, and much more. My favorite was the house made fresh pappardelle with pork ragout and caramelized onions.
Co-owner Stratis Morfogen (who also owns Philippe Chow) has a secret weapon for ravioli’s so that’s another must-try item. The secret is 80-year-old ravioli maker Enrique Seanus, originally from Peru, who started making fresh pasta at Felidia in 1983 at the age of 50 and since then has been creating delicious ravioli at the best restaurants in NYC ever since including Bouley and now Cucina Ciano, where he can be found nightly.
For reservations and more information go to cucianciano.com