Gente Ristorante Italiano

By Jesse Hall

The pleasant little room, decorated with photographs mostly of Italian movie stars like Marcello Mastroianni, feels like one of those places you stumble across in Rome where everybody in the neighborhood congregates. Gente is packed every day for lunch, and given its long list of Italian classics, and a Midtown location so central (almost next to Grand Central, in fact) it’s no wonder the gente flock here. And Gente is the same charming restaurant in the evening, a wonderful choice for a dinner at a little hideaway in the middle of everything. There are a half dozen pastas on the menu, including personal favorites like orecchiette primavera, with mixed spring vegetables, and almost as many risottos. Traditional dishes like veal piccata and osso buco abound, and there are also plenty of seafood options, with the stellar standout being the grilled plate of salmon, tuna, tilapia and shrimp. With Gente just around the corner, you might not mind staying late at the office anymore, not if it gives you an excuse to pop over for dinner after work.

sweet seats

It’s fun to sit at the tables along the window—the best of both worlds, inside and out.

chew on this

Gente’s owner is an American who traveled to Italy frequently while working as an executive in the fashion business. His love of Italian food led him to change course 12 years ago, when he realized his dream of bringing that food to his own restaurant in New York.


Mon.–Fri. 11:30 AM–10 PM; Sat. 4 PM–10 PM
closed Sunday

price range

$17.95 (penne pomodoro) to $28.95 (osso buco)