Osteria Morini

Osteria Morini

By William Sertl

When Michael White, chef extraordinaire at the very elegant Marea on Central Park South (a James Beard Award-winner last year as Best New Restaurant in the U.S.) opens a new place downtown, you’d better take notice. That Morini lives up to all expectations comes as no surprise. What does surprise—and delight—is that the place, specializing in the cuisine of Italy’s Romagna region, is wonderfully casual and full of rustic charm. It is a true osteria and a downtown partner to Marea, an uptown ristorante if every there was one. There are daily specials—maybe a luscious raviolo filled with nutty robiola cheese and egg—a dozen pastas (mezzelune with heirloom squash and amaretti; macaroni with pork sausage), and mains such as grilled swordfish, branzino, and a hearty mixed grill of pork, lamb chop, skirt steak and Treviso radicchio. When you serve food this good and wrap it in the country finery of a Tuscan farmhouse, you have what some might call an award-winning formula.

menu musts*

Raviolo di uovo
Gnocchi with pomodoro, speck and basil
Branzino with salsa verde and radicchio
Grigliata mista (pork, sweet sausage, lamb chop, skirt steak)
*menu changes daily
view full menu here

sweet seats

All the tables are pretty much equal. The few strung along the bar offer a bit more privacy, if that’s what you’re looking for.

chew on this

The black-and-white photos of cheerful chefs on the walls are all from restaurants in Imola and Bologna, Bologna being the regional capital of Emilia-Romagna and usually considered the culinary heart of Italy. The name Morini is an homage to the owner of the famous San Domenico restaurant outside that city.


lunch: Mon.–Fri. 11:30 PM; Sat.–Sun. 11:30 AM–4 PM
dinner: Mon.–Wed. 5 PM–11 PM; Thurs.–Sat. 5 PM–1 AM;
Sun. 5 PM–10:30 PM
brunch: Sat.–Sun. 11:30 AM–4 PM
bar menu: Mon.–Fri. 3:30 PM–5 PM

price range for lunch items

$16 (gnocchi) to $25 (grilled skirt steak)


Dinner: Mon 5 PM–11 PM; Tue–Thu 5 PM–10:30 PM; Fri–Sat 5 PM–11:30 PM; Sun 5 PM–10 PM
Lunch: Mon–Fri noon–3:30 PM
Brunch: Sat–Sun 11:30 AM–3:30 PM

price range

$16 (mozzarella panino) to $24 (hanger steak)