An UWS institution for spot-on rustic Italian

By Erik Mathes

NYC is awash in trendy spots hoping to become pioneers of the next big thing. From Japanese pizza to bibimbap poutine, there’s no shortage of strange eats in the city that prides itself on being the culinary capital of America. But what if you’re craving something old-school—something feel-good familiar, like spaghetti and meatballs, fried chicken cutlets, or eggplant parm?

That’s when Pappardella comes into play.

For over three decades, the intimate Italian restaurant on the corner of West 75th and Columbus has been a staple of the neighborhood it calls home. On the menu you’ll find plenty of classic Italian comfort cuisine, like pasta, pizza, antipasti, and veal Parmigiana, alongside classier plates like prosciutto and melon with sea salt and fresh lemon, baked thick spears of asparagus with creamy pesto, melted fresh mozzarella and Parmigiano, and carpaccio of beef tenderloin with arugula, shaved cheese, and hearts of palm. And let’s not forget the signature dish: ribbons of pappardelle pasta with wild mushroom ragu, white wine, truffle cream, roasted garlic, and basil.
It feels like the kind of place Sinatra would’ve brought his dates—and even the ones with more adventurous palates would’ve been able to find their happy place with a menu like this. Diners looking for innovation will be pleased to know that Pappardella’s weekly specials give its chefs the opportunity to test out flavor profiles not typically found in traditional Italian fare, like pear and gorgonzola dolce pizza, or sautéed calamari with tomato jam, Swiss chard, raisins, and pine nuts (the latter has earned itself a spot on the everyday menu). There are also mix-and-match boards of charcuterie, marinated vegetables, and fine Italian cheeses, as well as a full selection of gluten-free pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches.

It’s hard to feel like you’re still in a bustling city with the aromas of tomato sauce and truffles wafting through the air, framed photos of Florence high up on the walls around you, and black tie-clad servers attending to you like a boss. But that’s exactly what you get at Pappardella, a Tuscan time machine of a restaurant that you’ll want to make your own.


Mon–Thu noon–11:30 PM; Fri–Sat 11 AM–midnight; Sun noon–11 PM

price range

$14 (classical pizza) to $34 (grilled rack of Australian grass-fed lamb)