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BWW Review: MACHIAVELLI on the UWS for Fine Italian Cuisine in a Classic Setting

Buon Appetito! Upper West Siders are fortunate to have a neighborhood restaurant as charming as Machiavelli. We suggest you make it a destination even if you don't live in the area. Their gourmet Northern Italian cuisine is outstanding and wonderfully presented.

Machiavelli is a very welcoming restaurant with a classic ambiance and a spacious, dedicated bar area. The décor includes wrought iron candelabras, marble topped tables, lush hand-carved chairs and a vibrant wall mural, a painted rendering of "Battle of San Romano," by Renaissance artist Paolo Uccello.

Machiavelli is the vision of owner Nathalie De La Fontaine. She drew her inspiration for the restaurant by her extensive travels in Italy. And Chef Gian Pietro Ferro has created a menu that is so authentic it transports you right to Florence. We like the diversity of the selections. Whether you want a fantastic pizza, small plates or wish to indulge in a three-course dinner, they have you covered. We visited early on a Sunday evening to enjoy a few of their specialties and seasonal dishes.

For a starter, we suggest the Polenta al Gorgonzola Dolce, a creamy polenta dish with the rich flavor of sweet gorgonzola cheese. We were delighted by the Mazze di Tamburo salad with grilled Portobello mushrooms, the freshest field greens and parmigiano cheese with a light balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Homemade pastas at Machiavelli shouldn't be missed. And now, the fall/winter menu has a dish that is a total standout. The Tortelli alla Mantovana is filled with a perfect blend of pumpkin, ricotta, amaretti and mostarda di Cremona and served with butter and sage. There is also a fine selection of meat, seafood dishes. Machiavelli's menu will make you want to return again and again.

In addition to the regular menu, there are nightly specials. When we visited, there was a tempting starter, Antipasti of Polipetti in guazzetto, stew baby octopus in white wine and tomato and an entrée of Filettto di maiale alla mela verde e prosecco, Sauteed pork tenderloin with Granny Smith apples in a prosecco wine sauce.

Don't leave without cappuccino or an aperitif and dessert. We love the house made bread pudding, Budino di Pane con Gelato, a brioche bread pudding with bananas, chocolate, caramel and walnuts, served warm with vanilla gelato.

Machiavelli's beverage program is impressive with their all-Italian wine list carefully curated to offer top-ranking wine selections by the both the glass and bottle. Selections include Nebbiolo d'Alba Ochetti by Renato Ratti from Piemont. And with an impressive cocktail menu and beer by the bottle, it is easy to create wonderful food and drink pairings.

Machiavelli serves Italian brunch with savory items that include Uova alla Florentina, poached eggs over fresh spinach, fonduta cheese sauce and crispy polenta cake, or sweet options such as Panettone French Toast al Grand Marnier, sweet Italian bread with candied fruit and raisins topped with an orange Grand Marnier liqueur sauce.

We like that the location is ideal for people who are attending local theatre like The Beacon. It is also convenient to Museum of Natural History and Lincoln Center venues. Plan your next party with the Machiavelli staff. The restaurant accommodates groups for every type of event. Machiavelli is also pleased to present entertainment to their guests as they dine. Performers include artists from the nearby Juillard School of Music and Lincoln Center.

Machiavelli is located at 519 Columbus Avenue, between 85th and 86th and is open Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-midnight, Saturday 9 a.m.-midnight, and Sunday 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Brunch Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Live music Sunday-Thursday 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 8 p.m.-midnight. Call the restaurant at 212.724.2668 and visit their web site at

Editor's Note: We recently featured Machiavelli and their Apertivo Hour in our "Bar of the Week" feature. You can read about it here: /bwwfood-wine/article/Bar-of-the-Week-MACCHIAVELLI-on-the-UWS-20161109.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Machiavelli

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From This Author Marina Kennedy

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