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Ramerino Italian Prime, located steps away from the New York Public Library and Bryant Park, is owned by Sammy V. Gashi, an industry veteran with a career spanning 25-years. He currently owns and operates San Marino SoHo and Antica Ristorante on Stone Street. Ramerino Italian Prime is his take on rural Tuscan cooking and is named for a staple of the region's cuisine, rosemary. The menu celebrates the culinary offerings from the region of Tuscany prepared simply, using olive oil rather than butter, clean natural ingredients, prime meats and fish, vegetables, and house made pastas.

To bring the concept to life, Sammy has enlisted Tuscan Native, Executive Chef Vilfredo Hodai, who gained his culinary chops working his way through restaurants in Florence, Italy including La Giostra, before arriving in New York.

The meal begins with fresh bread accompanied by Soppressata and 36-month aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, compliments of the chef. A large selection of Antipasti includes highlights: Carciofi e Avocado, artichoke hearts tossed with avocado and topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano; Cavolfiore Gratinati, cauliflower in creamy bechamel sauce with 34-month aged Parmigiano-Reggiano; and Tartar di Fileto, beef filet tartar over cream of burrata. The Insalate are clean and showcase seasonal produce, a classic Caesar Salad for two prepared tableside, and Ramerino, mixed greens, walnuts, pear, goat cheese, a lemon dressing.

The Paste e Risotto course features house made pasta selections like Bottarga, linguine, topped with shaved bottarga di muggile, shallots, and parsley; Ravioli Della Casa, homemade spinach and ricotta stuffed ravioli topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano; Carbonara, spaghetti with organic egg, speck, asparagus, and 24-month age Parmigiano-Reggiano; and Risotto, carnaroli rice with asparagus, zucchini and zafferano.

Main Courses are divided amongst Land and Sea. The Land showcases Manzo, a sliced ribeye steak cooked in olive oil and the restaurant's namesake rosemary rather than butter; Fileto al Barolo, a filet mignon cooked in a red wine reduction; and Pollo Castelle, chicken breast with baby artichokes, capers, mushrooms, white wine, and lemon. From The Sea: Dover Sole and Branzino prepared tableside as well as Cartoccio alla Isolana, a baked branzino filet wrapped in parchment paper with cherry tomatoes, olive oil, lemon sauce, and extra virgin oil.

Desserts include Cheesecake, made with ricotta cheese and topped with fresh berries, Il Nostra Tiramisu, espresso-soaked lady fingers and mascarpone dusted with cocoa powder, and a traditional Panna Cotta.

The wine list is composed of selections largely from Italy and California by the glass and by the bottle with strengths from Tuscany, including Super Tuscan varieties. The cocktail program focuses on classic cocktails like Martinis, Manhattans, and Old Fashioneds, made with premium ingredients.

The restaurant was designed in collaboration with the owner and Paul Vega, founder of VLDG Design, to emphasize the large dining room with smart and elegant accents of millennial blue and venetian plaster, wine displays, and large mosaicked columns. The tranquil outdoor patio is lined with greenery to provide an oasis in Midtown Manhattan.

Ramerino Italian Prime is located at 16 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016. For hours and menus, visit their web site at or call (646) 880-7885. Follow them on Instagram @ramerinoprime.

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From This Author - Marina Kennedy

Marina P. Kennedy's writing career led her from freelancing opportunities in New Jersey and New York to writing for where she covers entertainment, the culinary scen... (read more about this author)

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