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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A Peachy's Pick Since 2013, Da Nico Since 1993 #Best #Restaurant in #Manhattan 's #LittleItaly Winter 2018 Our Coverage Sponsored by Fresh Origins

Salmone Patata Incrostati
Usually we chose one picture for the top.  We narrowed it down to four.
Ziti Quattro Formaggi
The pizza is simply phenomenal

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It's not who you know.  It never has been if you are educated and know proper English regardless of the side of the pond.  It's Whom You Know.
Da Nico, owned by our friend Nicky Criscitelli, began in 1993 and has been a Peachy's Pick since 2013:

Though we have reviewed other venues in Little Italy, Da Nico has earned our spot for Best Restaurant in Manhattan's Little Italy today.  If you are reading and have been since the start, you may say of course we say Manhattan.  What you may not know is that has published we are read in 563 cities daily now, so the other 562 need to know what they are missing.  Da Nico is better because Nicky cares the most about hospitality, being on the ball including being a fantastic communicator, having great food and a terrific staff, all more so than all his competitors in Little Italy.  And, he is getting better and better like all the best restaurants do: check out the brand new second floor.  Of course we went when Peachy Deegan had their full attention and it was not crowded.  We don't need to see that you have atmosphere.  Whether you are going to have atmosphere is projected from our direct experience over the years and we only write on you for five years if you are among the best.

We like the garden level.  It was too cold to be outside but we aspire to be out there someday.

We love good-looking menus like this.  There is little that goes unnoticed.  We hate tablets (if you're going to be online, you should be on during dinner...reading what you can eat the next day for dinner) or flimsy menus.

Buffalo mozzarella was a special of the day when we visited, and it's made on premises.  The classic antipasti tastes as good as it looks and the presentation was attractive.  Tomato, prosciutto, balsamic and their fantastic red peppers which you have to try have a cheesy soiree.

Da Nico also has great music evocative of a jukebox; Neil Sedaka was playing when we were there...we've seen him many times in concert.  The worst is when loud, obnoxious club music ruins your dinner and this can happen at ridiculous trendy places that come and go.  Note Da Nico has been around since 1993.
The salad we opted for was the Spinach salad and it was superb.  Spinachi boasts baby leaf spinach, crispy pancetta, which is an absolutely splendid accent, walnuts (are you happy Dr. Oz?), mushrooms and orange segments, a fantastic tropical punctuation in the dead of winter.

Everything was fresh and they put the dressing on the side as instructed.

The Pork Chops Calabrese are a terrific carnivorous entree and you should know they are sourced from Pat LaFrieda and the balsamic is from Italy.  Oven-roasted with care, the chops are successfully accentuated with hot cherry peppers!

You are going to be dreaming about Ziti Quattro Formaggi for days later so you should order at least 2 extra to take home.  The flavor is simply amazing and the garlic highlight was sensational.  Short, thick tube pasta teams up with fontina, gorgonzola, ricotta and parmesean to create a light cream sauce that you are going to applaud.

We have been here many times, but this visit the pizza really hit the high note.  We had not realized how incredible it was to the extent we do now and here is the Margherita.
This is the basic version, however, we count 11 versions in total that are not run-of-the-mill at all and are competitive with the most artisan versions we've seen.  Maybe they will even start adding microgreens like we saw recently at Brunetti and if they do we hope they tell us first.

Finally, we tried the Salmone Patata Incrostati: a really unique, delicious way to serve salmon. Salmon can bore us out of our mind at other places.  This potato-encrusted version will impress you as well, and especially with the spinach accent that adds nutrition and balance.

Nicky's exuberant staff!
Mikey, Luigi and Billy

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