It’s safe to say that Michael Imperioli is Italian-American royalty.
Hailing from Mount Vernon (just a little bit past The Bronx), this actor is known for his recent role as White Lotus’ scandalous Dominic Di Grasso and starring in New York classics like Goodfellas and The Sopranos.
With ancestors and a bloodline drawing back to Lazio and Sicily, it’s pretty safe to assume that he knows a thing or two about GOOD Italian cuisine. During a recent podcast interview on Scott Lipps’s LippsService, Michael went down the list of his top five Italian restaurants in New York City, and to be honest, we trust him.
If you’re anything like us, you’ll always find time for some good Italian food!
Here are Michael Imperioli’s favorite Italian restaurants in NYC.
1. Lucali’s Pizza, Caroll Gardens
As we mentioned in our complete New York City travel guide, Lucali’s has some of the best pizzas in the city. They open at 4 PM and usually have people waiting in line from early in the afternoon trying to secure a spot on their list. Yes, it’s THAT serious over there. Lucali isn’t new to getting notoriety from celebrities, though. One of the restaurant’s biggest claims to fame is that Jay-Z & Beyonce are regulars. Imagine successfully securing a spot on the list for the day, and those two walk in!?
Ingredients change based on what is fresh that day, so you’ll never know what you’ll get until you get there, but they’re known for having the best pizza in NYC for a reason!
Where: 575 Henry St.
2. Da Nico Ristorante, Little Italy
We told you before that Da Nico’s is one of those Little Italy establishments that isn’t a tourist trap, but if you didn’t believe us, then maybe you’ll believe Michael! Da Nico’s Ristorante has been a New York staple since 1993. Aside from being a favorite of the Yankees and Mayor Giuliani, this family-owned and operated eatery serves up an extensive list of pastas and Italian dishes. If you can think of it, they probably have it.
Where: 164 Mulberry St.
3. Via Carota, West Village
Via Carota landing a spot on Michael Imperioli’s list isn’t a surprise after landing a spot on The New York Times’ Top 100 Restaurants In NYC list earlier this year. This women-owned restaurant only takes walk-ins, so be sure to plan your day ahead of time – there may be a wait but trust us, it’s worth it! Their menu consists of tasty Italian options (with the main highlight being the pasta dishes).
Where: 51 Grove St.
4. Bamonte’s Restaurant
Bamonte’s is a well-known Brooklyn spot that has been serving up Italian-American dishes for over a century! It’s so old-school that all the servers wear tuxedos. Some of their standout dishes are veal parmigiana and Bamonte’s pork chop, but you can trust every dish to be excellent at this no-frills restaurant. Aside from being known around the borough as one of the best restaurants, it’s been in numerous shows, including several episodes of The Sopranos.
Where: 32 Withers Street
Accademia is the newest eatery on Michael’s list and for a good reason. Each dish on the menu comprises fresh, house-made pasta and imported Italian ingredients, each representing a different region of Italy. And, like the pasta dishes, each dessert is also made in-house and includes tasty treats such as zeppoles, cannolis, gelato, and sorbet. The interior is designed to give you the feeling of being cozy at home. 3500 vintage books repurposed from a decommissioned library line the glowing bookshelves of the room, creating an inviting, sound-controlled, and conversation-starting setting to enjoy great food & wine with friends!
Where: 646 Amsterdam Ave.