restaurants
Asellina
420 Park Avenue South
212 317 2908

Attached to the building that houses the Gansevoort Park, this lovely Italian spot is neither completely classic nor remotely touristy. A spacious but well-divided room with a front bar, semi-private fireplace lounge, and various nooks and crannies features a modern-lodge like decor. Go for pastas such as the basil tomato square spaghetti, the seafood black ink fettuccine, or the saffron strozzapreti with shrimp, butternut squash and spinach. Or try classic Italian favourites such as a chicken paillard with olives, eggplant and capers, the cotoletta Milanese done with arugula and shaved parm, or the ceci polenta with beef short rib. Modern additions include such comfort favourites as the lamb burger with green tomato compote, the truffle fries, the maccheroni and cheese and the veal meatballs. That this spot is attached to a celeb haunt hotel makes it perfect for drop-ins by folks like Justin Bieber, but mostly there's post-work groups or couples having a casual dinner. It also meets a perfect NY criteria; the just-hip enough hotel restaurant. If you're feeling beat coming off a flight or leaving early for the airport or just simply too lazy to go out, this one doesn't torture you with impossible reservations but is well chic enough to cross off your to-see list.

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