Dante

2011 Best Italian Restaurant, Upscale

Okay, so the guy went and named a restaurant after himself. Clearly, chef Dante de Magistris is focusing his subtlety elsewhere—on, for example, his nuanced dishes. In actuality, each is served with a side of humility; he and his brother Filippo are in the house most nights, seeing to it that the eatery is far less about fanfare than about making regulars out of newcomers. The offerings range from humble (arancini with truffle honey) to homey (handmade gnocchi with pancetta, almonds, and pecorino), and by virtue of the high-quality ingredients (bavette steak with truffled cauliflower), ultimately soar.

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