Australian chefs serving up first-class breakfast and café fare in New York is nothing new. But when the boy from Bondi, Robert Marchetti (of Icebergs), sets up an Italian fine-diner in Downtown Manhattan, it pays to take note. And book a table.
At Soho’s Gran Tivoli, Marchetti’s partner in crime is Jason Scott, the co-founder of the Swillhouse Group (responsible for Sydney establishments like Restaurant Hubert, Baxter Inn and Alberto’s Lounge). So we’re talking some serious talent here.
No wonder Gran Tivoli ticks all the right boxes. The slick, glowing dining room is beautifully decked out – a long glamorous bar on one side, leather-clad cozy booths on the other. The menu is replete with classic Italian dishes – capaccio and proscuitto for antipasti; burrata and Calabrian salad for cantorni; orecchiette and risotto for primi; and rib-eye and bistecca fiorentina for secondi.
Our favourites: the sheep-ricotta gnocchi, which combines textural spinach and sharp blue cheese sauce in one delish mouthful; and beyond-soft lamb shoulder cooked for six hours.
There are some stellar desserts, too – bomboloni with jam and custard, say, or raspberry tarts with mascarpone. All of it is tied together with an unflinching wine and cocktail list, plus solid service to boot.
Atmosphere: Relaxed and casual, bordering on boisterous
Best for: Catch-up with family and friends
Best dish: Sheep-ricotta gnocchi
Open: Seven days for dinner and Saturday-Sunday for lunch
Address: 406 Broome Street, New York
Phone number: +1 917 714 8832