A perennial winner. It just goes to show that our notions of romance haven't changed that much since the Elizabethan era. We all fancy ourselves Romeo and/or Juliet - or maybe Lucy in a Room with a View - being swept away by Italy's crumbling monumentality, sultry fertility, operatic intensity, carb-loaded sauce-ity and cinched-tight codpiece-ity. And because we don't really feel like flying over a cliff or have an expense account for European travel, we're pretty sure Mama Carolla's will satisfy our needs. A bottle of wine tends to effectively fuel the imagination, after all.
1031 E. 54th St., 259-9412, mamacarollas.com
2nd: St. Elmo Steak House
3rd: The Eagle's Nest