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Feb 23, 2010 09:12 AM

Where's the best "real" Gnocchi?

It’s a cold, rainy day here so I’m looking for an Italian place in NYC that does gnocchi in a fairly traditional style. The larger, lumpy, stick to your ribs type that are usually found in Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy or Piedmont. Preferably served with a simple tomato sauce. Not the tiny, smooth, French style that seems to be all over town these days.

I’ve been to Babbo several times, and yes their gnocchi is great, but I don’t really feel like putting up with the headache involved of getting a res. Il Vagabondo on 62nd makes them really well but their sauce is an insult and the atmosphere is pretty bleak. I’m hoping for a small place that actually makes the pasta in-house. A place under the radar that isn’t associated with a celebrity chef.

I’m craving a carb overload - which I realize is not really fashionable here in diet-conscious USA - but hopefully there are gnocchi lovers out there who can help a guy out.

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    1. Hearth, though not served with sauce.

      4 Replies
      1. re: chow_gal

        The gnocchi at Hearth are wonderful.

        1. re: chow_gal

          I also love Hearth. They are doused in butter and cheese, if you consider that a "sauce." But you're correct, they aren't served with red/tomato sauce.

          1. re: kathryn

            Hearth has the best gnocchi. The point is that you taste the gnocchi, and not just the sauce. There is a reason that the NY Times review called them "little pillows of pleasure"!

          2. re: chow_gal

            Hearth's gnocchi ... +1 here.

          3. Definitely APIZZ!!!

            They have the best Gnocchi I have ever had in my life!
            They are big and doughy and the sauce is WONDERFUL - so delicious...God i'd kill for some right now!

            2 Replies
            1. re: NellyNel

              i've never been to apizz but on my list to try. however mia dona makes an amazing gnocchi. i believe they change it up but i had one 2 weeks ago that was delicious. it was in a white sauce but it was pillowy and delicious.

              1. re: NellyNel

                100% agree with Apizz. I also have to say the gnocchi with red sauce at Angelo's of Mulberry's Street is the kind i grew up eating so that's where I go when I crave nostalgic gnocchi - and the portion size is massive so good if you're hungry. Hope that helps!!

              2. I have had a very good gnocchi at Cafe Cielo on 8th Avenue and 52/53 sts. Not a trendy place, I have no idea who is the chef (which is nowadays my preference :) and the food is not always great, but I have a friend who lives nearby so I went there a couple of times and had the gnocchi. It was pretty good and served with a simple tomato sauce.

                1. In Vino on 4th in the EV does a very good simple version.

                  I've also had good gnocchi at Gnocco, but I think it was a special that day.

                  The recently opened Testaccio in LIC does gnocchi alla romana (semolina) that I am looking forward to trying soon. Has anyone tried this dish there?