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Dec 1, 2012 07:47 PM

Best risotto NYC?

Craving delicious, authentic risotto. I've had a few misses lately (from drastically undercooked to under-seasoned) and need the real thing! Please point me to the best.

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  1. Were any of the misses at Risotteria in the W vill? I have found that they do everything wrong there, despite their obvious emphases.

    5 Replies
      1. re: RebelWithaCause

        Second Marea for both the seafood and wild mushroom versions.

        Artisanal and Picholine also do risotto very well.

      2. re: NYJewboy

        Funny you mention that - while none of the misses were at Risotteria, I had considered that restaurant to satisfy my craving... until I read the terrible reviews!

        1. re: BonVivantNYC

          Either mushy/overcooked or near crunchy/stiff undercooked. They just can't seem to get it right. The flavors have good intentions, but never really come together. More careful preparation and better ingredients are needed (and maybe someone who knows how to actually cook risotto would help).

          1. re: NYJewboy

            It is actually really difficult for most restaurants to handle cooking a risotto. It is just very labor intensive, is not forgiving of mistakes (you must pull it off the flame and get it to the table at just the right moments). It takes up two burners on the stove, and most restaurants want to par-cook it rather than put up with customers complaining about how long it takes to arrive if made fresh (especially if others at the table are not ordering, and their food takes less time to cook and needs to be served hot).

            At someplace charging very high prices and with a good reputation, you have a right to expect it to be perfect, and I would expect Marea to do it perfectly. But other restaurants should just pull it off their menus. Of course, if you have named your restaurant Risotteria...

      3. Felidia, Il Mulino, Tocqueville, Ai Fiori.

        5 Replies
          1. re: steakrules85

            I second Il Mulino. I had risotto with white truffles there and it was the best risotto i've had in this country ( best was in Venice with sepia). Risotteria on Bleecker was perhaps the worst I've had.

            1. re: foodwhisperer

              I think I'm going to have to indulge this week at Il Mulino. I also loved my risotto in Venice (I think at Da Fiore...) but alas, stuck in Manhattan to satisfy this craving.

              1. re: BonVivantNYC

                Believe it or not, Noodle Pudding in Brooklyn Heights makes a wonderful perfect risotto.

            2. I had an amazing risotto at Tocqueville last week.. Highly recommended..

              17 Replies
              1. re: alepenazzi

                I just realized - I had that same risotto at Tocqueville about 2 months ago and it was sensational. I guess the craving just returned and looking for something at an Italian restaurant.

                1. re: BonVivantNYC

                  Please report back on Il Mulino. i will report back on Tocqueville, i haven't been there in ages.

                  1. re: foodwhisperer

                    il mulino is vastly over rated and a tourist trap

                    1. re: intrepid3591

                      Intrepid, have you ever eaten there. have you had the risotto with white truffles??? If you had , you wouldn't be bad rappin ' it. Also the head of the Genovese family used to eat there almost every night. Does that sound like a tourist trap?

                      1. re: foodwhisperer

                        yep. The owners probably know it is a big deal to tourists to associate Italian NY restaurants with the Godfather, and comped his meals.

                        1. re: barberinibee

                          Always nice to get the sociopath stamp of approval

                          1. re: barberinibee

                            No my friend. They don;t advertise who eats there. Of course they comped his meals. He ate there because he liked the food. QD ate there almost every night , since Ennio's and Joe's restaurants had closed. The owners of both Il Mulino and Ennio and Michael's were all waiters together at Joe's ( Now Mermaid) on MacDougal St. Many of the same people who eat at Rao's eat at Il Mulino and Da Silvano. True Il Mulino is more touristy now than before they franchised. But the restaurant back in the 90's and early 2000's was always a 28 in Zagat. Anyway they make good risotto.

                            1. re: foodwhisperer

                              I'm sure they wouldn't have liked what might have happened if he hadn't liked his meals. I don't think I'd like to risk being at a restaurant during a rub-out, though.

                              1. re: Pan

                                haha, in a place like that, never order the shells

                            2. re: barberinibee

                              "The owners probably know it is a big deal to tourists to associate Italian NY restaurants with the Godfather, and comped his meals."


                            3. re: foodwhisperer

                              "Also the head of the Genovese family used to eat there almost every night. Does that sound like a tourist trap?"


                              1. re: ttoommyy

                                I don't care who eats there, but honestly, the food is quite good. The problem is that it tends to be ridiculously overpriced and the prices of the specials are often hidden 'till the bill comes.
                                If you want to hang out with mobsters and eat mediocre food, go to Rao's.

                                1. re: strangemd

                                  Yes. At Rao's any desire to eat surrounded by sociopaths will be satisfied. However the food is just ok, not bad, just ok.

                                2. re: ttoommyy

                                  Nah, it sounds more like an old Italian guy who wants good food.

                            4. re: foodwhisperer

                              Reporting back on the risotto at Il Mulino. Risotto was not listed on the menu or offered via the specials - I got the porcini risotto at the waiter's recommendation. (I was not in the mood for a seafood risotto, which he also recommended.) While it was delicious, there were actually too many mushrooms for my liking! Almost more mushrooms than rice. This was probably just a poor ordering decision on my part because the risotto was otherwise perfectly cooked and seasoned. I would return again, and get a saffron risotto.

                              Also, I understand why some say Il Mulino is touristy, but it's warm, inviting and a great spot for lunch with a friend.

                              1. re: BonVivantNYC

                                Glad you enjoyed Il Mulino. One of the saffron risotto dishes would be a good choice. Very odd that there were so many mushrooms in your risotto. Thanks for reporting back

                        2. Try Ai Fiori's red wine risotto with pancetta, kale and bone marrow. It is excellent.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: fm1963

                            I had a good risotto at Il Buco last night. Good meal in general, but the risotto was maybe the standout.

                            1. re: fm1963

                              amaarone rissotto at bottega del vino