Borgata Trattoria Osteria

Borgata Trattoria Osteria is helmed by chef Andrea Badiali of the also erstwhile popular Sixth Avenue Italian joint Borgo. Borgata Trattoria Osteria offers straightforward Italian fare—the kind that would send you running down the streets of Emilia-Romagna in glee if you found that spot only locals knew about—in an informal restaurant setting. The waiters here are friendly and aim to please. And unlike some of the city’s other high-minded foodie palaces, the menu here is presented casually and is relatively cheap, although it was a bit overstuffed with about 17 types of pastas dishes, 20 pizza options and eight secondi courses; which makes ordering a laborious process. To help, let us recommend the fresh clams in white wine sauce, with generous portions of the bivalve sautéed in an ultra-tasty broth. For appetizers, there’s a variety of cold and hot antipasti to choose from, but what we loved was the grilled Portobello mushrooms. Stuffed with vegetables and drizzled with a peppery cheese sauce, this dish whetted our appetite for more. Not only is the menu hearty here, so are the portions. In these times, you might think many restaurants would be cutting costs and holding back on ingredients—but not here. The linguine al nero di sepia was choc-a-bloc with springy calamari and a few plump prawns; while the tagliatelle with bacon, porcini and green peas smothered in a rich, creamy pink sauce was absolutely divine. The capellini with scallops in white wine, though, tasted rather bland (no amount of salt and pepper could save it). However, all was forgiven when the tiramisu arrived. Rich in cocoa and liquor, you can sample it slowly, like we weary reviewers are taught to do, or just devour it whole, like we actually did. We’ll definitely be back.