On the night that we ate at Montebello the waiters sang "Happy Birthday"
three times. To mark a celebrat
ion by a large group, they also ceremoniously and
in unison lifted the domed lids from the entrees at one big table. Sounds pretentious?
It wasn't. Montebello is small and quiet with contemporary and unobtrusive decor,
a fine setting for a special evening
There are, of course, scores of restaurants in mid-town serving good food. Montebello
compares favorably with other Northern Italian fare we've tasted in New York. We
had some delightful starters, half-portions of pastas like spaghetti with seaf
and white and green noodles in cream sauce with peas and prosciutto. Main courses
of lamb chops with wine and herbs, liver alla Veneziana, red snapper and veal with
artichokes were equally agreeable. Portions were enormous. Cheesecake and tirama
re tasty and all the desserts on the cart looked tempting. No major flaws here.
If we wanted to nit-pick we would say that the bread could be improved with some
crusty, hearty varieties.
Montebello, 120 E. 56th Street, New York, NY 10022. Open
for lunch Monday to
Friday and dinner Monday to Saturday. Expensive.