Avena, the modern Northern Italian restaurant from acclaimed Italian chef/owner Roberto Deiaco, is on the move Uptown, but at Avena Downtown the new, more casual menu at Osteria at Avena Downtown is more than ready to fill the gap. The more formal Avena Ristorante and Bar opened this past January, and Osteria opened just this month, both in the iconic former Da Silvano space. Chef Deiaco is highly trained and has cooked in renowned kitchens such as the Rainbow Room, Armani/Ristorante 5th Avenue, and his own spot East 12th Osteria. He’s bringing all of that talent to the more relaxed menu at Osteria at Avena Downtown.
The bread basket is addictive, and with good reason: all the breads and pastas are handmade with unbleached, organic Italian flour throughout both lunch and dinner service. The pizzettes are not to be missed, especially the elegantly simplistic “casertana” with sun-ripened tomatoes and fresh bufala cheese. Antipasti and other appetizers range from a salumi and cheese plate to soups, salads, and raw fish and meat preparations.
It would be a mistake not to order pasta at a place cranking out homemade varieties like maltagliati, casoncei, and a variety of spaghetti like strands all clinging to highbrow ingredients such as smoked salmon, calabrian saffron, and veal jus. Beyond pasta, Osteria offers whole fish, mixed seafood dishes, duck two ways, whole roasted chicken and suckling pigs, and even a burger. Daily specials like stewed venison and dover sole filets round out the old world, homestyle menu featuring elevated touches. And be sure you save room for dessert, like the homemade tiramisu or chocolate fondant paired with pandan ice cream, neither of which are to be missed.
Osteria at Avena Downtown
260 Sixth Avenue
11:30 AM – 2:00 AM, Daily