Every neighborhood should have an Italian joint like Morini—warm, deeply satisfying, and as reliably great for $10 Monday pasta specials as it is for date night or a visit with parents. (We’ve done all.) Though the ocher-toned osteria is part of New York restaurateur Michael White’s empire, it feels far from an outpost. Credit rustic comfort fare from Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region that favors house-made pastas and robust secondi such as wood-grilled veal chops, plus homey desserts such as spiced rice pudding with butterscotch. When the weather warms, the riverfront patio is the place for seasonal Bellinis and one of the best prix fixe brunch deals in town. Moderate to expensive.
Also great: Tortellini in brodo; octopus with tonnato sauce; squid-ink pasta with mussels and chilies; scallops with blood orange; pear-gingerbread tart.