Donna Margherita is a cozy new restaurant on NY’s Upper East Side. The chef is Rosanna Di Michele, who hails from Abruzzo, Italy. Michele and I have known Rosanna for a number of years and admire her passion for Italian food, especially from her region, the home, it is often said, of the best cooks in Italy.
It was a chilly and stormy afternoon on our first visit, but Rosanna greeted us with a welcoming smile and showed us to our table. As we looked at the menu, the host, Mr. Luigi, brought us a basket of freshly baked focaccia to go with our wine.
The menu choices included several simple antipasti and classic salads, followed by a variety of Italian pastas like lasagne, penne arrabbiata, and vegetarian style with whole wheat pasta and vegetables. There are 14 different pizzas plus a few main dishes, and even child friendly offerings, so don’t hesitate to bring the kids.
Then Rosanna returned to explain the many seasonal specials on offer that day, which included fresh fish and spaghetti with clams. There was something for everyone.
Rosanna also insisted we try her Melzanzane alla Parmigiana –Baked eggplant, mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil and we were glad we did. Rosanna’s version was light and freshly made. A perfect example of what this dish could be, but rarely is.
There are several dessert choices, including tiramisu, gelati, and sorbet. We tried the Pastiera Napoletana –Neapolitan ricotta, wheat berry and orange flower water flavored cake that Rosanna said is imported from Italy.
There is a small well-chosen wine list and other drinks available.
For excellent homestyle Italian cooking at moderate prices, Donna Margherita is the place to go. Don’t forget to try the daily specials and tell Rosanna I sent you!
Donna Margherita NYC 1304A 2nd Ave NY, NY
212-772-1196 Closed Sunday