Patsy’s Italian Restaurant
236 West 56th Street, New York NY 10019
Web: www.patsys.com Phone: 212-247-3491
If there is any true Italian-American restaurant in Manhattan that celebrities are welcome and can relate to, its Patsy’s. In operation by owner-chefs for 3 going on 4 generations, this is as real as it gets, and its not pretentious in any way. Everyone is treated like family as they walk through the door. If you are a noted celebrity looking for a good meal who needs privacy, they escort you upstairs to the private room where Sinatra would hold court.
Rather than name all the famous people who have come here, you can pay a visit at lunchtime and take a look at the hundreds of autographed photos from celebrities spanning decades. Probably the most famous person who called this place his favorite was Frank Sinatra. There are so many stories, but I was able to actually enjoy lunch there once on Sinatra’s 100th birthday which would have been December 12, 2015.
We were seated upstairs and several celebrities, actors, singers, even people who hung out in Sinatra’s entourage were in attendance. The menu included Frank Sinatra’s favorites, starting with Spirali Fileto. This is a simple tomato sauce with whole cloves of garlic, not sliced, because Sinatra did not like too much garlic. If you can’t find Spirali, rotini pasta will due just fine.
Next there were San Gennaro sausages which are served with peppers and onions just as they would be at the Feast in Manhattan’s Little Italy. There were also veal meatballs, but the Veal Milanese was probably the best I ever had. Basically its a breaded fried veal cutlet. Veal is so hard to get right, its so thin so it can overcook quickly and so many places cook it too long and its like shoe leather. Not here, its perfect, dare I say, better than my mother’s (I much prefer she made chicken cutlets).
What is great about the food here, is it is simple, and its been carried down for 3 generations now. And in case you were wondering what the secret is, there are none. In fact, many of their recipes are here in one of the very best cookbooks I’ve ever read. It has a forward by comedian Ben Stiller, plenty of photos, easy to follow recipes and even if you can’t cook and just want to read this book, its worth downloading to your tablet or smart phone if you are not the type to buy or collect books or cookbooks.
This was not the first or last time I was at Patsy’s. Its always a great meal, a reasonable price, and you are living so much Hollywood and celebrity history. Even if that is not your thing, you are dining where so many who can afford the best or most expensive, come here simply because it feels like home.
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