Sticking to the Italian theme, I visited Arturo’s in New York City. Located on 106 W. Houston St. at Thompson St, the small Italian restaurant is cozy and worn, perfect for a casual night out. Upon entering, there is a bar to the right and some small tables to the left. Sitting at the bar were a couple of older men, who appeared to be regulars by the way they were chatting with the bartender. I was seated in the other section of the restaurant, which requires a walk to the back, a right turn, and opens up to another dining room. The table I was seated at was right by a window where it was easy to people watch and observe the interesting interactions that occur in the East Village.
It was a Monday night, but by 6:30, there were already a fair amount of customers. Some of the people near us appeared to be students from NYU, and the others professors. The atmosphere was cheery, but not too noisy for conversation. Another plus was the live jazz music playing in the other room. Sitting in the back room gave us the perfect distance from the music, any closer it may have been too loud. The live jazz music is every night, adding a nice ambiance to the place.
For hors devours we ordered the arugula salad with shaved parmesan, which was delicious and easily large enough for two people. The coal-oven pizza is the suggested dish to order, but I ordered my favorite – ravioli in marinara sauce. This was consumed in minutes due to the deliciousness, but the portion was more generous than most ravioli dishes. My boyfriend ordered pizza called “Arturo’s Fiesta” which had sausage, mushrooms, peppers and onions. The small was actually pretty large and could have fed the two of us. As it was, we ended up getting the leftovers wrapped and took it home for lunch the next day. The pizza was that good, that it couldn’t be left behind.
We were too full to try the desert, but I can only imagine the amaretto and chocolate cheesecakes were good. However, since the selection is so slim, it would probably be a better idea to go for a walk after dinner and find a bakery, if the night is warm enough. Arturo’s also offers outdoor seating in nicer months.
Although Arturo’s is not located in Little Italy or a heavily Italian populated area, its location is very welcoming. The night I went was pleasant for walking around, and the area is a nice area to stroll in. Perhaps, by chance, one could find the little garden haven as we did, where plenty of trees created a secluded sanctuary with benches set up allowing a quiet post dinner sit. I am not sure where exactly it was, but clearly the area is a fun one to explore, since there are probably other places like that one as well as other dining possibilities. Overall Arturo’s dining experience was very satisfying. The food was delicious, and the service friendly and quick.