Chef Andrew Carmellini, first an acolyte of Daniel Boulud, and then a chef with a half a dozen restaurants in his culinary arsenal, has definitely made a name for himself in New York City. This Robert De Niro–backed restaurant is still one of his best. The space at Locanda Verde is warm and welcoming, with accents of brick and wood and large windows that open to the street, weather permitting, while the menu is full of inspired Italian comfort food that hits the mark. Standouts include small plates like blue crab crostino with jalapeños and the pumpkin agnolotti in brown sage butter that diners reminisce about. Several draft beers, along with more than a dozen wines by the glass, make an already hopping bar scene even more of a draw.