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30 West 18th Street
Incognito 1 Italian Flatiron

Scottish-Italian chef, Paolo Montana, has worked his entire life in the restaurant business, holding every position in the kitchen to ultimately becoming the executive chef at one of Glasgow's top Italian restaurants. When he felt ready to make the leap and move to New York, he was able to secure the coveted position of manager at Da Umberto, a favorite restaurant of mine on West 17th. After ten years of working for others in Manhattan, Paolo is proudly cooking Italian dishes in his own bistro that combine all of the fine elements of an Italian menu. As Paolo's adorable, enthusiastic, and genuinely sweet Scottish-Italian wife, Adriana Moretti, explained to us, "We wanted Incognito to be a scrumptious restaurant that is affordable - offering the in between prices in a gorgeous setting." There is something for everyone with numerous salads, pastas, pizzas, meats, and fish. As for the decor, it is welcoming and sophisticated. Adriana was pleased to share with us that the artwork painted on the columns and hanging on the walls were all done by her mom, artist Patricia Moore. On the afternoon that we stopped in, we sat at the bar and sampled the ideal vegetable platter. All served at room temperature, we tasted capanota, grilled fennel, asparagus, corn, brussels sprouts, butternut squash and some of the most delicious caramelized onions we had ever had. The garlic bread with melted mozzarella was also very good, but that vegetable plate was memorable.

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Incognito 5 Italian Flatiron
Incognito 6 Italian Flatiron
Incognito 7 Italian Flatiron
Incognito 8 Italian Flatiron
Incognito 1 Italian Flatiron
Incognito 2 Italian Flatiron
Incognito 3 Italian Flatiron
Incognito 4 Italian Flatiron

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Lost Gem
Giorgio's of Gramercy 1 Italian undefined

Giorgio's of Gramercy

Giorgio's of Grammercy was far from Nick Grams' first prosperous restaurant venture. He understood early on that he had an instinct for business and eagerly awaited the opportunity to strike out as an entrepreneur. Having emigrated from Greece as a teenager, he bought his first small-town eatery in Iowa from a family friend at the tender age of nineteen. He proceeded to open another three places in the Midwest. When it was time to bring his gifts to New York, he found that he had grown tired of designing a restaurant, staying for only a few years, and then moving on to his next enterprise. "I wanted to start a place and see it as my home, " Nick told us. Thus came Giorgio's, named after his brother. As for why he did not christen it with is own name, he explained, "I never considered myself the front person. I was always behind the scenes. "To Nick, there are a number of key elements that go into running a successful restaurant. "My idea is to have a great product and a great experience at affordable pricing. " As such, he works with local vendors of organic goods to ensure the quality of his dishes, which change seasonally. He maintains his desired prices by managing a popular catering business on the side. And, most importantly, he has full confidence in his longtime staff. "There are some employees here who I have grown old with. They've been with me for more than thirty years. "Of course, there are some additional tricks of the trade that entice customers to visit Giorgio's. One is the pasta-making station by the window, where guests can observe an expert create the delicate homemade ravioli and thick strands of bucatini that are used for the daily specials. "People love it. Many requests a table near the window so they can watch and learn. " Though there may be many moving parts behind Giorgio's, Nick emphasizes that the restaurant's true appeal is its sincerity. "We want people to feel comfrotable and well taken care of, and there is nothing we won't do to achieve that. "

More places on 18th Street

Lost Gem
Rothman's 1 Videos Mens Clothing Founded Before 1930 undefined


Ken Giddon likes to say that he went “from riches to rags” by leaving a career as a bond trader to reopen his grandfather’s men’s clothing store. Harry Rothman used to peddle his wares from a pushcart on Delancey Street in the 1920s before moving into a retail space. “He kind of created the concept of a discount clothing store, ” Ken remarked. Rothman's closed for a time after Harry’s death in 1985, but Ken revived the business a year later in a stunning, 11, 000-square-foot storefront on the corner of 18th Street in Union Square. “I love being on a side street. It gives us the ability to afford a bigger space while watching the movable feast that is New York walk by every day. ” Five years after the shop’s reopening, Ken invited his brother, Jim, to join him. “This is one of the true family businesses in Manhattan. ” The store, which carries both casual and formal attire from top designers, aims to make the shopping experience for men “as efficient and rewarding as possible. ” To this end, Ken and Jim scour the market, travel abroad, and attend numerous trade shows to find the best brands. “We try to provide our customers with that personal, small-town feel in the middle of the city, ” Jim said. Despite Rothman's more modern look and merchandise, the brothers strive to keep some core elements of their grandfather’s business alive, particularly by preserving his humble approach to owning a men’s retail store. As Harry used to say, “It’s not so serious what we do. We just sell pants for a living. ”