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Coco Pizzeria Sutton

420 East 59th Street
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 1 Italian Midtown Midtown East

Pino Luongo sat down at the table to join us. "Did you enjoy the pasta?" he began. Our immediate response was, "Absolutely." The kitchen had prepared a few of Morso's staple dishes for members of the Manhattan Sideways team: the Pollo Martini, the Bucatini Cacio e Pepe, the Carciofi, and the Carciofi Fritti. Pino pointed between the latter two, explaining how, in focusing on using fresh, seasonal ingredients, he is constantly inspired to build several dishes around a single ingredient. In this case, both salads featured artichokes, though one dish was prepared with them raw, circled by orange slices, while the other offered crispy artichokes decorated by olives, pickled fennel and a citrus dressing.

Our bucatini was prepared before our very eyes in the kitchen, where the sous-chef spoke of a camaraderie driven by ideals set with Pino's presence. It is no anomaly to find Pino in the kitchen most nights, getting his hands dirty and making sure each dish comes out the best it can be - which, we learned, of course means "always cooking the pasta in with the sauce." The restaurant's manager, Irene, added, "He takes great pride in his food. Each dish he prepares is like he is cooking for his own family."

Our conversation with Pino lasted through a clear, winter afternoon, with the sunshine slowly reaching across our dining table. His comfortable cadence matched the overall ambiance of the restaurant: casual but bright, embellished by modest, decorations, including antique rolling pins and pop art prints. Pino shared stories of growing up in Tuscany, and arriving in Manhattan to open his first restaurant in the 1980s. Reflecting on the past decades, Pino spoke despondently on how the character of Manhattan has been slowly edged out by ever-growing real estate rents, and how many stores and restaurants that have been home for generations of families now have to shutter. "Soon," he stated, "we are not going to have anything worthwhile left." Pino segued back thirty years, reminiscing about the restaurant scene being built. "I was a part of the old guard," and he is quite proud to have remained friends with some of the great restaurateurs, most notably Jean Georges and Keith McNally, of whom he has only admiration and kind words.

Coco Pizzeria Sutton 1 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 2 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 3 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 4 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 5 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 6 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 7 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 8 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 9 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 10 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 11 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 12 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 13 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 14 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 15 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 16 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 17 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 18 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 19 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 20 Italian Midtown Midtown East
Coco Pizzeria Sutton 21 Italian Midtown Midtown East

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