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Bar Pitti New York
Home to “many a celeb sighting”, this “jet-set” Village Italian is best known for its “excellent people-watching” from indoor/outdoor tables, even if the “easygoing” fare is pretty “delicious” as well; no reservations, no plastic, “no discernible decor”
Pitti opened in 1992 nearly two decades after Silvano Marchetto combined the trattoria formula with a see-and-be-seen sidewalk setting at adjacent Da Silvano. Marchetto had initially conceived of a more casual Pitti as part of an expansion, but a family tragedy inspired him to enlist a partner, Giovanni Tognozzi.
Arguments over meatball-recipe theft and lawsuits soon followed, but the feud seems to have mellowed since then. What’s left is a sienna-painted bare-bones space packed with wooden tables—greatly improved by a mirrored wall and exceptional outdoor seating.
A blackboard of twenty or so static specials extend the basic Tuscan menu: assembled antipasti like oil-packed tuna jumbled with cannellini beans, quick-fry pasta, the storied veal meatballs, etc. The chic reputation carried over from Da Silvano still fills the spot with Mikli-framed gallery types peeking at each other, but it’s the fast-moving Italian guy in faded pajama pants who gives this place its mystique.