Andrew Giambrone and Katie Fein, Yale University
Anybody can cook pasta, but few people can do it as well as my grandmother. Happily, Due (pronounced doo-ay, the Italian word for “two”)—a Northern Italian restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side—may come in a close second. I grabbed dinner with a friend here on a recent rainy evening, and was pleased to discover a cozy dining room that smelled like my grandmother’s kitchen. The restaurant offers an extensive menu of traditional Italian dishes, ranging from antipasti (polenta, eggplant, mozzarella) to insalate (tricolore, bianca) to pasta (gnocchi, fettuccine, linguini) to secondi (pollo, vitello, pesci). While nothing we ordered struck me as innovative in taste or form, the food at Due would appeal to any palate accustomed to simple, home-style recipes. A real gem in a neighborhood of often-overpriced eateries, Due will keep you coming back for more.