The sublime Italian cooking at L’Orcio is worth a special trip to New Haven from just about anywhere, declares Jim Leff. “I’ve never before found this good an Italian restaurant (nor ANY restaurant that’s much better),” adds Jim, who has eaten at a restaurant or two.

Chef Francesco d’Amuri manages to balance soul and sophistication at his four-year-old northern Italian place. “This is lusty grandmotherish cooking with skill and subtlety,” Jim writes. “It’s comfort food and serious cuisine both.” One standout example is gnocchi al Gorgonzola, light and refined yet also lush and deeply satisfying. Another: veal medallions, very lightly breaded and sautéed in wine sauce. “The meat had personality, the sauce was deft, it all came together—the sum even better than the wonderful parts.” The kitchen’s attention to detail is evident even in the accompanying roasted potatoes: “I could visualize the chef peering into the oven with unbroken attention to catch the perfect microsecond of brownness,” says Jim.

The sleek but comfortable ambience matches the food: “not trying to impress,” he observes, “trying to please.”

L’Orcio [New Haven County]
806 State St., New Haven

Board Links: L’Orcio in New Haven: Best Italian Restaurant I Know

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