Here’s Why This Award-Winning Italian Restaurant Is One of the Toughest Tables To Snag in NYC

Credit: Gentl and Hyers

In the bustling culinary scene of New York, renowned Italian restaurants are a dime a dozen, contributing to a competitive environment where standing out poses a significant challenge. 

Yet, those familiar with the artistry of pasta and pizza have frequented this celebrated neighborhood establishment, crafted by downtown Manhattan chefs Jody Williams and Rita Sodi.

Via Carota, situated on 51 Grove Street in the heart of the West Village, is one of the most talked-about restaurants with a reservation that’s notoriously hard to secure and a consistent allure for celebrities (Taylor Swift notably hails it as her favorite NYC eatery). Over the years, it has become a perennial hotspot for more reasons than one.

Reminiscent of a 17th-century Florentine villa, this authentic trattoria strives to capture the essence of its old-world Italian heritage: reclaimed wooden floors, exposed stone brick walls, vintage chapel chairs, and original cabinets coveting heirloom china adorn the space. The recessed bar, accented with ambient lighting, beckons guests to sit at the counter for a drink or two. Servers, dressed in clean white attire and long linen aprons, set the tone for the refined dining experience. 

Credit: Gentl and Hyers

Perusing the oversized printed menu discreetly nestled behind the chapel dining chairs, you’ll find a diverse selection of traditional and innovative dishes. Every Italian meal at Via Carota commences with a few bread slices dipped in a healthy amount of olive oil. Following this, the apéritif experience unfolds, offering an array of expertly crafted cocktails. Whether you opt for the Signature Manhattan or the Classic Negroni, each sip is better than the last—and if you find a favorite, you can bring it home with you through their Via Carota Craft Cocktails collection.

Credit: Cerruti Draime

Starting with the Insalate Verde salad with crisp lettuce and a sherry vinaigrette is a must-order if you need to incorporate some greens before the entrées. Another standout dish under the verdure listings is the Carciofi Crudi, consisting of raw artichoke, avocado, and Parmigiano Reggiano. 

Regarding the main course, diners who’ve done their research before visiting will be well aware that the Tonnarelli (cacio e pepe) stands out as a must-order pasta dish. Next to that, the Risotto—infused with sweet notes of fresh Meyer lemon, and the Pappardelleaccompanied by a savory wild boar ragu—are worth adding to the list of plates to try. Finally, it would be remiss not to mention the Branzino al Sale—a perfectly salt-baked whole branzino that melts in your mouth—as an excellent choice for sharing with the table.

Credit: Cerruti Draime

Aside from its knock-out food, drinks, service, and decor, what truly sets Via Carota apart from other esteemed eateries in the city is its unique ability to welcome individuals from all walks of life. Stepping into Via Carota is like being transported to an old-world Italian trattoria, where the simple joys of eating, drinking, and simply being are celebrated in the present moment.

Top Takeaways

Location: West Village, Manhattan

Address: 51 Grove St, New York, NY 10014

Cuisine: Italian

Price Point: $$$

Takes Reservations: Limited, but yes, available online 30 days in advance, released at 10 AM daily on Resy. Walking in and waiting for a table is your best bet.

The vibe: An iconic West Village Italian trattoria serving traditional plates & apéritifs in a rustic, cozy space.

Our favorite thing on the menu: It’s a tie between the cacio e pepe and the tiramisu for dessert. And since we can’t decide, we’re going to say both. 

The attire: Smart casual

Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner: Via Carota is open Mondays through Friday from 11 AM – 11 PM and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 AM – 11 PM

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