A Voce

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Restaurant: A Voce

Cuisine: modern Italian

Chef: Riccardo Bilotta

Location:  Time Warner Center, Columbus Circle, Upper West Side

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A Voce in Italian literally means word of mouth.

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This upscale restaurant in the Time Warner Center has been one of our favorites for the past 8 years. Over that period of time, my husband and I saw chefs come and go, menu change, shifts in ambiance and some minor remodeling take place. We are happy to say that after the most recent changes and with the new executive Chef Ricardo Bilotta, the restaurant is once again at the pinnacle of its culinary glory.

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I had countless lunches there with my girlfriends. There are plenty of choices on the menu that range from light interesting seasonal salads to well composed pastas, risottos, fish and meat and, of course, their dolci. These dishes are beautiful to the eye and exactly what girls want to eat.

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Who can beat this view?!!! At lunch natural day light from large windows facing Columbus Circle permeates the space casting shimmering sun rays across the near by tables. At night the place transforms to a sleek yet cozy restaurant still offering magnificent views of Columbus Circle and Central Park South. Few places in New York can boast such views!

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My husband and I have been coming to A Voce for years, partially because of its convenience for us but mostly for its food and ambiance. Italian food (in any form) ignites our palates and nurtures our souls in inexplicable delicious way. Restaurant’s bar remains our favorite choice of seating when it’s just the two of us. It is wide enough to comfortably have dinner yet still intimate enough to make us feel like we are alone when in fact there are people having conversations and dinner all around us. Sometimes we just like to stop by to have a glass of wine from their perfectly tailored wine list and finish the night with something light, like Panna Cotta or a scoop of their house made gelato. If you are a cheese person, there are extensive choices of that as well.

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One of my favorite appetizers are crudi. I am not sure where the tradition originated but it almost seems like an Italian version of sashimi, really high quality raw fish beautifully arranged on the plate and usually garnished with delicate thinly sliced condiments such as fresno chilies, radishes, green sprouts and even osetra or trout caviar.

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Ahi tuna, agrodolce, lemon verbena crudo.

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Black bass, burrata pearls, sturgeon caviar, lemongrass crudo.

While A Voce is not the only Italian eatery that serves crudos, theirs are simply exquisite and always delightfully fresh and refreshing. Order at least two to share, chase them with Prosecco and enjoy the excellent start of your dinner.

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Go for small middle course just as they do in Italy. Seafood pasta (try chitarra or house-made cavatelli with rabbit sausage) or risotto that the chef served us on the day of our photo shoot. The portion is always just right so that you won’t feel stuffed and can enjoy the main course.

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Risotto with Acquerello rice, carabineros shrimp, water cress, sunchoke.

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I had this mouthwatering, succulent veal tenderloin with Perigord black truffle, winter vegetables, pumpkin mustard for my entree.

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Wine list is extensive and well curated with plenty of choices even for the most discerning oenophile.

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Chef Riccardo Bilotta has an incredible international background of cooking in the Michelin-starred restaurants of Spain and Italy, as well as in the US. He calls French Chef Pierre Gagnaire his food role model, so imagine how good his preparations are!!!

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Meet the illustrous Maitre d’ Valerio Arena. He is the front face of A Voce and you can always rely on him to take fabulous care of you! His professionalism and personality are second to none!

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Pere e Prosecco dessert with buttermilk cream chantilly, d’Anjou pear sorbet and whipped prosecco.

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Centrally located, A Voce has an amazing view of Columbus Circle and our Central Park; request the table by the window to enjoy unparalleled iconic vistas of the city. Another noteworthy view is the bustling kitchen behind the sleek glass display window. Its virtuosity becomes part of the ambiance, part of the whole attraction. In today’s world of high quality cooking especially by top chefs the words seasonal, local ingredients became almost synonymous with a good quality restaurant but when you add vision, talent and creativity, you get A Voce!

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LOOK: at A Voce you will see business suits and tourists, down town people and uptown crowd without any specific look theme. In my opinion the restaurant’s interior and location deserve a more put-together look. I wore Brunello Cucinelli’s crepe off-white pants with nude Louboutins and mink sweater from Ukrainian designer Oksana Karavanska.

Photographed by Gary Flom.

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