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Linguine alla Vongole
December 18, 2008

Felice 64

Linguine alla Vongole

Celia Sin-Tien Cheng

I liked the Felice Wine Bar from the moment I entered, seduced, perhaps, by the simple, rustic room, its informal coziness, and a warm greeting that took me back to so many similar spots in Italy.

Chef Simone Parisotto is a pasta artist, so it was hard to choose from his nine offerings ranging from $10 to $20. I settled on linguine alla vongole veraci, my usual plate of linguine and little neck clams plus a new element. The veraci sits on a tasty purée of broccoli, served as a bed for the pasta.

As with all the offerings, the wine list far surpasses the usual selection. There are five full pages of Italy’s best with bottles starting in the low 30s and reaching three figures for big names such as the 2000 Rinaldi Barolo Cannubbio ($140), the 2004 Antinori Solaia ($320), and the 2005 Ornellaia ($270). This full-throttle list includes good buys in half-bottles and by the glass,too.

Open for brunch, lunch and dinner, Felice is not just an evening spot. The setting of people enjoying themselves among pleasant and knowledgeable servers and the reasonable prices put Felice on my favorites list. This is one of those charming mom-and-pop restaurants so common to Italy and so lacking in Manhattan.

Felice 64

1166 1st Ave
New York, NY
Upper East Side