Throw out that Papa John's menu. Directly across the street from that corporate chain's East Harlem outpost lies this charming, old-world 'cucina con amore' and pizza isn't the only thing on the menu. The 50 different dishes include homemade pastas topped with a variety of sauces as well as multiple chicken, veal and seafood platters. But the risottos are true standouts. The Risotto ai Funghi Porcini is heavy, creamy and overflowing with mushrooms while an artichoke white sauce makes the Risotto ai Carciofi a lighter choice. Those who love breasts should try the Sophia Loren: a voluptuous chicken breast stuffed with prosciutto and mozzarella in a shiitake mushroom sauce. — Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld

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New York Lexikon