Il Violino

4.4
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1334 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian

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Pre/post Theatre
Casual
Il Violino was established in 1993 by the Mariani family. They are from Villa Santa Maria, a little town in the heart of Italy (Abruzzo) known as La patria dei cuochi (chefs from this town have been executives at the Vatican, the White House, embassies and top restaurants and cruise lines around the world). Il Violino has been one of the original Lincoln Center Italian restaurants and, in these days, one of the few still in operation.
The chef Vincenzo Mariani, formerly the executive chef at Monsignore (one of the top restaurant in New York City in the 70’s and 80’s), leaded the kitchen with his international experience and created an original and innovative Italian menu.
In 2009 the owner, decided to write a new page. The restaurant has been transformed into a Trattoria: a warmer and cozier ambiance, one of those that you can easily find in any small town in Italy.
What 1334 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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R
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We were seated quickly and graciously, at the time we had reserved. Rustic bread slices were immediately brought to the table with olive oil. More later.

ST
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Food is very good with decent sized portions. The prix fixe dinner is a good deal for $45. We had a window table which is always interesting given the street traffic. Our waitress was new and a little hassled but very pleasant and conscientious. A good place if you are in the neighborhood.

GG
Naples
7 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Ordered the price fixe menu. Minestrone was more of a broth with a few vegetables. Caesar salad did not include anchovies as did the salad on the menu. Chicken parmesan was well prepared and tasty.

DZ
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very enjoyable dinner experience. Food was very good and service prompt and courteous.

s
New York Area
489 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

the food is always consistent as is the wines by the glass list and it is always comfortable coming here for lunch or dinner.

JH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Family in town for thanksgiving.

AM
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the window seat. I actually liked the closeness of other people the vibe of the place. The customer were all different ages. My son and I enjoyed. Plus it was the holidays so it felt extra special

KB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience2

Their pasta is homemade every day and they have gluten free penne to substitute in any dish. The quarters are pretty cramped but we enjoyed our experience. The waitress had two orders at the table incorrect that had to go back so that was a little inconvenient.

OT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

We decided on Il Violino for dinner after our show. Upon arrival we were promptly seated at a window table in the side room. This area is quite narrow making seating pretty tight, but it is NYC......Service and food were excellent. Would recommend.

OT
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The place is a little small and tight but the food and service were very good. Nice wine list as well.

J
New York Area
46 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal pre Lincoln center theater! Will be back again!

v
Miami
10 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We picked this spot to have an early pre-opera meal, so proximity to Lincoln Center was key. But the food was so impressive I would go back any time. The pasta e fagioli was rich, thick and intensely flavorful and the risotto with black truffles was superb, accompanied by a great reasonably priced bottle of Gavi di Gavi. The setting is a little cramped but the service more than made up for that. Overall a perfect start to the night!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Best service

T
New York Area
47 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Il Violino is always dependable Italian fare on the upper westside. Good drink pours, too.

R
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Great hostess! Very accommodating and came up with a plan when our guests came 1/2hour late. Food was delicious - the best lasagna I've ever had!

JC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very delicious meal, tasted fresh. Enjoyed the Pomodoro spaghetti and braised lamb with a bottle of Chianti Classico.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was delicious & atmosphere cozy

c
New York Area
115 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We consider IL violino a neighborhood gem! Best italian we've had on the UWS. The maitre d was gracious, service staff attentive. Had carpaccio then fettuccine with mushrooms and shrimp, husband had lasagna , nicely done broccoli Rabe, tiramissu.

DH
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience5

It is a pleasant restaurant close to Lincoln Çenter. We have eaten there many times. This time the food was bland and disappointing
HS

E
New York Area
22 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Wonderful old school Italian restaurant with exceptional service and decent food. Worth it for the ambiance and a nice place to go before a show at Lincoln Center.

MT
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall1food1service3ambience2

Horrible experience dining at Il Violino this past Saturday night. Have been there a few times over the years and enjoyed it, location is convenient before a show at Lincoln Center. This time we were seated at an isolated table in an alcove near the door-- there was a bright fluorescent light from outside shining right on our table, and every 10 seconds someone opened the door and we got a blast of cold air. We had to eat dinner with our winter coats on. Our server mostly ignored us because we were off by ourselves in a corner where she couldn't see us. The food was terrible as well. Pasta is supposed to be fresh, homemade, I think-- but it is heavy, gummy, starchy. I could barely even eat a simple dish of spaghetti. Extremely disappointing overall. We will not be going back.

LL
New York Area
30 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always wonderful- the food, the service, the ambiance, the view outside!

p
New York Area
117 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Ok for a meal near Lincoln Center if you don’t expect anything special.

RB
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We happened to notice Il Violino when we were staying at a terrible hotel in the neighborhood. Walked by. Liked the looks, stopped in, and they found us a table even thought things were very busy and we had no reservation. We have returned every year since. Always with advance reservations. Looking forward to next year's visit to NYC and a meal at Il Violino.

MG
New York Area
40 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

This is a neighborhood staple for me; it was new for my friends. We all enjoyed it.

NY
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent pasta - tasty and filling. Service and staff are friendly and efficient

OT
New York Area
55 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Love this place. Love the ambience. But the food is not what it once was. The sauces (esp tomato) have gotten way too heavy. Chef needs a lighter touch.

Y
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A friend and I had a lovely lunch at this cozy little restaurant. Food was good and reasonably priced and we had a nice table by the window. I'll definitely return.

m
New York Area
226 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

The popularity of this restaurant bewilders me. I went at a friend's suggestion. Physically, the place is dated and cramped. Culinarily, it's as ordinary as it could be - not terrible not great. Edible. Service is fine. It's open late.

JS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall2food4service1ambience2

We were kept waiting almost 30 minutes beyond our reservation time!! We were given ,is-information about when our table would be ready. If we had been told the truth, we would have left since we had theater tickets - very unhappy!!

SH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Friendly, comfortable place with excellent food and service at a very reasonable price.

GT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

I know it's near Lincoln Center but $30 for a bowl of pasta ia too much. At least they have a Montepulciano for $10 a glass, considering the rip off New York is nowadays where in some places the cheapest glass of wine is $20, not too bad. My friend and I shared an antipasto and a salad and ordered separate, no dessert, I had a cup of espresso, with tip and tax it all came to $70 per person.

FM
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience3

A good place to get in and out of efficiently for a show at Lincoln Center.

OT
Los Angeles
18 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service. Highly recommend.

MN
Naples
37 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good location. Good food. Pretty quiet. Would recommend anytime.

V
New York Area
37 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall4food4service2ambience3

We arrived promptly for a reservation had tickets to Ballet to Lincoln Center. Our server was inattentive took quite a long time to come to our table initially I had to ask him about the specials You're over hearing him Go through specials at the menu with a table that arrived after. he was in such a rush that after we gave our order But didn't ask if we'd like anything to drink, I chased him down to say we'd like t order some wine. I told him we won of the Montepulciano, he brought a single glass, I told him we wanted a bottle we are two people. The food was good afterwards he didn't ask us if we wanted dessert or anything else just drop the check without any eye contact.

DS
New England
25 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Always good. We have been coming here for years. Always before the Opera at Lincoln Center, which is only a short walk from Il Violino. The food and service are consistently superb. It was crowded when we arrived and we were seated immediately with our reservations. Will definitely return when we come back to NY City. Prices are fair for quality meals. Not overpriced as many places are nowadays

NB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

I go often and have never had a bad experience there.

PF
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Consistently great Italian food. Friendly neighborhood atmosphere.

V
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Nice neighborhood restaurant and food serving size is good. The staff are very nice too!