Paola's Restaurant

4.6
1217 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
"Everybody in New York seems to be looking for the perfect neighborhood restaurant. I think I found it."
- Ruth Reichl, The New York Times

For almost 30 years, Executive Chef Paola Bottero has offered an authentic Italian dining experience and a warm welcome on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. An icon of the Carnegie Hill Neighborhood, Paola’s serves lunch, dinner, weekend brunch and Stuzzichini “lite bites” at the gracious bar or al fresco at the outdoor tables. Joined by her son Stefano, together they are committed to the freshest ingredients and the truest interpretations of La Cucina Italiana. Benvenuti!

What 1217 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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PB
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The entire evening was delightful. The food, service, ambiance and energy were all outstanding.

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RS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was delicious and service impeccable. The room is beautiful but noisy!

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NS
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the food.....even when it was a hole in the wall on east 85 st the food was terrific.
The noise level was really good because we came late for lunch.....usually it’s kind of noisy for me. My favorite appetizer is the fried baby artichokes and it would be if they would give us 4 instead of 3...." it’s very pricey and usually a split for me

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PS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It’s always an excellent experience at Paola! Stupendo!

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R
New York Area
26 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

food was good, service a bit perfunctory, and table are VERY close to one another, so not a place to have an intimate conversation.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very good!

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CD
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was wonderful the food the waiter the only negative thing I have to say is the hostess was not accommodating with the table that we wanted she put us in a very strange table that I was not happy about it and I own and it was a special birthday so I was a little disappointed she wasn’t willing to switch the tables and I ate at 6 o’clock so the restaurant was very very quiet that was the only negative thing I would say otherwise it was wonderfuli

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L
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service! Pasta to die for! Can't wait to go back!!!

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J
New England
31 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything we ordered was fantastic!!

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JA
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

The brunch menu was nice but portions were smaller than I would have liked. Also my bloody mary was very strong!

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v
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Nice place, good service but rather tasteless food at expensive prices.

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NY
New York Area
35 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Service was slow to arrive at first. So much so that we decided not to order appetizer and stuck to main course. That said, food was good. Solid atmosphere. Good place though not a first-rate venue.

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F
Philadelphia
56 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were greeted warmly by the staff and seated in a quiet corner, as requested. The waiter's wine recommendation was outstanding. The food was exceptional, especially the osso bucco and pasta. A refined and pleasurable dining experience.

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h
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Neighborhood favorite!

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v
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Going back to Paola is always a great idea. Is it a cliche to say I feel at home? Well, I really do. Can’t wait to go back again soon. Food was delicious and cooked in the authentic healthy recipes that distinguish real italian restaurants from restaurants that will turn a simply sauce into something heavy, because it sells more. The pappardelle with wild boar were to die for. The anatra a wonderful surprise. The vitello tonnato always my favorite.

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NH
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food at Paola’s never disappoints!

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PS
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

This was not our 1st visit to Paola's, but it will be our last. We had a dinner reservation for 7:15PM and was not seated until 8:00PM. In addition, the food was subpar. My wife ordered the linguine with white clam sauce and the dish lacked flavor. I ordered the salmon medium rare and it was overdone. All things considered, this was a very disappointing meal.

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MA
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 2

Too noisy and too expensive ($34 for four shrimp and corn pieces) and even though service is fine there is no absorption of noise and when the restaurant is full you cannot have a conversation

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

They forgot one friends lunch.

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B
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

It began badly when they claimed not to have my open table reservation. Same thing was happening to the couple behind us. I found the staff unfriendly and even rude. Food as always was good but not sure I’ll return.

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OT
4 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Food is always reliable. Very good Italian fare. Service is spotty, depends on which waiter you get. Our waiter was unfriendly and seemed to rush us at every turn; he has always been like this. No idea why the restaurant tolerates waiters who are not up to giving good service. Overall, Goff place to dine in Carnegie Hill.

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D
New York Area
76 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

This is one of my "go to" places for Italian food. It continues to be a wonderful restaurant and a neighborhood gem. Start off with the warm mozzarella with tomato and roasted peppers, yummy. After that, check out the cavatelli with broccoli de rapa and sweet sausage. Sublime. Just go there. You'll like it.

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic restaurant! Delicious food, professional service, great ambiance. Highly recommended

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GB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

I've eaten there for lunch several times and loved it. Dinner was a disappointment. Poor service, loud and uncomfortable table.
Sorry...

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l
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is amazing !!

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B
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

Waiters are nice and professional but short staffed. Linguini with clam sauce tasted like a sampling of water from the East River. Bolognese pretty good, as well as cocktails. Ended up getting a slice of pizza afterwards from pizza park, which I highly recommend.

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D
New York Area
39 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

As always, Paola's food was delicious and the service was excellent.

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JS
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

love Paola's - try to eat here whenever we come and visit the city of New York

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a
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Although a local joint, Paola's offers some of the best and most authentic Northern Italian food in the city. Have eaten there often and seldom was any dish other that excellent. Having been raised in Italy and being a gourmet Italian home cook, I am very hard to please and have little patience with with chefs who try unsuccessfully to show their "skills" by ruining traditional dishes. One of my favorites: Trofie al pesto. They are prepared just like my mother would have, had she been Genovese and a good cook.

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LF
New York Area
61 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

We go early for lunch before a class on a fairly regular basis. While Paola's states they open at 11:00 am, we are seated promptly and than have to wait for a long time before a server takes our order. There are only one or two tables occupied so it is not as though the servers are overburdened. The server did not ask if we wanted refills for coffee and snapped at one of the guests, saying "just give me a minute". While the food is good and it is quiet and geographically desirable the vibes are not exactly "you are valued customers".

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OT
New York Area
26 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently good food paired with friendly service

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SR
Zacatecas
10 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

fabulous, always fabulous!

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j
New York Area
102 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Paola's consistently delivers fabulous food in a lovely setting with great service! My favorite place on the upper east side!

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NY
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Everyone very nice, food very good.

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NY
New York Area
40 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The branzino was quite good. The Cesar salad was ok. good service. Still a little too noisy for me.
My wife did not like the vegetable soup - uninspiring.

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EH
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Hadn’t been to Paola‘s for 25 years but if anything it was more fabulous than ever. Paola, you may remember evenings at Paul and Arnhild Buckhurst’s in the 1980s, an introduction to your wonderful world.

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DD
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent as always! Paola's has been a staple of the Upper Eastside for decades. Never disappointing.

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l
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Paola's ALWAYS serves excellent food and offers wonderful, friendly service! It is a fantastic neighborhood spot. Homemade pastas, fish, veal - all delicious!

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SL
New Orleans
3 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite Upper East Side restaurant, and some of the best Italian food anywhere!

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A
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 3

Mediocre overall, service was poor and food was ok

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