Paola's Restaurant

4.5
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1363 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 1363 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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C
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

Sadly, the Paola’s we know and love did not show up Sunday evening. The staff as always was prompt courteous and nice. But the food was bland at best and over cooked at it’s worst. We won’t be returning for quite sometime which is disappointing since it’s around the corner from my mother’s home and has been our go to restaurant for Sunday night dinners.

D
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Took our elderly (and choosey) others to dinner post theatre for their birthdays. We were shown a quiet corner table and given exceptional attention by the staff, starting with cocktails. We then enjoyed the “buzzy” salad, well prepared pastas and a terrific Osso Buco special. All dishes were classically prepared and then followed by terrific tiramisu and a rich profiteroles. Highly recommended for an elegant dinner.

A
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

My negative evaluation is due to the way in which my husband and I were treated. We arrived in time for our 7:45 reservation, actually a few minutes early. The maitre’d kept telling us “two minutes” until our table was ready. This went on for 12-15 minutes, until finally we were seated. Once we settled in, he told (not asked) us to get up because another party of three, who arrived later than we did, were better suited for this table. He’d have another table for us in “two minutes.” At this point we decided to leave. This was incredibly rude an unacceptable treatment. Then to add insult to injury, he reported us to open table as no-shows. I would also note that the place was incredibly noisy. I would not recommend it.

G
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Look forward to returning again and again. Many thanks.

MX
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent and a pleasure as always

F
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always a great experience the Sunday lunch at Paola’s restaurant.
Food is amazing and service always attentive.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

Indifferent waiters
Had to ask 4 times for a glass of Chardonnay
Etc etc

AD
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good experience overall, would recommend.
Only downside was the wait even with reservation.

P
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 2

Came here for brunch Saturday Oct the 5th. Service was non existent. Quick to come and take your order but not quick on following through. Food was definitely not to the 4.5 rating they show on line. Not even close. Definitely would not come here again.

DY
New England
4 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 4

Good Upper East Side vibe. Friendly service. Uneven food preparation. AVOID THE VEAL CHOP. It is a bone surrounded by layers of fat.

m
New York Area
46 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

This a very good neighborhood restaurant, with solid, dependable cooking. Nothing is memorable, but regulars swear by its consistency and come back again and again. A great place to go when you’re visiting the Guggenheim, but not worth a detour.

CB
New York Area
62 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was the best experience I have ever had at Paola's because it was the first time we set outside. We could actually have a conversation without shouting, which is nearly impossible in the dining room because of the noise. We live on the UES and have loved the food here for years, especially in the old 84th St location. We would come to the new one more often if they would do something to reduce the noise.

j
New England
107 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always terrific food in an atmosphere that stays warm and welcoming no matter how crowded it gets (and it is very popular!).

OT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beet salad, Trofie pasta and duck dishes are always terrific. Swordfish was enjoyed by our guest.

MG
Denver
13 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Noisy bustling atmosphere. Food is good and staff is great.

l
New York Area
22 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Pasta was delicious but too much noise.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

Food was good but the service was startlingly bad. Waited 40 min for our reservation despite being told it would be 10-15 min. Then seated at a table near the waiter stand.. Had to ask for water refills 4 times. Asked for bread refill that never came. Basically we were ignored by the wait staff. It’s so disappointing — seems one has to be a regular to get any attention. A real miss.

s
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Only problem is that I've never in my four or five visits gotten a good table for two. Most of the tables are for 4 or more. Squeezed in in busy spots seems to be my Paola seating fate, which is a shame because the food is so Italian authentic and most staff excellent.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

Too long, too loud, too rude, too expensive for bad service (had to ask for things multiple times and often never came) and mediocre food. just not a nice night out ..

BS
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Best food on Upper East side. Consistently good food and service. Loud. Reservations a must.

C
New York Area
84 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I had a delightful lunch and a first-time experience at Paola’s since we had to be in the Carnegie Hill area that afternoon. What fun- such a charming small but elegant old-world style restaurant with very good food, wine and service. I chose a delicious avocado, beet, and heirloom tomato salad and my husband had a very tasty wild boar ragu. Great crusty Italian bread also! We will definitely make a trip back here.

B
New York Area
82 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

15 minutes late to be seated, 15 minutes before drink order taken, 15 minutes to get drinks, 20 minutes for appetizers, 30 minutes for entrees. The food is good, but because they overbook the early time slots they are slammed by 7:30. A reservation between 7:30 and 8:00 is a 2 1/2 hour odyssey. If you have engaging companions and don’t have to get up in the morning it is a delightful place. For me, not so much. You’d think I’d learn - three time in the past year and identical experiences.

SU
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this place! Every on the menu is soooooo delicious !

OT
New York Area
431 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We had a very good dinner at Paola’s. We shared the calamari for a first course. Two of us ordered branzino for a main course and the third person had the mushrooms. All were delicious.

OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is always good! Enjoy.

GG
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sempre bello la domenica sera venire da voi !

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LS
New York Area
66 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Service was lacking this last visit. The waiter was very indifferent.

AL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

We waiting over 30min for our table

AS
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Fun atmosphere and good food. We’ll return.

NY
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

The food is good but overpriced at this UES mainstay but the tables are on top of each other, the sound level deafening and the waiters were sloppy at best (making us wait 15 minutes to even order a cocktail, spilling the remains of my salad into my purse on the floor and disappearing for long gaps of time.) I wouldn't return.

r
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite restaurants in the neighborhood. Always friendly service and exceptional food. The room is bright, alive and bustling, which is fun but can be difficult for anyone with hearing issues. We solved the problem by asking to be seated at an outdoor table. The three of us shared a very generous calamari appetizer, and we all had different pastas. The gluten-free pasta with mushrooms and shaved black truffles was exquisite--earthy, a riot of flavors--wonderful. Pasta itself was perfect--not the gluten-free and flavor-free afterthought some restaurants serve. Served by attentive and friendly waiters. Perfect al fresco dining in NY.

JA
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Arrived at the bar around 5:30 to wait for a friend. Quiet at first but the bar and restaurant soon filled up. The service was great as was the ambience. The food was good. The Fegatini Toscana was good but the presentation was lacking. I would have enjoyed it more if it was served on a small plate with the chicken livers slightly “smothering” the polenta rather than in a soup style
dish completely smothering the polenta. It ate more as a stew which may have been the intent but not quite what I was expecting. It was also difficult cut the chicken livers in the bowl with high sides. I think it would have been more manageable
On a small plate with a flat surface. Overall, I’ll return but won’t order the same meal.

PF
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Lovely. Food excellent

A
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A sophisticated upper east side scene. Food is wonderful. Simple but flavorful. The pasta is a dream. Service top notch. Go. You won’t be disappointed.

CG
Savannah
10 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Had a great brunch here so came back for dinner. Service was just okay and food was salty and tasted days old.

L
New York Area
59 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is always delicious and waitstaff are terrific

J
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Not a vacant seat in the restaurant so the noise level was high, otherwise outstanding.

TV
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Yes I would recommend Paola's, excellent restaurant for great Italian food. Good wine list some very well priced. Service always excellent. A pity that some guests arrive in dirty shorts and T shirts and flip flops, if it were my restaurant Id send them home to get dressed first. I hate ties and jackets but please just get a little dressed when you come to this great place for dinner. Branzino was excellent, so was the chicken breast Milanese .

JP
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our favorite restaurant! We feel at home here. We love the food, the staff and management! Romolo (Pepito) Algeni, our dear friend, always takes the best care of us! great!!! We go to Paola’s in the city regularly for years and are so happy that they opened in East Hampton!!! We go to the Hampton’s almost weekly during the summer. So nice to have our favorite restaurant there and in the city! All the food is exceptional. Our favorite appetizer is the Roman Style Artichokes and the Bronzino for entree. Their homemade pastas and raviolis are delicious. Especially the Agnolotti!!!!

SP
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I was greeted very warmly from every member of the staff
Armando was fantastic
The kind of place I felt at home and would go again just for that
Service outstanding

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