Paola's Restaurant

4.5
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1401 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 1401 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
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New York Area
59 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect in every way.

J
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food4service2ambience2

The noise level, combined with poor (though amiable) service diminished my enjoyment considerably. The food was good, but that's not the only criterion for a good restaurant experience I doubt if I will return.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall1food3service3ambience1

We had a 730PM reservation for 4 people. They seated another table for 4 who came in after us at 750PM. and who were highly aggressive in their behavior. We were finally seated at 755PM after we said we were leaving. The experience was horrible. We will never go back.

E
Washington DC
55 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The ambiance is lively at this upper east side gem. Wonderful service at the bar where we sat and were able to sample great wines and terrific food including the warm mozzarella and perfectly fried artichokes. Very well priced for the city.

L
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The food is outstanding and the atmosphere is very inviting. The only minor concern is the price which was $90 for a lunch

OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Food and service at Paola's is consistently good. Price point is in line with the neighborhood. Atmosphere is conducive to having a normal conversation - no need to shout but not so dead that everyone hears your every breath. Highly recommend this neighborhood restaurant with a classy / casual feel and great food.

F
New York Area
32 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent! We love Paola’s!

n
New York Area
126 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We really enjoyed our first experience at Paola. Very accomodating host, hostess and coat check. Friendly, lively vibe. The tortillini soup was great and the buccatini was delicious. Nice wine list too. We would love to return.

L
New York Area
61 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always delicious

OT
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Just moved in to UES. Will eat here a lot.

j
New York Area
45 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent!

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WP
New England
17 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Exceptionally consistent and an alway great menu. A neighborhood gem.

D
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Best Italian ues

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LO
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Met an old friend for dinner.....we had a lot to talk about..........were seated at a table for two in the dining room --in the row in the center of the room with the bar in the back of it. Tables are very close together and
the place was packed on Thursday night. It was difficult to hear each other............but gradually as the evening went on the tables on each side of us were empty........and we could communicate. The tables are really too close together........but the food was very good.

B
New York Area
83 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience2

We only go to Paola's a couple times a year because they overbook, resulting in waits to be seated. This time it was 25 minutes. The food is good enough, but for the high prices I want to be whisked to my table the minute I walk in the door. And if you want to have a quiet conversation, go to Erminia - Paola's is like a wind tunnel.

S
New York Area
23 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful, cozy and very friendly place.
Service is excellent.

OT
New York Area
437 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We had dinner at Paola’s before going to The Guggenheim for Alvin Ailey’s Works & Process. We shared a calamari to start. For main courses I had the Duck breast and my friend had the Cornish hen. They were all very good. The only complaint was that the Dessert we ordered was too sweet. The bottle of Nebbiolo we had to drink was delicious and reasonably priced.

SU
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Very pushy manager/waiter. Asking us 2 minutes after we sat down for our order. He kept coming back every 2 minutes. Then he got the meatball appetizer order to us at the end of our meal. Also pushed a very expensive wine on us. He should back off. We are neighborhood frequent diners.

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was fantastic from the decor to the service to the food. I highly recommend this for a business dinner or a date night.

h
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love Paola's I celebrated my birthday there with a group. We go for almost all special family meals.
It's a special neighborhood trat!

DP
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall1food4service1ambience4

Food delicious BUT meal rushed and restaurant staff pushed us out. Much pressure to vacate table. Dined with old friends and after 1.5 hours practically pushed out! 400 dollar bill for 4 people we should be able to dine and not be pressured to leave restaurant. We didn't overstay and it was obvious they wanted to serve us and push us out to seat next group and keep money coming in. Will never ever go again!!

RE
New York Area
64 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Paolo's is an old style Italian restaurant with good service, excellent food in a very nice setting.

G
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Much too expensive for a neighborhood restaurant!

JM
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Post wedding dinner

RK
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The only problem with this place is deciding what to choose. The entire menu is wonderful.

I
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience3

We used to go here all the time, but service seems to have slacked off since the opening of the Hamptons Paola’s. Stefano used to greet and take care of us, but he has disappeared. Service is now rushed and impersonal. Drink orders arrive somewhere between the appetizer and the main course, if at all. Nobody recognizes us. Price of popularity, I suppose.

A
New York Area
43 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love Paola's, especially for lunch, when it is quieter. We live in the 'hood, and for dinner we tend to order take-out from them, so we don't have to deal with the noise at night. Food is great; lots of options, both sinful and healthful. Our favorite place in the neighborhood. Chicken paillard is great at lunch. Dinner favorites are the pollastrella, the bronzino, and the veal. And all the pastas.

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Experience at the podium was spotty. No offer to check coats. Wait for table despite reservation. High noise level. But . . . Best food in the Carnegie Hill area.

H
San Francisco
44 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of our favorite places - delicious food, efficient and warm servers, great ambiabce. We are always happy here.

ST
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience1

Reception was poor. Too many stables cramped on top of each other. Marinara sauce was tasteless. Best part of meal was desert. Doubt I will go back on a Sunday

JS
Denver
22 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Brunch The artichokes are the best!!! The eggs benedict are also wonderful.

B
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A favorite restaurant of mine. You certainly don't go here for the peace and quiet. Food is fabulous and the service is wonderful no matter how busy they are. Everyone remains calm on staff and sometimes you need to be a little patient, but all worth while. Their cocktails and wine never disappoint either.

ME
New York Area
25 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The service is great, and the food amazing. I ordered the branzino with fava beans and it was so tender and flavorful! The tartufo is not to be missed either.

RW
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Phenomenal food and excellent service. We had a large group and everyone’s food was incredible. We highly recommend the pasta with trumpet mushrooms and chicken thighs with broccoli rabe. So good!!

L
New York Area
30 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience3

Food is always good but the noise level,due to large groups at tables, has gotten so bad we may never return.

Y
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food as always was excellent. It IS a bit pricey but worth it

j
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

I like Paola's a lot, but why should I write a review if I receive no Open Table points?

R
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience3

The tables are extremely close to one another, esp the tables for 2. Apart from noise, being able to eat off your neighbor's table or commenting on their conversation getting up and out from the bench seats threatens to upend the next table. The food is ok but not special. The room itself has pleasant decor.

C
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience3

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
19 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

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.

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