As we all know, restaurants in New York City can change faster than you can say, “Taxi!” which is why it is heartening when you land in one that has a real history, continually fine food and a steady audience. All of this can be said about Rossini’s, a warm, pretty Italian restaurant in Murray Hill that maintains the best of Old World Italian traditions. The bilevel restaurant, with its gold carpeting, white tablecloths, and tuxedoed waiters exudes the same air of friendly formality as it did when it opened in 1977, while catering to a relaxed and casual crowd. Paintings and murals of Italian coasts and villages embellish the surroundings, while a classic North Italian menu satisfies delightfully. On a recent late Friday afternoon I enjoyed a house green salad with a lively vinaigrette and a tenderly turned salmon, accompanied by sautéed string beans. Other choices include a variety of pastas; veal Francese; filet mignon in a wine sauce with prosciutto and mushroom, and lamb chops with light Italian seasonings. At the end of the meal, coffee came accompanied by a bottle of Sambuca (which happens with regulars who request it): at this point, it felt like all that was missing was Don Corleone itself. Sometimes, the more things change, the more they remain the same. And when it comes to Rossini’s, that’s a very good thing.
>> Rossini’s, 108 E. 38th St., 212.683.0135