>Abitino’s Pizzeria: 1592 First Ave. New York, NY

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I have a very suggestible appetite. This morning, one of my friends had a Facebook status update about simmering meatballs in spaghetti sauce all day and it sparked an insatiable craving in me. This was at 10am. At noon I went for a 4.5 mile run and it was pretty much all I could think about the whole time. MmmMMM pasta and meatballs on a chilly autumn day. I ran pretty fast in order to get home in time to order delivery and chow down before my first voice student was due to arrive.
I chose Abitino’s to try because it had some great reviews online and was priced very reasonably. Less than $20 total for a lovely green salad, a roll, and a huge portion (that will feed me for 2 or 3 meals) of ziti, marinara sauce and about 6 big meatballs. This is not your run of the mill average pizza shop trying to make decent Italian food. I was SO pleasantly surprised, especially since the expectations my all-day-craving had could easily have set me up for disappointment. The salad was made with romaine, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions and olives with a great light Italian dressing on the side. Yay! No useless iceberg here! The huge roll was also excellent! Fluffy, buttery, chewy, fresh and light. I’m guessing that they actually make their own rolls there instead of ordering from their distributor…Very nice touch. The meatballs themselves were very impressive. Very flavorful, not too dense, not too salty, not too breadcrumby. Just the way I like them. The pasta was not overcooked as it often is from similar restaurants, and the food all arrived steamy and piping hot. Overall, this lunch was a complete success…and I’m excited to eat the rest of it for dinner.

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