NI’s 2017 Dining Awards: Best Restaurant

Photo by Michael Caronchi

Voted best restaurant in 2015, the first year of our dining awards, Osteria Tulia continues to rule the Naples-area dining scene with a unique brand of rustic Italian cooking. Sicilian-born chef Vincenzo Betulia brings the best, truest flavors of his homeland to lunch and dinner menus that demonstrate his keen sense of playfulness, mastery, and ingenuity. He has made crisp fried pigs’ ears a new bar standard and pizza even more fun, with names such as Mary Had a Little Lamb (lamb sausage, ricotta, and spring onions) and A Pig in the Olive Grove (speck from South Tyrol, olivada, and mozzarella).

Prosciutto with dried fruit mostarda. (Photo by Vanessa Rogers)

Signature, don’t-miss dishes include caramelized Brussels sprouts with house-made fennel sausage; Sicilian meatballs with pine nuts and currants; garganelli pasta with braised lamb neck sugo and sheep’s milk cheese; and tortelloni with roasted beef short rib, foie gras emulsion, and Marsala.

Osteria Tulia can also be credited with propelling the craft cocktail fashion in Naples. A favorite for refreshing warm-weather imbibing is the Fiore blends vodka, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, crushed raspberries, and sparkling limonata.

Enjoy it or an Italian craft beer at the long, convivial bar in the intimate, age-worn brick- and wood-walled dining room, which achieves a warm Italian farmhouse feel. Or dine street-side amid the gaslight glow and effervescent hubbub of Fifth Avenue South. Tulia’s carefully curated wine list focuses on regional Italian vintages.

Dinner entrées range from wood-grilled heritage pork ribeye with blistered avocado and lime to Mediterranean branzino (sea bass) with stewed artichokes and anchovy. The lunch menu offers many of the same dishes you’d find at dinner, plus handheld panini like the Rotisserie Porchetta, made with roasted pork wrapped in pork belly, grilled onion, and fennel mayo; or the Prosciutto Cotta Piadina, with scallion butter, fontina, arugula, and tomato.

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