Your NYC to do list for dining and more, when the time is right

Gail Ciampa, The Providence Journal

Before omicron arrived to ruin the holidays, I had a short but lovely visit to New York City. I planned to write about my suggestions for dining and entertainment for those who might be making a holiday visit. Pre-pandemic, Rhode Islanders often took that convenient Amtrak train to go see a show and have a special dinner around Christmas and New Year’s.

While it seems foolhardy to share this story now, I will. There are two reasons: hope for better days, and my bad memory. So cut and save if a trip to the city is in your future.

I took the fast Acela train and everyone stayed masked up. It was my first time seeing the new Moynihan Train Hall, an expansion of Pennsylvania Station, in the former main post office building. It opened this year and it’s sparkling new. That is one very, welcome upgrade.


A perfect NYC lunch


I had a lunch I will not soon forget at a new restaurant that was not far from Rockefeller Center, where I wanted to see the tree.

Casa Limone just opened this summer, occupying two stories at 20 East 49th St.

It is the first restaurant from Michelin-starred Italian chef Antonio Salvatore. It’s inspired by the Amalfi Coast in design and menu. There are flower-strewn pergolas hanging over second floor tables and the staircase. There are also bright, refreshing drinks (made with Prosecco and limoncello) and classic Italian cocktails. Welcome plates with olives, focaccia and mortadella are served.

The aroma from wood-fired oven wafts in the air.

Casa Limone is one of those places that transports you while you dine. It’s not hard to believe you are in Southern Italy, at least for a few hours. Some of the tables are inlaid with Italian ceramic tiles, which are also used for some of the dishware. It adds to the cheerful setting.

From burrata appetizers to desserts including delicate doughnut holes served with ice cream and chocolate, everything is beautifully plated and delicious. There’s plenty of creativity on the menu, such as Provolone Podolico, a baked provolone dish served with vegetables. It’s plated by the server for a bit of a show.

While I went for lunch, the all-day menu includes pastas, seafood and meat. Pizza, too, from that wood-fired oven, is on the menu and includes the Tartufata with black truffles and ricotta.

If you go


Casa Limone is located at 20 East 49th St, (646) 370-6282, Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.


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