Alex Guarnaschelli's Favorite Restaurants At This Year's NYCWFF - Exclusive

The New York City Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF) kicked off on October 12. And, on opening night, Alex Guarnaschelli, acclaimed chef and television personality, hosted an event alongside her "Ciao House" television co-host, chef Gabriele Bertaccini, to pay homage to the cuisine of Italy and the unique flavors and dishes that are created in New York City. The event, "Peroni's Taste of Italy presented by Stella Italian Cheese," highlighted the very best Italian-American cooking in New York — cooking with roots in Little Italy that have now blossomed throughout the city.

In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, Guarnaschelli shared her passion for all things Italian-American cooking as well as her favorite restaurants at this year's NYCWFF. "I love Di Fara Pizza here. Nonna Dora's Pasta Bar is wonderful, Cucina Alba is one of my favorites."

There was no shortage of mouthwatering Italian-American comfort food at the "Peroni's Taste of Italy" opening night event. Pier 86 was lined with booths from famed New York City restaurants serving a sampling of their acclaimed orecchiette, focaccia, cannoli, meatballs, and ravioli. And while every restaurant brought a unique and flavorful dish to the NYCWFF, Guarnaschelli was most excited about celebrating dishes from the New York City Italian-American restaurants that are closest to her heart.

Pasta, pizza, and Italian grandmothers

Nonna Dora's Pasta Bar, located in Kips Bay, recently graced Tasting Table's list of 25 Best Pasta Dishes in NYC. At the NYCWFF, not only was Nonna Dora's Pasta Bar serving sumptuous orecchiette in a flavorful rabbit ragu, but after waiting in line for a taste, festival-goers were treated to Nonna Dora herself preparing individual pieces of pasta. 

Brooklyn's Di Fara Pizza opened in 1965 and was famously one of Anthony Bourdain's favorite pizza spots in all of New York. Di Fara's square Sicilian pizzas are a true New York wonder. 

Cucina Alba, the newest addition to Guarnaschelli's list, joined the New York City dining scene in 2022 with a restaurant along the High Line. Cucina Alba, helmed by Adam Leonti, has many notable dishes, including a delectable lasagna verdi.

Missing the festival? Not a problem. You can sample all of these wondrous dishes at Guarnaschelli's favorite restaurants throughout New York.