Pete Wells heads uptown for his review in the Times today and files on four-year-old Caravaggio. The Upper East Side restaurant is owned by the four Bruno brothers. It opened in 2009 and throws back to the era of white tablecloths and dress codes. "Caravaggio," writes Wells, "is defiantly elegant in an age that sees white tablecloths as a medieval relic whose sadistic power to stand in the way of a good time is second only to that of the chastity belt."
In the dining room, elegance takes the guise of fresh flowers and a selection of well-curated art. There's "a signed Matisse lithograph," "a pair of Ellsworth Kelly prints," and "a pair of Frank Stella paintings." "Donald Baechler has covered the entire back wall with a crowd of the eeriest children in the world," the critic writes. "The mural is unsettling," Wells notes, "but it has the hovering, electric presence of real art."
Of Caravaggio, "It is one of the most civilized Italian restaurants to turn up anywhere in the city in the last few years," Wells writes. But he also cites ample inconsistencies in the kitchen, and with the all-too-common, steep Upper East Side prices, the critic awards just one star. "First-time travelers should be warned: no matter what the euro is trading at, the exchange rate on the Italian Upper East Side is always awful." [NYTimes]