I had a day off recently and with the winter months dragging on apart of me wanted to stay home but the other part of me wanted to go out to dinner. When I feel like this it’s easy for me to go to my favorite places over and over again for a guaranteed fabulous dinner and great service. This day though, I wanted to try something new and I remembered that there were a couple of new places that popped up in upper Harlem close to my house. As I headed to Google I quickly remembered Bono Trattoria, a brick oven pizza and pasta restaurant in Hamilton Heights.
I didn’t see any need for reservations on their website, so my mom and I hopped in a Uber and headed to dinner. Bono Trattoria is a super fabulous restaurant on the corner of 151st and Broadway. The outside can be deceiving with limited seats when you first walk in, but past the adorable brick pizza oven there are more tables for dining. We walked in on a Friday night around 7:25pm and the restaurant was already full. We had no problem waiting 20 minutes for a table as we watched a ton of fresh pizza and bowls of housemade pastas, along with glasses of red wine hit every single table in the restaurant. Once we got seated and looked over the menu I wanted to order everything (naturally) but we settled on a few dishes.
Here’s what we ordered:
tomato sauce, mozzarella & basil
shiitake mushrooms, sweet sausage & a splash of red wine
STROZZAPRETI ALLA NORCINA
sweet sausage, porcini mushrooms & truffle-cream sauce
After our server took our order, some warm soft bread came to our table with a deeply rich olive oil on the side. The bread had hints of herbs in it and we nibbled on it as we anxiously awaited our appetizers to arrive. To start the octopus was a large tentacle, simply grilled and seasoned with pepper flakes and dried herbs. I squeezed some fresh lemon juice and poured some of that delicious olive oil over it ( I couldn’t get enough) and went to werk!
The soft polenta with mushrooms came out on a wooden plank and topped with red wine and grilled bread. The polenta was smooth and creamy but thick enough that it didn’t run off the board and the mushrooms and sweet sausage combo added a super meaty texture. We LOVED this dish.
We couldn’t choose a pizza so we went with the classic margherita pizza and it was perfection. Thin crust with just enough sauce, cheese and char from the pizza oven. I’m not a thin crust pizza lover but this particular pizza was so perfect and flavorful that I devoured it. The strozzapreti, our house made pasta with more marvelous sweet sausage and mushrooms came in a really well constructed silky truffle cream sauce. Anyone that knows me knows I love a bowl of perfectly made pasta and this dish was it. It was piping hot but that didn’t stop me from spooning forkfuls of pasta and sausage in my mouth. Risking a few taste buds was completely worth it.
At this point we were breathing through our nose but how could we not share dessert? The tiramisu was creamy, thick and while not too sweet, was the perfect ending to our dinner, along with our bill which was less than $100 for 2 people. We left Bono that evening ready to come back the very next day. I love when a restaurant keeps me in anticipation for my next visit because of the delicious meal, the atmosphere and the care of the staff. Bono Trattoria is now that place for me. I went for dinner but if brunch and lunch are anything like dinner, Bono Trattoria can expect to see me more often than they think.
3658 Broadway (corner of west 151st st.)
New York, NY 10031