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CIAO Wood-Fired Pizza & Pasta

2 Hickory Hollow Lane
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-257-2233

CIAO is a new Italian eatery in the former home of Watercress and Billy Bob Jack's, off North Triphammer Road. Opened by owner Mark Campagnolo, formerly of Joe's and now a co-owner at the BoatYard Grill, they feature brick-oven pizza, as well as Tuscan-style dishes. They're off to an excellent start.

4

Circus Truck

720 West Green Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-229-5198

This new food truck, currently situated in Ithaca's west end, offers made-to-order pasta dishes and other Italian food, plus breakfasts, burgers, sandwiches, and more. The breakfast burrito is huge and filling, the BBQ patty melt is ridiculous, and there's often a fresh pasta special. They're generally open weekdays for breakfast and lunch, and late into the night on Friday and Saturday. Look for them in the parking lot between West Green Street and West State Street, behind the Finger Lakes Beverage Center.

3
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Italian Carry Out

1070 Danby Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-256-1111

One of Ithaca's top pizzerias, this latest incarnation of Italian Carry Out (which used to be on Meadow Street) also offers hot and cold sandwiches, wings, fish fry platters, and such Italian dinners as lasagna, chicken parm, and a variety of pasta. Delivery takes a while and they might not get your order quite right, but they'll cheerfully fix it.

4

Joe's Restaurant


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602 West Buffalo Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-256-3463

This old favorite in Ithaca's west end reopened several years ago to great fanfare and high expectations. Despite a shaky start, Joe's has settled down and provides good Italian-American fare. Specials in the bar, such as a pizza and a pint, make it more affordable than a full dinner can be.

5

Mercato Bar & Kitchen

108 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-319-5171

On "restaurant row" in the former downtown home of Ragmann's, Mercato Bar & Kitchen offers crostini and charcuterie, pasta and pastry, steaks and seafood. They serve an extensive and affordable wine list and a creative cocktail menu, and they're always near the top of our list of area favorites.

5

Rosalie's Cucina

841 West Genesee Street
Skaneateles, NY 13152
Phone: 315-685-2200

This bakery and Tuscan-themed Italian restaurant was opened in 1995 by Philip Romano, the restaurateur who's also responsible for the Macaroni Grill and Fuddrucker's chains. He built it for his ill sister, Rosalie, but she unfortunately passed away about a year after the restaurant opened. A meal here begins with freshly baked, hot Italian bread, with olive oil and a plate of oregano, grated cheese, hot pepper flakes, and minced garlic to mix into your oil as you see fit.

4

Taverna Banfi

130 Statler Drive
Statler Hotel
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: 607-254-2565

On the second floor of the Statler Hotel on the Cornell campus, Taverna Banfi (formerly "Banfi's") is known for a solid lunch buffet, an exceptional and decadent Sunday brunch buffet, and a Tuscan-themed menu, with unrivaled views of campus. Much of the staff is from Cornell's School of Hotel Administration, learning how to operate a restaurant, but they're working with pros. For a casual visit, we love the simple tapas menu in the Banfi wine bar, set up nightly in the same room as the midday buffet.

4

ZaZa's Cucina

622 Cascadilla Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-9292

Since ZaZa's opened, we haven't heard anyone comment that they didn't like the food; at worst, people felt it was a bit pricey, or that the portions didn't match the prices. There's no question the experience is worth the price for a special occasion such as a birthday or friends visiting town, or just a relaxing mid-week treat. The food is very good, the presentation beautiful, and the service expert and attentive.

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