Where You Should Go Tonight: Gelso & Grand

Another Friday night in New York and you’re craving Italian food. It’s what you crave every Friday, likely, because eating it feels like a celebration. And it’s Friday, so yeah, you should celebrate.

Now that you know what you want, you’re facing the question of where to get it, and it’s no secret that there’s no shortage of Italian restaurants in New York City. In fact there are tons, and you probably already know exactly where you like to get your chicken parm, bolognese, or slice of pepperoni. You’re probably not looking for any new suggestions but we’re going to give you one anyway. So why should you consider switching it up?

Because it’s Friday and you’re celebrating, remember, and you deserve something special. And when you moved to NYC we’re guessing you made a promise to try a new restaurant every month, or something like that, didn’t you? We had a feeling. So to stay true to your word tonight, go to Gelso and Grand. It’s an Italian place in Little Italy, yes, but the food is unique and memorable. You can still get your pizza and pasta, don’t worry, but dining at Gelso & Grand feels like a special treat. So go on, treat yo-self! Get your Italian fix and add a side of black truffle mushroom bruschetta, because (again) it’s Friday and why not?


  1. Gelso means “mulberry” in Italian, so if Google Maps fails but you happen to speak Italian, you’ll be able to find the restaurant since it’s located at Gelso aka Mulberry st. and Grand St. We’re sure this will happen to at least one person at some point.
  2. The restaurant is on a giant Southeast facing corner. Who cares? You do, because it means it’s about the sunniest place in the city for brunch, lunch, or cocktails. Weekend plans made.
  3. The cocktails also pay homage to the area as they’re named after different streets in the hood. So you can have a Moscow Mule-esque drink without getting confused and thinking you’re in Moscow (again, we’re sure this has happened to someone), since here it’s called the Bowery Mule.
  4. The menu is Italian but it’s different from the menus at neighboring restaurants. Instead of Penne a la vodka you’ll find squid ink risotto and a lasagna that takes 24 hours to make. Like we said, the food is special, and the head chef has worked at places like Bouley and Momofuku. So that helps.
  5. Not in the mood for pizza or pasta? Weird, but okay. If that’s the case you then know that our founder’s boyfriend reported that the skirt steak satisfied his big manly appetite, and really all the entrees we tried were excellent. Plus there are like salads and stuff if you really wanna be that person.
  6. But speaking of veggies, you should actually get some because they come straight from the restaurant’s rooftop garden. It doesn’t get more locally sourced than that, people.
  7. The owner is from the neighborhood and his goal is for Gelso & Grand to be a place that reminds us what we used to love about Little Italy — fresh, homemade goods that were definitely made by someone’s grandma. And while we haven’t heard anything about the chef having grand kids, we still think he succeeds brilliantly.

Gelso & Grand is located at 189 Grand Street. On the corner of Grand and Mulberry of course.

Make your reservation on Open Table or call at (212) 226-1600

Images via Gelso & Grand


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