The culinary scene in New York has been enlivened, plate for plate, by this name. After many decades, native New Yorker, revered chef, and Ambra’s Executive Chef, John DeLucie, has played a crucial part in turning a humble brick-and-mortar corner spot in Lower Manhattan into an Italian escape – a New York Italian restaurant as authentic as it is inspired by its own local neighborhood.
In his quest to return to his South Italian roots, the top chef and restaurateur was joined by expert mixologist Keith Larry (Employees Only), as well as seasoned New York restaurateur and Ambra’s founder Andrea Ienna (Capizzi). Ambra opened its doors to New York diners looking for the best Italian food in September 2023 without realizing that it would also attract much bigger A-list names too.
DeLucie knows food, and food knows DeLucie, with the likes of Empire Diner in Chelsea, Bedford & Co, The Waverly Inn, and The Lion but a few places on his resume – the list, unlike the ingredients for his famed homemade, traditional pasta, bread, or pizza, is long. DeLucie’s culinary journey has led him to a clear, uncomplicated vision for Ambra’s menu – Italian simplicity done well.
Premio Cusina Italiana in the West Village
The food is what you’d expect from an honest-to-goodness Italian restaurant menu. Therein lies its simplicity. Guests will, however, find that it’s done exceptionally well, an ode to Nonna’s kitchen, and modernized to fit comfortably into New York’s progressive food scene.
DeLucie is particularly excited about sharing homestyle pastas, like the classic, quality touches of the Tonnarelli Spaghetti and the frequently-ordered luxury tastes of the Pappardelle Braised Short Rib Ragu. Patrons who appreciate a good, freshly made pizza are also spoiled for choice with bursting Italian flavors (and a dash of innovation) like the Robiola with White Truffle, Rosso Tomato and Chili, or the Soppressata with Hot Honey.
For DeLucie, it’s truly an Italian homecoming with decadent, heritage-filled desserts that are deserving of their own shoutout on this menu. Really taking the spirit of this menu home, renowned mixologist Keith Larry has risen to the standards of cooking with a curated cocktail list and craft wine selection to both complement and celebrate the Italian flavors.
A Conversational Meal Setting
Ambra evokes an old-school Italian feel that is still reminiscent of the neighborhood and its food scene. Thoughtfully and expertly designed, the space reflects a minimalist comfort and features the characteristically Hudson Street oversized front and side glass windows, a casual yet intentional setting fit for hosting authentic Italian cuisine.
The patio is like the parmesan that adds a finishing touch to an inviting dish, telling a story of an intimate meal that manages to write a new chapter in New York Italian cuisine. It doesn’t try to be a fancy Italian restaurant in New York, yet it hopes to be the go-to for anyone looking for elevated yet traditional Italian flavors.
Since Ambra’s opening, this Hudson Street restaurant’s catering and hosting options have also seen a few ‘must-attend’ events, from fashion to Hollywood-status entertainment.
An Italian Escape In The Big City
Dish on Italian food master, John DeLucie’s distinctive homage with superlative, world-class cocktail innovation served too. A food offering with interiors that sing the praises of old and new, Ambra is open to guests Tuesday to Wednesday, 5 pm–11 pm, Thursday to Saturday, 5 pm–12 pm, and Sunday, 5 pm–10 pm, with brunch on the table soon. With a menu true to modern Italy that meets New York, reservations and walk-ins are welcome – have a seat.