We readily admit it: The closest we’re likely to ever get to the New York Marathon is watching from the sidelines (cookie in hand!). But if we’re not destined to be an athlete, there’s no reason we can’t eat like one, right? So here’s where to double down on carbs before this Sunday’s event, from a pasta extravaganza at Bar Primi to a polenta pig out at L’Apicio.
Santina: Although Santina explores the lighter side of Italian cuisine, concentrating on the vegetable and shellfish-focused coastal regions, it still provides ample opportunity to carb load. In addition to a selection of Cecina — griddled chickpea flour pancakes accompanied by Calabrian tuna, mushrooms or lamb tartare, there’s also an assortment of truly craveable rice dishes; intensely creamy grains studded with broccoli and pecorino, snappy shrimp, or cracked black pepper and salty guanciale.
820 Washington St., (212) 254-3000, www.santinanyc.com
Faro: Specializing in housemade pastas and breads, made with hand milled organic flour and New York State-sourced grains and wheat, this rising star restaurant in Bushwick is a mecca for sustainably minded carb lovers. Don’t miss the seasonally changing Porridge, currently topped with mushrooms, scallions and whey, the outsized Roman Gnocchi, crowned with swiss chard, cream and a crumbly, cured egg, or the nutty strands of Rye Spaccatelli, mounded with caramelized onion and braised beef.
436 Jefferson St., (718) 381-8201, www.farobk.com
Ippudo: When it comes to Japanese soup noodles, it’s hard to compete with Ippudo, New York’s undisputed ramen OG. Check out the vegetarian Sho-jin and classic soy sauce-based Ichiraku Shoyu bowls at the Westside location, or authentic Hakata Tonkotsu and Atsumori Tsukemen — hot, slippery noodles served with a savory dipping sauce — at the original East Village joint.
65 4th Ave., (212) 388-0088, www.ippudony.com
L’Apicio: While Gabe Thompson serves all manner of appealing, starch-centric dishes at this chic Italian restaurant, the Polenta has proved to be an absolute showstopper; golden puddles of cheese-rich cornmeal running down the length of a long wooden dish, and finished with bouncy meatballs, earthy mushrooms, or melting strands of short rib.
13 E 1st St., (212) 533-7400, www.lapicio.com
Bar Primi: Pasta is the name of the game at Andrew Carmellini’s casual East Village spot, sold for decidedly wallet-friendly prices. Which makes it especially easy to indulge in swirls of Bucatini, paired with a hearty lamb amatriciana, pockets of Pumpkin Agnolotti, sweetened with amaretti and mostarda, and inky cones of squid-stained Campanelle, dotted with crab and garlic crema.
325 Bowery, (212) 220-9100, www.barprimi.com
Oda House: There’s nothing not to love about the Georgian dish of Khachapuri; canoe-shaped loaves of wood-fired bread, acting as vessels for gobs of butter, soft-centered eggs, and molten rivers of cheese. And Oda House serves one of the very best versions in the city, along with beef and onion laden Kubdari and moist Chvishtari — pan roasted corn bread with housemade cheese, drowned in a Georgian walnut sauce.
76 Avenue B, (212) 353-3838, www.odahouse.com