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JW, after all, is Jonathan Waxman, a pioneer of so-called California cuisine, the movement that begat today’s local-and-seasonal craze (a style of cooking the Italians know a little something about).Yes, the corner space can get crowded and painfully loud, but on breezy summer days with the garage doors rolled up and the West Village on glorious display, there are few better places to be. Café Altro Paradiso234 Spring St., at Sixth Ave.; 646-952-0828 After making a splash with peekaboo plating and unexpected combinations at Estela, Ignacio Mattos wanted to do something daring for a name-brand chef in 2016 Manhattan: unadorned, stripped-down, no-tricks Italian cooking, along the lines of London’s venerable River Café.

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What makes chef Dave Gould’s seasonal cooking distinctive is not that dishes come and go, but that they mutate over time while still following recurring rustic motifs.

Note the tendency toward hearty ragùs; chickpeas or other legumes in pasta or antipasto form; supersweet Peconic Bay scallops or Maine shrimp when they’re in season; and grass-fed, locally-raised beef — the benefit of a whole-animal-butchering program Roman’s shares with sister restaurants Diner and Marlow & Sons. Second Ave.; 212-288-7374 That master of the pasta pot, Sandro Fioriti, has been flitting around New York, the Hamptons, and the occasional Caribbean island for over 30 years.

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The problem with compiling a list of the best Italian restaurants in New York is that there may be more of them here than there are in Italy. That brings the number of establishments serving what is indisputably New York’s favorite food down to, oh, a mere several thousand or so. Bleecker St.; 212-414-5774 Unlike a bastion of French haute cuisine or an upmarket sushi den, the very best Italian restaurant, by our estimation, must be a neighborhood restaurant — a place you can roll into with minimal forethought and grab a seat at the bar, order some well-sourced salumi and cheese or a perfect plate of pasta, and let the worries of the day dissipate with a bracingly bitter Negroni.

True, the pasta dishes at Osteria Morini may not be quite as accomplished as they are at White’s uptown seafood shrine, Marea, or as luxed up with fancy ingredients, but they’re close. Third Ave.; 212-228-4923 Founding chef Sara Jenkins spends most of her time in her native Maine now, but her guiding presence is felt in the brash anchovy punch of the wilted escarole salad; the compulsively edible, spicy crumbled-lamb sausage with mustard greens that dresses her signature pasta; and in simple, hearty entrées like a Hampshire pork chop with cannellini and cavolo nero.

Plus, at an average of a plate, they’re a third less expensive — a ready-to-eat alternative to uptown’s haute pasta couture, if you will. Porsena started out as a self-proclaimed “pasta restaurant,” but has evolved into that rare multifunctional neighborhood joint that appeals to all ages and appetites — even one for Italianate avocado toast. Vanderbilt Ave., Fort Greene; 718-622-5300 Roman’s is known as the Italian-inspired, farm-to-table, service-included, natural-wine-pouring restaurant in Fort Greene that rewrites its menu nightly, which isn’t entirely true.

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The drinks and service are on point, the mood jovial but always civilized. Of course, if it’s spectacle you want, this is where to find it.

The scripted homage to mid-20th-century Italian-American dining is pricey and dripping with shtick, but also undeniably fun and delicious — especially the table-side Caesar, the supercolossal veal Parmesan, the garlic-and-chile-suffused angel-hair pasta, and a limited-supply white lasagna sold by the pan that could feed an entire crew of Gambinos. Del Posto85 Tenth Ave., at 16th St.; 212-497-8090 It’s impossible to draw up an Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in New York list without Mario Batali establishments popping up everywhere like daffodils in springtime. Broadway; 212-582-5100 When it comes down to it, you judge an Italian restaurant on the strength of its pasta, and based on the merits of its fusilli with red-wine-braised octopus and bone marrow alone, Marea earns a place on this list. 10th St., Williamsburg; 718-576-3095 Fine-dining fugitive Missy Robbins has built her Brooklyn base of operations around the things she loves the most: vegetables, seafood, and especially pasta. Sixth Ave.; 212-777-0303 So much of what we take for granted when we go out to eat Italian — or go out to eat, period — began with Babbo: Fine dining with a rock-and-roll soundtrack.

Bonus points for the signature svizzerina, a hand-chopped steak cooked this side of medium-rare, leaking juice and adorned with nothing more than a clove of garlic and rosemary sprig. But the rustic charm of the brick-walled room at night, with its golden glow, is hard to beat.

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