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New Restaurant Serves Up Authentic Italian Food In Hamilton Heights

 A new restaurant wants to bring authentic Italian food to Hamilton Heights.
Bono Trattoria
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HAMILTON HEIGHTS  — Italian transplant Luca Valeriania has brought the rich culinary tradition of his home region Umbria to West 151st Street.

His restaurant Bono Trattoria opened Wednesday at 3658 Broadway and features classic dishes like grilled octopus, handmade pasta, and brick-oven pizzas.

“Since I moved to New York I always wanted to bring some of Umbria,” he said.

Before opening Bono Trattoria, Valeriania worked at Covo Trattoria, which also happens to have an imported brick-oven. It was there that he met Graziella LoBrutto, the co-owner of the Bono.

LoBrutto, whose father owns Covo, grew up working in restaurants.

“It’s in our DNA,” she said. “It was always in my blood to help out around the restaurant.”

It’s taken about a year and a half to renovate the 151st Street storefront and open the restaurant. The brick-oven pizza that was custom-made in Naples took six months to make and transport to Hamilton Heights, Valeriania said.

The front of the restaurant has massive windows that let in plenty of light. Inside the restaurant is very spacious, even with the brick oven and bar inside. There is enough space to serve large family dinners, romantic dates, graduate students grabbing drinks, and people coming in for takeout on their way home from work, he added.

The menu showcases Italian classics like prosciutto and melon, pappardelle, garganelli, pan-seared tilapia, eggplant parmesan and margherita pizza. Prices range between $10 and $14 for a pizza and $12 to $22 for an entree.

One of the standouts, according to Valeriania, is the Strozzapreti alla Norcnia, a pasta dish that features sweet peppers, porcini mushrooms and truffle cream sauce imported from Italy.

Everything in the store is made with fresh ingredients, from the tomato sauce to the pizza dough to the deserts, LoBrutto said.

“We really try to use the best ingredients,” she added.  

So far, the reaction has been positive. People who live in the 150’s are happy to know they don’t have to go 20 or 30 blocks south for a slice of Italian pizza, Valeriania said.

“It’s like somehow we are the water in the desert,” he said.