Upper East Side Italian wine bar taking over AOA space at Hilton

I have to admit I never even peeked inside the AOA Bar & Grill — which I only recently understood stands for Avenue of the Americas — in the Hilton Garden Inn at 6th and York. And I also missed its closure — which I assume was during the pandemic? Soon it will be Botte, a Roman restaurant that has three locations in the city — 83rd and First Avenue, Downtown Brooklyn and Astoria.

I can’t remember the new spot coming before CB1? It may have been back in April, when they announced on Instagram… So in the meantime:

Owners Francesco Lauroni and Valerio Fuccilo, both born in Italy, have worked in the city’s restaurants (where they met) for more than 15 years. They opened the first location in Astoria in August 2018; the Upper East Side in November 2021.

The UES menu includes salads for $16, pastas for $22, pizzas for $22; the branzino comes in at $30. I didn’t get the wine menu — it looked like a glass is $40 — so something must be wrong there!


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