South Side Café at 252 West 47th Street in Manhattan is a true neighborhood gem. You walk down a flight of stairs and enter an intimate warm and cozy atmosphere with a vintage feel to it. Guests are instantly greeted by the owners and made to feel welcomed. This seven-year-old restaurant is a family business owned by Jose Balberde and his partner Roy Sanchez with Roy's brother Rubin as the chef.

Located in the heart of the theatre district less than a block from Times Square. South Side Café serves an Italian menu with choices of pasta, steak, chicken, seafood and a nice variety of wines. They serve lunch and dinner as well as a prix fix lunch and dinner menu. During dinner hours between 5-6 p.m. you will generally find theatre folk - actors, etc. dining before their show. From 6-8 you will find the place packed with theatregoers. They have seating for 42 now and are planning on expanding upstairs in the next few months and adding a full bar and another dining room which should bring the count up to 60-65 seating capacity.

We started with a basket of warmed bread topped with sesame and rubbed with garlic. For entrees we ordered the Veal Scaloppine Marsala and the Chicken alla Romana both were attractively plated generously proportioned and served with vegetables and rustic roasted potatoes. The flavors of both dishes were light delicate and perfectly blended. We topped of the experience with flavorful and spicy cappuccinos.

South Side Café is a friendly inexpensive intimate restaurant run with a personal touch and definitely worth trying when you are in the neighborhood.

Located at 252 West 47th Street (between 8th Ave and Broadway). Phone (212)354-0566 or (212)354-0565, Website www.southsidecafe.com

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