For over 40 years, Giambelli 50th has graced the East Side with renowned authentic Italian cuisine. You can expect the white glove treatment from host Frank Giambelli and his staff in this elegant, upscale restaurant.

Giambellis is a classic Italian restaurant in midtown that has stood the test of time. It is a restaurant her family has visited many times and someplace I wanted to experience too. So V and I went for "Christmas dinner" before heading home for the holidays.

The restaurant appears as though is hasn't changed at all in its more than 40 years. From the arrangement of the tables, to the upholstery, to the menu and staff (though I suppose they have aged), everything seems original, and classic.

Perhaps my palate is becoming more refined, or my standards too high, but I wasn't entirely impressed with our first two courses. I ordered fried zucchini to start that was rather tasteless, and I found myself adding lots of salt to the dish. V had a mushroom salad that was good, but nothing terribly unique. My pasta, Linguine "Amatricana," flat spaghetti with prosciutto, onions and tomato sauce, too was a bit bland, though I really liked V's Paglia e Fieno, white and green noodles with prosciutto, onions, and cream sauce.

The real treat though was dessert: Zabaione, a frothy concoction of egg yolks whipped with wine and sugar served over fresh berries. We loved the table-side preparation of the dessert and it was a delicious indulgence to kick-start the rest of our approaching "filling" holiday meals.

I'm glad I experienced Giambellis and I wouldn't turn anyone away from such a classic New York experience as dining here, where even the Pope once came. Next time I'll choose a little more carefully from the menu. Oh and one other surprise—this was the first restaurant I've been to with a "captain" and an associated line on the bill for a "Captain Tip" (as I first saw on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

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