The New York Times

Anyone familiar with the grilled pizzas of Al Forno, the Italian restaurant in Providence, R.I., will be glad that Kevin Garcia, who once worked the dough there, is serving very satisfying clones of those crackling crusted gems at Accademia di Vino, where he is now the chef.

X-ray-thin crusts have judicious coatings of cheese — robiola, goat cheese, ricotta, sheep cheese — and sparing but flavorful toppings like broccoli rabe, black truffle pâté and soppressata. The tomato and mozzarella pie is dotted with cherry tomato halves and fresh basil. One pizza caveat: skip the watermelon.

As long as people are not confused by the name, Accademia may well succeed in a spot where others have failed. It is not just a wine bar, though it has one on street level with 500 reasonably priced wines. There is also a subterranean dining room with much to admire.

The pleasures include perfectly roasted red and yellow peppers and thin, delicately twisted Ligurian gnocchi in pesto with slivers of haricots verts. Prosciutto and Parmesan fritters are greaseless treats, delicious once they’ve cooled.

The restaurant appears determined to capture all current and past trends in Italian menus: food served raw, barely cooked and fully cooked; carpaccio, tartare and crudo; salumi and cheese; panini and crustless tramezzini; and the traditional antipasti, primi and secondi.

Can service be called aggressively nice? Water glasses were continually checked. The waiter was solicitous without telling me his name, putting a hand on my back or giving me his card.

Main dishes are $21 to $45, pastas generally are in the high teens, and pizzas are $14 to $18. And wonder of wonders, you can be heard without shouting. ———MARIAN BURROS

Gothamist

In just a couple of weeks, the Upper East Side will add another reason to venture north on the 6 train.Accademia di Vino, a multifaceted enoteca, restaurant and pizzeria is getting ready to open its doors to hungry patrons with a thirst for Italian wines.

The owner, Anthony Mazzola, is a restaurant and wine industry veteran. Former owner of Sutton Wine Shop and current owner of ‘Cesca on the Upper West Side, Mazzola has played an important role in putting together the extensive wine program at Accademia di Vino. Some of the highlights are the collection of over 500 Italian wines offered by the bottle (from $28 and up) and an extensive wine by the glass program (from $8 to $25). The menu will feature contemporary and traditional Italian cuisine – ranging from antipasti, salumi, and pasta (from $9 to $16); to main courses (from $18 to $30); and of course, desserts (from $7 to $10).

Starting this fall, Accademia di Vino will introduce wine programs that will include tastings, lectures, winemaker dinners, and food and wine pairing sessions. However the intention is not to be too academic, as the name may suggest. “We want for our guests to feel like they’ve entered a food and wine playground,” said Mazzola. “This is not a ‘shrine’ to cuisine, nor is it a ‘wine school’.”

If Accademia di Vino turns out to be anything like the playgrounds we grew up on, Mazzola shouldn’t be surprised if an intense game of salumi dodgeball breaks out. We’ll be practicing, just in case.

TAMARA LOVER

New York Magazine

I don’t want to jinx this jinxed restaurant address with rashly optimistic judgments, but Accademia di Vino could be just what the neighborhood was waiting for: a comfy, laid-back spot to order a few $4 antipasti, a seriously al dente pasta to share, and wine by the glass. Nice ending for a Bloomies shopping binge or after the Third Avenue movies. Grilled pizzas are marvelous, crisp and not too cheesy. Every salad I tried, except for a soggy Caesar one evening, was a winner: the tricolore with goat-cheese fritters; escarole with hazelnuts, mint, and pecorino; herbed farro with tomato and cucumber. Prosciutto-Parmesan fritters and a crunchy baccalà cake with herb salad in a roasted-lemon vinaigrette should not be missed, and a cacio e pepe pasta is smartly Italian. When the powers of Ollie’s couldn’t make it work here, distantly related powers at ’Cesca bought out the lease, making ’Cesca’s Anthony Mazzola managing partner here. ’Cesca chef Kevin Garcia doubles as well. “I’ve always wanted to do something with wine,” says Mazzola, former owner of Sutton Wine Shop on East 57th. He counts 500 wines from Italy by the bottle, and a solid list by the glass. Tastings, lectures, winemaker dinners, and food-and-wine pairing sessions will roll out in fall. Coco Pazzo fans who’ve missed maître d’ John Fanning will be pleased to find him here, a welcome at the door or tripping by with a bottle to top off your glass.

——

GAEL GREENE

Shecky’s Nightlife

Those with their noses in the air searching for the “perfect wine,” should head to this Upper East Side wine mecca to bust a few capillaries with the pros. If you’re not enamored with at least one out of a whopping 500 bottles of wine at this “Academy,” you should be smacked or find a new hobby. But this place isn’t just for oenophiles. Alcoholics will also take stock after a few swigs of the high-grade Jesus juice. Hungry? Try a grilled pizza or one of the other Italian specialties. Your waiter will act as wine professor as he/she helps your navigate the gargantuan list and decide what to get. If you hit the sauce a tad too hard, the place is so big you can thankfully hide those glassy eyes, stained teeth, and blotto blind date from the snooty crowd. Open daily 5-11:30pm.

Time Out New York

“Taking up half of an avenue block, Accademia di Vino is an imposing presence on the Upper East Side. An encyclopedic menu from chef Kevin Garcia (’Cesca) covers all of the au courant Italian bases: small plates like honey-kissed kabocha squash; grilled pizzas, including a superior Robiolaand black truffle version; and larger dishes—a juicy fork-tender veal chop should not be missed. Service is surprisingly sharp: The staff deftly negotiates the vaulted, subterranean dining room, tending to a hungry crowd that’s (rightfully) clamoring for a seat.”

Shecky’s Nightlife

Those with their noses in the air searching for the “perfect wine,” should head to this Upper East Side wine mecca to bust a few capillaries with the pros. If you’re not enamored with at least one out of a whopping 500 bottles of wine at this “Academy,” you should be smacked or find a new hobby. But this place isn’t just for oenophiles. Alcoholics will also take stock after a few swigs of the high-grade Jesus juice. Hungry? Try a grilled pizza or one of the other Italian specialties. Your waiter will act as wine professor as he/she helps your navigate the gargantuan list and decide what to get. If you hit the sauce a tad too hard, the place is so big you can thankfully hide those glassy eyes, stained teeth, and blotto blind date from the snooty crowd. Open daily 5-11:30pm.