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Some history with your lunch
Clockwise, from top left: Artichoke and burrata, Caffe Storico's interior, king-crab crostini.

After a massive three-year renovation, the New-York Historical Society has reopened its doors with new galleries, educational programs and a restaurant where the selections are as rich as the museum's storied past.

Caffè Storico, the new spot from Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr (the man behind Buddakan and Morimoto), gives patrons a taste of northern Italy between exhibits. The 19th-century porcelain and Staffordshire china on the walls are from the museum's own collection, and gold chandeliers and marigold banquettes provide a modern, elegant feel.

On chilly afternoons, warm up with Venetian cicchetti (small plates) like grilled octopus and potatoes ($9), fried lobster tails ($16) and chicken-liver crostini ($7). We also love the house-made pastas like pappardelle with duck ragù, shaved chocolate and orange ($21) and egg noodles with cauliflower, pine nuts and mullet roe ($20): Both pair nicely with the Sicilian Nero d'Avola, one of 50 Italian wines available by the bottle or glass. For dessert, try the chocolate budino topped with rum-soaked prunes and crème fraîche ($8).

The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner. No matter when you go, you'll leave the museum with your mind--and stomach--pleasantly full.

Caffè Storico, 170 Central Park West (at 77th St.); 212-485-9211 or

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