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Contessa takes it from the top

The rooftop restaurant in The Newbury hotel is Boston’s latest hot spot

Contessa at the top of The Newbury hotel has great views and a retractable roof.
Contessa at the top of The Newbury hotel has great views and a retractable roof.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Where to: Contessa, the Italian restaurant atop luxury hotel The Newbury Boston.

Why: You appreciate rooftop views; glam old-school/new-school decor; pasta, pizza, and bistecca alla fiorentina for two; and being amid the thrum of one of the city’s new hot spots.

Contessa is at the top of The Newbury hotel.
Contessa is at the top of The Newbury hotel. Barry Chin/Globe Staff

The backstory: The Newbury — formerly the Taj Boston, and before that the Ritz-Carlton — opened anew this year with a restaurant to match. Contessa is the first Boston project for New York-based Major Food Group, behind the likes of Carbone, Dirty French, and Sadelle’s, in locations including Las Vegas, Miami, Hong Kong, and Tel Aviv. The restaurant group also plans to open Parm in the Burlington Mall later this year.

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Contessa executive chef Matt Eckfeld.
Contessa executive chef Matt Eckfeld.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

What to eat: Start with antipasti such as squash carpaccio, meatballs, octopus agrodolce, and tonnato crudo, a briny dish of thin-sliced raw fish over artichoke hearts with anchovy, capers, and celery leaves. There are a half-dozen or so pasta dishes, from tortellini en brodo to rigatoni carbonara to spicy, rich lobster capellini; pizza might come topped with mushrooms, clams, or prosciutto, robiola cheese, and black truffle. Secondi include grilled branzino, veal Milanese, and steaks with classic side dishes. For dessert, you’ll find house-made gelato, a Contessa-ized take on Boston cream pie, an Instagrammable chocolate-hazelnut cake covered in rosettes and curls, and more.

Tonnato crudo, a briny dish of thin-sliced raw fish over artichoke hearts with anchovy, capers, and celery leaves.
Tonnato crudo, a briny dish of thin-sliced raw fish over artichoke hearts with anchovy, capers, and celery leaves. Barry Chin/Globe Staff

What to drink: The bar, with a marbled top that looks like salami and cognac-shaded lamps on brass poles, requires a cocktail — a summery Aperol spritz goosed with strawberry and rhubarb, a Negroni, a Madrina, made with grappa and amaretto. With dinner, delve into a wine list that salutes Italy then ranges beyond.

Lobster capellini at Contessa.
Lobster capellini at Contessa.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

The takeaway: With its glass roof and retractable panels, swank atmosphere, and menu of Italian classics and updates, Contessa has a kind of Terra-meets-Orfano vibe. Come here for beautiful decor, city views, a packed bar scene, and attention to service.

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3 Newbury St., Back Bay, Boston, www.contessatrattoria.com


Devra First can be reached at devra.first@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.