On an Italian Note

August 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

This weekend, we finally made it to two restaurants I’ve had on my to-try list for quite some time.

After hearing several people sing L’Artusi’s praises, I finally secured a reservation to check it out with Rupert on Friday night. The restaurants occupies a two-level space on West 10th St. Seated on the second level, we had a nice view of the wine room, which hosts private and group events, as well as a skylight above. Instantly drawn to many of the dishes on the menu, we opted to select a few dishes from each of the crudo, vedura, pasta, and pesce categories and share.  This strategy resulted in the perfect amount of food to accompany a glass of sparking rose we had to start and a wonderful bottle of Italian Sylvaner, one of my favorite, somewhat obscure varietals. The all-Italian wine list, it stands to mention, perfectly suits the restaurant, breaking out red and white selections by region.

Our first course consisted on an escolar crudo with avocado, basil and chiles and the roasted mushrooms with fried egg, pancetta and ricotta salata. Both were out of this world. The sauce atop the escolar was particulary intriguing, an incredible blend of its component parts. We then moved on to a sweet corn and ricotta ravioli and an orecchietti with sausage, salumi and bitter greens. Anything that boasts both sausage and salumi in one dish sets high expectations in my book, and this pasta certainly came through. The pastas rivaled those served at the likes of Babbo and A Voce when Andrew Carmellini was running the kitchen, which says quite a lot in my book. For our main course, we shared the cod wtih shellfish brodo, bacon and potatoes. The fish was cooked perfectly but just a bit heavily salted for our taste. While we were too full to consider dessert, the offerings were all tempting and justify a return visit.

For brunch on Saturday, we found ourselves in the West Village after a trip to Myers of Keswick, a British food store on Hudson St. where we hoped to find some Start, a favorite (aka favourite) British cereal that Rupert introduced me to last year). While that Start mission was unsuccessful, we did walk away with some Twiglets and bangers for grilling that later that evening. We consoled ourselves by grabbing an outdoor table at corsino where we shared two panini and a few crostini. The food was nearly identical to that of ‘inoteca, and the outdoor seating in the yesterday’s beautiful weather sealed the deal.

On our way up to the Apple store, where we oggled the iPad, and Chelsea Market for some grocery shopping, we passed by Fatty Crab, another favorite of mine that is now fresh in my mind to revisit soon.


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