Sorry for the hiatus everyone. Between spending some qualit time with my family on Memorial Day weekend, and planning some exciting things for this summer, things got a little crazy. Perhaps this post is a little teaser of what is to come…
Lately I have been revisiting the city for really the first time since post COVID. On one hand, there are definitely some changes that are pretty evident in the city, but in more ways than one, it is still the city that I know and love. Like I have been joking to others, “Feel free to flee, but NYC is for me.” On my little excursions back to Manhattan I recently have tried a couple not new, but new to me, Italian restaurants. Heres how it went.
Morandi is a cute and quite large space in the heart of West Village on Varick Street. Although close to little Italy, don’t expect anything of the kind. The decor is much trendier with rustic touches and the dim amber light inside. Handmade pastas and elevated Italian food is the name of the game here. Morandi is definitely a hot spot, so although there is a lot of space, it definitely fills up and is packed with action.
I dream about this Buratta. I think that it is my favorite dish at Morandi. It has the perfect creamy texture that blends so great with the crunch of the sliced almonds, peas, and salad. The truffle adds the most amazing punch of flavor. An absolute must order and I recommend adding the prosciutto.
These are another great bite sized appetizer to start with. Deep fried surprises is a nice way to describe it.
A delicious and unique Italian dish. Each delicate hand made ravioli is filled with a mild but flavorful filling and coated wonderfully in a creamy but almost brothy sauce. The proisuctto adds pops of flavor and the peas keep it fresh and bright. A wonderful well balanced dish.
Eaten But Not Photographed
Focaccia carciofi e funghi
Hand-stretched focaccia with tomato sauce artichokes, black olives, mushrooms, ham & mozzarella cheese
Tomato sauce, basil & mozzarella on a hand-stretched focaccia
Focaccia prosciutto & rucola
Prosciutto, arugula & stracchino cheese on hand-stretched focaccia
Definitely don’t skip out on the pizzas. They are delicious and perfect to share even as an appetizer. Unless you are totally boring (I mean basic), I would definitely skip the Margherita and gravitate towards the other options here. Don’t get me wrong, the Margherita was very well done, but comparitively the flavors of the caciofi e funghi and the fresh prosciutto and arugula with pungent cheese, the plain option just can’t compete.
Fritto misto di pesce
Fried calamari, shrimp & fish
The standard, but of course well executed. Plus a mix of additional fried shrimp and fish.
Lemon infused gin, lemon juice, lejay & prosecco
I actually loved this cocktail. It is more of a crisp fresh drink than leaning too fruity or boozy. Perfect for Spring and Summer.
A more upscale Park Avenue dining experience, Bar Italia has another large location with beautiful space and decor. I came for a quick ladies weekday lunch. We ordered the fried calamari to start which was actually really excellent. I also enjoyed the aoili it came with and found it was a nice way to switch up the usual marinara accompaniment. For my entree I landed on the pasta special of the day which was homemade ravioli filled with spinach, cheese, sautéd with butter, mushrooms, and topped with cheese and truffles. If you can get your hands on it, do it. It was delicious, as usual when truffles are in the mix.
Not Photographed: Fried Calamari