Tag Archives: Italian cuisine

Fall In Love with In Vino

5 Apr

When someone asks me where they should take a date for dinner, I’ll do some Q&A to figure out what they’re looking for… BUT despite their answers, one of my suggestions is almost always bound to be In Vino.  This East Village (4th St btwn Ave A/Ave B) dining destination is the perfect spot to get your love connection on – and regardless of the company, you’re going to adore this eating experience.

The wine list (or bible, if you will) can be a bit intimidating so if you find yourself lost, just ask your server for a recco.  The Cannonau “Nero Sardo” ($32) is a versatile red I’ve gone back to again and again – a very reliable bottle.  The Insalate di Endivia ($10) is a light option with bold flavors (mmm gorgonzola) and I’ve also had the Mussels which may have been a special (not on the online menu) but were definitely a good sized portion and great for sharing.  One item I may not EVER share?  The Ravioli Tartufati ai Porcini ($17); savory sachets of pasta deliciousness with a creamy truffle sauce.  Best Ravioli I’ve ever had, hands down.  Go get your own!  Just to note, the pumpkin ravioli which appears from time to time on the specials menu is good, but I prefer a thinner consistency; they were more like dumplings (but still very tasty).

Though you lose the dark grotto-esque ambience that nighttime lends, weekend brunch at In Vino is still a hip scene with great eats.  We started with customized mini-pitchers of sangria – I had the red and got a sparkling Prosecco topper (do it!).  The brunch entrees were decadent – the Pane Tostato  Mandorla ($10) French toast stuffed with strawberry + marscapone and THEN crusted with sliced almonds was completely over the top – I only got ½ way through but each bite was heaven.  We also had the Uovo Benedetto ($11) – warm Poached Eggs on Rosemary Focaccia Toast w/ Grilled Prosciutto Cotto and Basil Hollandaise.  Wowza.

If you’re a deal lover, book a rez through Savored to get 30% off your dinner bill Mon-Weds nights or Saturday till 3pm for brunch.  Go with friends or bring the object of your heart’s desire and get a heart-on for these amazing Italian eats.

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Be a Foodie at Eataly

28 Dec

Benvenuti a Eataly

Whether you’re a food enthusiast or not, the culinary atmosphere at Eataly in Flatiron (5th Ave @23rd St) will have your foodie juices flowing.  The massive space that is home to several restaurants (umm Le Verdure, a veggie-only resto?!), a coffee shop (featuring Lavazza), a gelateria, and the market, which boasts a ton of specialty cuisine sections (hello pasta!!!), will knock your socks off.

Pasta for miles (or at least aisles)

The massive size of Eataly is a lot to take in at first, but pace yourself.  I suggest you start by taking the time to channel your inner cooking muse – there are recipes to take with you spread throughout the various sections (with tastings too) and there’s a place to buy cook books as well that are all signed by the chefs who penned the books.

Get ya produce on

From there, decide what you’re taking home with you; the produce section has some of the largest varieties of citrus fruits and mushrooms I’ve ever seen.  There are also sections for meats, fish, cheeses, breads, desserts, pastas, and even sauces get the spotlight with rows and rows of options.  To round out your meal, don’t forget the wine and beer (a roof top beer garden is due to open in Spring 2011).

While in practicality, Eataly would be a great place for your specialty grocery shopping (albeit a bit pricey), I have to say that its possibilities as a day out with the girls or even as a date are endless (you know how she’ll love to be wined and dined, gents).  Whatever your purpose, set aside some time for Eataly; you won’t be disappointed.

Eataly: 5th Ave @ 23rd St; open every day, 10am – 11pm

Sunday Supper @ Supper

29 Nov

Sunday Supper!

Sundays have long been claimed by the brunch gods (we all know I’m a big fan of that), but this Sunday I decided to change it up and do my dining later on in the day.  It only seemed right that my Sunday Supper resto of choice would be Supper Italian Restaurant.

Supper is an under-the-radar gem in the East Village (2nd St btwn Aves A & B).  The resto is usually busy but they own the space next door and made it into a sexy bar/lounge for the hungry dining masses to grab a pre-dinner drink while waiting.  Miss Taylor and I ate our Sunday Supper at 6:30pm and had no trouble getting a table – we had our choice of sitting at the bar which overlooks the kitchen or the communal dining table – both very cool options, but we opted for the communal table.

We got the beet!

To start, we had the Roasted Beet Salad with Robiola cheese (which is somewhere between mozzarella and goat)… it was simple, but a great, lighter appetizer to share.  With the appetizer, they brought out the complimentary bread which is crusty and warm and coupled with spicy white beans in olive oil that were absolutely awesome.

Pasta Mouthgasm

Next up, we split 2 different pastas that were both happiness in every bite.  The Spinach Gnocchi alla Aglio d’Orato was by far the BEST gnocchi I’ve EVER had.  Sadly, it was only a daily special, but fear not – there’s some sort of gnocchi on the menu daily – TRY IT.  Our other dish was on the regular dinner menu but was anything but regular – it’s called “The Timely Priest Stranglers”.  The pasta was a hybrid of spaghetti and ziti swimming in homemade marinara and was perfectly complimented with a dollop of ridiculously fresh ricotta on top.  All this and a few glasses of wine clocked in at about $75 bucks, not too shabby!

Supper is really all about the dining experience, from grabbing a glass of wine at the swanky lounge next door while you wait, to the mouth-gasmic pastas they’re knocking out daily.  If you’re looking to go to out for a gourmet Italian dinner that will impress your foodie friends without making a crazy dent on your wallets, look no further than Supper!

Impressive Italian @ Eleven B(YOB)

19 Nov

Won't you join us for dinner?

Eleven B may be my favorite Italian joint in NYC.  Now don’t get me wrong; this place is not gourmet, nor is it going to find itself featured in the New York Times anytime soon.  But what this resto offers is better, in my book – a welcoming restaurant with great tasting classic Italian dishes, friendly wait staff, and LOW prices.  Oh, and did I mention?  If you’re drinking wine or beer – bring it in with you (no liquor, ya booze hounds).

Location?  You guessed it, East Village – Eleventh St and Ave B.  Walk inside; the tables are all candlelit and the walls are lined with shelves of books that give it a real rustic feel.  To add to the ambience, the guys serving you (often the owner himself) are straight out of the Sopranos, except instead of relishing in a life of organized crime, they love serving big portions of delicious Italian dishes.

Eggplant Extraordinaire

I’ve come here with a party of 2 and a party of 10 and either way they do a great job.  For larger parties, you can ask and they’ll make dishes family style for the table to match the size of the group – they also offer prix fixe options.

Last night, I was dining with the lovely Miss Aimee – we split the beet and goat cheese salad (LOVE it) and the eggplant parmesan, which is huge AND comes with a side of pasta or salad.  We also both managed to stop at Trader Joe’s Wine store beforehand so there was the issue of what to do with all that wine…

Bartender, I'll take a sparkling water!

Bottom line, whether you’re looking for a cheap date night or to do a group dinner/pregame extravaganza that’s NOT sushi, this place is legit.  Our total bill was $24 – yes, it is that great.  GO NOW!

Eleven B (on 11th and B) – make a reservation for large parties or if you’re going on the weekend – (212)388-9811.

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