Acqua at Peck Slip? (at South Street Seaport) Anyone been?
IMO this is not the BEST Italian food in the city. It is delicious, simple, Italian fare in a lovely setting. If the weather is nice you can dine outdoors (views of the Woolworth building at night). Suggest you also read the comments on menupages.com. I live near Acqua and have been to the former Quartino (owned by cardiologists hence the appropriate portion size and absence of unhealthy, fried Italian entrees) and Acqua. It's one of my local favorites.
Why didn't we try Acqua on Peck Slip sooner? The whole experience felt way more like Italy than New York. We were just going to have a glass of wine before dinner elsewhere, and ordered the Radicchio Trevisano as a snack. It was seriously good - Radicchio properly cooked, very tasty Scamorza cheese with a nice little crust on the edges. (I though the cherry tomatoes were superfluous, but they were excellent on their own.)
So, we decided to stay for dinner. Next was the Focaccia with Strachino cheese, which we've not had before. I was expecting something like Sullivan St/Grandaisy bianca con pecorino. This looked like way too much cheese, but then we tasted it. The taste was Italian cheese blintzes. I can't explain, but the flavor and texture were both yummy.
We followed with two pastas - a cheese and spinach ravioli with a walnut sauce (actually more like ligurian pansoti - very green). Some added radicchio in the sauce gave it a nice edge. And Pacheri with cherry tomatoes, scamorza, and a little hot pepper - a perfectly calibrated simple dish that left a lovely taste in my mouth.
For desert we had a dense chocolate cake (a tad dry, solved by the coffee gelato which accompanied it). And a perfect affogato, unusual for the hazelnut gelato (rather than the usual vanilla).
Basically everything we had was something we'd want to order again, which is pretty rare for us.
We've been looking for an Italian restaurant to add to our rotation since Col Legno closed. Although the dishes here are one notch more complicated, they were all perfectly executed. I hope that we enjoy this place as much when we go back in a few weeks!