Morandi - Quick Review
Stopped in at hotspot Morandi last night (Friday) around 8pm to see what the wait was like. Host said 45 minutes, and then another host furtively gestured for us to follow him. He immediately sat us (party of 2) in the bar area, in a manner that suggested he was risking his job by doing so, and told my girlfriend that she was "very lucky". Whether he was referring to our quick seating or my good looks, I don't know.
Appetizer: we shared the Finocchio alla cenere (grilled fennel with bitter honey). It was good but nothing to blog home about. I wish it had been warm and not room temperature, and I wish the honey flavor had been more present/interesting. Still, it's hard to go wrong with grilled fennel.
Risotto: Had to try the risotto with mushrooms, sage, and blueberries. It was excellent. Share this with someone for your pasta course, (or even in addition to your pasta course), and I think you will be very pleased. It tastes just like you hope it will.
Pesce: We split the sea scallops sauted with lemon and capers. Also excellent. Probably the best scallops I've ever had. You can probably get better down the street at Mary's Fish Camp, but I don't think these will let you down. Note: it is served a la carte, so you're just getting the 5 scallops, so I'm not sure I'd recommend it as an entree on its own.
Dessert: Vanilla gelato crepe topped with berry sauce. Pretty standard, but certainly tasty.
Wine: We had a full carafe of the house Sangiovese. Most people will probably find it disappointing, but I love that they served the wine in little juice glasses. If for no other reason than it forces you to take smaller sips and it makes the wine last quite a bit longer.
Overall I was very happy with it. Nothing really blew me out of my chair, but everything was done well, and I enjoyed the feel of the place. Our server could have been more knowledgeable (or at least able to pronounce the menu items), but whatever. With tax and tip it was $120, not bad for 2 people. I plan to go again, and also to check out their brunch.
Hi Pierre Eats
Great review! Since Morandi is on my "to-go" list, I just want to ask for your insights:
- Do you fill that the room is crowded or noisy? One of my friends really hate to be able to listen to the diners sitting next to us, which often happen in Manhattan
- I know this is comparing apples to oranges, but do you like Balthazal better or Morandi? I know it is different cuisine, but overall including food, service, and ambiance, which one do you think gave you a better dining experience?
Once again, thank you so much for your review. I sure benefit from reading it! =D
Sorry, didn't see your reply until now...
1. I ate in the bar area, which was a little noisy, but no more so than average for nyc. I'm sure the regular dining area is quieter, with less traffic.
2. I actually haven't been to Balthazar yet, so can't help you there! (I plan on going soon...)
Let us know how your trip there goes...