I ate in the back room which was a lot quieter than the bar area. There's actually quite a bit of room there. I'm wondering if they have any plans of adding more tables and seats because there would certainly be room for it. Even though it's so spacious, the back room can be noisy at times because there's nothing soft to absorb the sound.
This is what I had:
Crispy veal sweetbreads with quince marmalade -- good for somebody who's not really into sweetbreads; high breading to sweetbread ratio; think people who like sweetbreads would be disappointed because you couldn't really tell what it was; but it was fried well and marmalade was tasty
Pate de fegato -- duck fat english muffin, chicken liver mousse, candied bacon, fried quail egg -- probably my favorite of the evening; chicken liver mousse was very light and not too heavy as there was quite a bit of acid to counteract the richness; personally thought the fried egg was overkill but am thinking it was probably there more so it looks nice. I can see some people balking at the sight of a brownish-grey chicken mousse staring back at them. The candied bacon was a nice counterpoint
Gnocchi with cream sauce, pears and chives -- delicious, gnocchi was very light; would order again
Grilled quail served over black rice -- the quail was very well prepared but the black rice was severely undercooked; asked the waitress if that was intentional; she replied yes as the chef was aiming for a "fried rice" kind of effect; I didn't think it worked at all as it was really difficult to eat as the rice was really hard and chewy at the same time
Crispy pork chop (entree) -- I guess I should have realized that crispy pork chop meant breaded and fried; not really my thing, but if one likes that type of meat preparation, you'd probably like it
Potatoes with speck and cayenne aioli -- absolutely wonderful; reminded me a bit of the patatas bravas at Casa Mono. But I enjoyed this more as they got it nice and crispy
Bicerin -- espresso fudge, chocolate pudding and whipped cream -- loved, loved this dessert; not too sweet; wished it was just a larger portion
Gelato -- salted caramel with pretzel, chocolate hazelnut, cookies and cream -- Kobetobiko, if you're still on the boards, you would definitely approve of the salt level of the salted caramel; flavors of all three gelatos were really pronounced; I appreciated that a great deal. Texture of gelato was a bit on the rougher side as I prefer my gelato more silky smooth (even if it has stuff in it)
Overall, a good meal. I've never been to Italy so I can't say whether it's authentic to the Piedmont area. Everything was well prepared (with the exception of the black rice). Is it a destination restaurant? I would probably say not (except for perhaps the pate de fegato and bicerin). But I think it's a good option in the LES.
52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003