This place has been on my list for a long time and on Saturday night we finally made it. The room is pretty in a casual sort of way and the tables are well spaced. We started with the salumi plate. At $6 it might as well be free. I’ve had better but this was pretty good. (See the Flickr link at the end of the post for photos.)
The kitchen sent out a comped half order of the Spaghetti Cacio E Pepe that was just terrific. Big bold flavors.
We had wanted to do half orders of other pastas as starters but we were told we’d have to order full portions. They did let us split the bucatini which was as good in it’s own way as the spaghetti.
Unfortunately the entrees weren’t as successful. My girlfriend's chicken with rosemary was a good menu read but on the plate it was a real disappointment, underspiced and overcooked.
My beef dish (I didn’t write down the name and it’s not on the on line menu) was a bit better but still woefully underseasoned. I tasted it, added a bit of salt, then did it again, and finally a third time. It finally became decent but really, there’s no reason for anyone to order this.
We actually mentioned the lack of seasoning in response to the inevitable “how is everything?” question. The response was that they hold the seasoning down in the entrees because the pastas are so strongly flavored. This is a mistake and it would be a good thing if they fixed it.
We didn’t want a dessert but the comped us a a few cookies at the end of the meal.
Quinto Quarto is one of those restaurants that requires a strategy. In the future we’ll order an extra round of starters and finish with those excellent pastas. I’m looking forward to going back.
Prices were gentle, about 15% less than you’d expect from a place with this type of ambiance turning out very good food. Service was excellent, almost a little too attentive but not to the point where it became annoying.
A friend of mine had previously been here and mentioned that the crowd was far more attractive than usual. Based on his comment I kept my eyes peeled. He was right. I think we’ve found out where models go when they want to splurge and have a plate of pasta.
Slideshow here - http://www.flickr.com/photos/64756738...
re: Bob Martinez
I only tried the pastas, antipasti and dessert. The the "secondi" in this place are disappointing is not super surprising since, in general, entrees at Italian places are usually a bit of a letdown.
The pasta prices are not expensive, but portion sizes are small (very Italian in size actually). People with large appetites could easily do a 3-course meal here, which makes the apparent lack of good entrees a bit of a disappointment.
Also, I wish they had more offal type dishes, which would in tune with a Roman-style cuisine, especially one which is named for Roman term for offal. But I suppose that may not go over well with the Village crowd.
Uh, ok, for you. Two apps, orange and fennel, the other of melon and what, something green that escapes me. All tasteless; no attention paid to picking ripe fruits or fresh vegs. Subpar olive oil.
Penne with pistachio pesto; again, the pasta tasted the same as boxed pasta that had been sitting around too long. The pesto was industrial, and sprinkled with ground pistachios. Virtually no taste. My friend had a soup that at best was from a bottle, nothing individual about it at all.
I know I should back up my opinions, but in this case it's just not worth it. If you like the place, I suggest you go again.
Actually tried it (finally) last week. The simple Roman-style pastas were well prepared and nicely priced, but the portions were rather small. Didn't try any of the second courses. Reasonably priced wines. Cozy atmosphere. Really liked the panna cotta I had for dessert too. Not really a destination place, but a fine neighborhood spot.
The portions here are small and unremarkable; the dishes sound much more appetizing on the menu than when they actually arrive on tiny children's plates. You might think the prices are reasonable until you're still hungry after three courses.
We waited 45 minutes, meanwhile we were promised three different tables by the ridiculously smug host (owner? Jerk... ) only to watch other parties seated at those three tables. I don't mind waiting for a table, but I do resent being treated like an idiot who doesn't understand (or easily forgets) the table that we were promised and are supposedly waiting for.
The waiter asked what we were drinking and when I said we would start with water, his reaction was one of disgust and he said "it's not my problem if you're drinking water." Was something lost in translation? We had just sat down and not even looked at the menu yet.
The rabbit cooked in a pan was greasy and gristly--which is very bizarre for rabbit, and so I am not completely convinced it was indeed rabbit... the artichokes with pork cheeks were so salty they were inedible. Again, the dishes sound great on the menu, but are uniformly terrible.
At the end of our dinner, we were asked to leave because people were waiting for our table. I have never in my life (in New York, Italy or elsewhere in the world) been treated so rudely in a restaurant.
Summary: Lousy food, lousy service, rude staff. RE Quinto Quarto: don't waste your time.