Locanda Verde - 3x in 4 nights
So I have had a crush on Andrew Carmellini's food since A Voce. And Locanda Verde just happens to be a block away from my place. Well, we ended up going three times in the first four days it was open. Clearly, this is a positive review!
Favorite appetizers include the shrimp with peppery tomato sauce (so big! so sweet! almost like langoustines!) and sheeps milk ricotta (smaller portion, but also cheaper than it was at A Voce). "Gabagoul" is super tender and addictive.
Of the pastas, the lamb amatriciana is amazing -- slightly spicy but very rich with a hint of mint. Malfatti with pesto is really good too and I don't even really love pesto. Robiola ravioli with mushroom is juicy and light. The only pasta which seemed a little bland was the fettucini verde, but we ordered that on the second night after opening. Pasta dishes were not huge, but all very tender and well sauced.
Of the secondi, the broccoli rabe sausage and porchetta are my current favorites. Chicken for two is lovely for Sunday night supper,, but we had leftovers when we ordered it for three people.
Finally, Karen Demasco's desserts are great end to the meal. The fantasia for two is really, again, portioned for three with lots of fruit but you have to dig to get to the super tender coconut cake. The lemon tart and chocolate tarte are good. Surprisingly, my favorite thing was the bing cherries soaked in syrup -- not too sweet or sugary, rather like biting into a perfect half cherry with every bite.
I was hesitant to post this rave review because I want to be able to walk into the restaurant. However, I'm due with our first baby in the next week and so am happy to share the love as I'll be in lockdown mode soon.
Brunch was excellent. The atmosphere is nice and airy, and they offer seating both in the cafe/bakery area and main dining room, as well as the sidewalk.
Heavenly ricotta with truffled honey on toast for the table to share. It was labelled as burnt orange toast, IIRC, and was served warm, buttered, and grilled. They graciously gave us another portion for no charge when we asked. And it was very good toast. I would definitely order this again.
I tried a spoonful of my friend's eggs Al Forno, with giant white beans, tuscan kale, and an unnamed cheese, and a delicious tomato sauce! Hearty, savory, and delicious. The tomato sauce was addictive and a bit like a really good pasta sauce and paired really well with the runny eggs and wonderful large white beans. Tasty.
But I liked my friend's eggs "modernese" even more. Two poached eggs with tomato hollandaise (fantastic), with some cottechino (sausage) hash and spinach. The sausage was delicious and crumbly. We mixed it all together and used many slices of bread to sop up the delicious sauce. My friend wiped his bowl clean! Absolutely fantastic!
My lemon ricotta pancakes, 3 large pancakes, nicely browned were also quite good. Luscious and creamy on the inside, with a generous mount of lemon curd on top and blueberries sprinkled throughout. There were blueberries in the batter, too. Tasty.
Excellent hazelnut encrusted French toast with grapefruit and orange segment salad, too. A very unusual French toast prep (toast with crusts cut off), two generous squares of toast, and the nut coating gave it a very interesting texture.
Sadly, we were too full for 3 piece pastry sampler although the strawberry scone sounded great. Ordered a side of bacon, was perfectly crisp on the outside, thinly sliced, and nicely streaky/fatty, but I just wish it was more than 3 strips!
With two coffees, a cappucino, a Bloody Mary, glass of juice, and then with tax and tip, it ran about $120 for four people. Lovely, a little pricey, but worth it for the atmosphere and quality (and you can make reservations!).
I second this post wholeheartedly. Went for brunch, service was great, food even better, and the space is lovely. Eggs modernese, the sausage and broccoli rabe grinder, and the winter salad with greens, pears, hazelnut and speck all got raves. And not TOO expensive given that it's Tribeca and owned by a movie star and all. They also top up your coffee, a touch I appreciated. Plus the bathrooms are awesome.
the pasta dish prices must have changed - I ordered a simple spaghetti con pomodoro for my papa and it was $20 and was by far the worst dish on the table. I come from a family of restaurant owners and there is NO excuse for locanda verde's let-downs...and WHY is 15-20$ pasta acceptable in this economy when the quality isn't top notch??! This is a part of New York I will never understand.....
I just looked at their menu on menupages.com:
Dolci: $7-9 (plus one that's $15 but for two)
Formaggi: $5/12/15/19, depending on number of pieces
Not nearly as much as I might have feared, though the antipasti bring up the price significantly. Does anyone know if they would be willing to give half portions of a primo if you are also ordering a secondo?
Congratulations and good wishes to you and the baby!