Italiana's in New City - former site of Pasta Cucina
We went to the new restaurant in New City "Italiana's" last night for my birthday. It was good, however, not great. Maybe because we had anticipated it's opening for months? My dinner was very good, my husband's not so much so.
First, the ambiance is lovely. Very homey, and the brick ovens, which are gas fired, added nice warmth. We were seated in a small alcove off the main dining room, a table with benches around the walls, near the fire exit. It was quieter, although perhaps this explains why we had to ask for water, silverware, plates, etc. We may have been forgotten in this small corner?
Slices of focaccia bread were accompanied by a red pepper bruschetta or relish, no butter in site. A plate and utensils would have come in handy but none were in site either, although we could see that other tables had them. Finally we caught our waitress, who was pleasant enough and brought utensils but no plates.
Main courses - I had chicken parm. The chicken was very large, enough for 3 servings. A nice portion of penne accompanied. Only two criticisms - there was very little tomato sauce on the chicken parm. Thankfully there was enough on the penne. Second, the food was served in a giant bowl. It is not easy to cut chicken parm which is on top of penne in a bowl. This should have been served on a flat plate in my opinion, because you have to cut chicken parm. That elusive salad plate would've come in handy.
My husband had Fettucini Alfredo with chicken. He said it was mushy and flavorless. Bland actually. The chicken was soft and he thought it was boiled, rather than grilled. The sauce was also too thick, and "one-note". Perhaps they could thin the sauce, grill or char the chicken, and spring peas, or something? Again, it was served in the same huge bowl as the Chicken Parm, which was fine in this case.
Nothing came with a salad. Chicken parm was $16.95, fettucini was maybe a dollar or two less, but no salad for this price?
Service was not too great. I'm not sure the busboy spoke English, he dropped a piece of Focaccia bread on my husband's shoe, then smiled and walked away leaving it there. The waitress smiled and was pleasant, but the service was not great. Water refills had to be requested a few times. We did not order dessert.
I think once they get their act together, and have their Official Grand Opening, the kinks will be ironed out and they will be much better. They were good, but there is room for improvement. I am glad to have them in New City and you should give them a try.