Carbone or Little Owl?
I've read one or two reports of Carbone, as well as the NYT review of it, and am a bit intrigued.
Any 'Hounds been to Carbone *and* Little Owl and can make a comparison between the two?
Or, if you've been to just one or the other, and based on everything you know about the two, which one would you go to?
Right now it's Carbone, but am more than willing to reconsider.
I've done Carbone for dinner and The Little Owl for brunch. Save your money and go to The Little Owl.
Carbone is a very expensive, technically perfect expression of the Italian-American "red sauce" genre. It's also a very buzzy, sceney place, full of Beautiful Young Things.
Little Owl is a neighborhood spot on steroids, serving comfort food at the highest possible level. (NB: I haven't been there in years, so maybe it's not as good as it used to be.) With a homey, neighborhoody atmosphere to match.
So it's really apples and oranges: depends what you're in the mood for.
(I'd say it also depends on what you think of "red sauce": if you didn't grow up loving it, you might not think that even the most technically perfect version of it is worth high prices.)
Ended up at Carbone instead of Little Owl.
If this is red-sauce, traditional Italian reinvented, then I think they should leave well enough alone.
The carpaccio was soggy, almost soupy, and too salty. The veal parm was very ordinary, esp. for 50. And the Chinese Chicken was just pedestrian -- basically sweet/sour chicken with bok choy. I guess this was our fault -- ordering chinese chicken at an Italian restaurant. Oh well.
We did enjoy the focaccia though, outrageously good bread.