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May 29, 2014 06:34 AM
Discussion of the best dinners that I've eaten in a long time

Maialino is just off Gramercy Park, a private park in NYC. If you own one of the town houses surrounding the park, you then have a key to the gate. In my next life, I'm going to make enough money to own a place on Gramercy Park.

Maialino. Italian. Not a lot of red sauce. Lots of pork. They use all the parts.

When I sat down, my server brought me the menu and wine list. I took a brief look at the menu and ordered a drink. When my server came back, I told her that I have been trying to get a reservation here for some time. I was excited to be here, and was prepared to order lots of food. I then asked what were her favorite items. They lined up well with things that caught my eye. I decided not to order the items that are prepared at other restaurants, but ordered more unusual items. What did I eat?

They were featuring suckling pig. My starter was grilled suckling pig face. They took a suckling pig head, split it into two, took the brains out (thank you), lightly breaded and grilled the face. It was delicious, crispy, unctuous. The server suggested that I not forget to flip Porky over to get the tongue and ear. I had this with some weird Italian white wine that was quite acid, a good match to the fat.

Next, I had a bolognese sauce made the rabbit legs, some tomato, and some green olives. It was served with a tubular pasta. I normally avoid things, other than martinis, served with olives. But the olives used in this dish were great. Not too salty, but savory. I had this with an Italian red that was Pinot noir-like.

My last plate was three rib lamb chops. Grilled with spring onions and sun-chokes. I've never had better lamb chops. Washed down with a Sangiovese.

My server was exceptional. With advancing age, I cannot remember her name (Katherine, Charlotte)? I'll always think of her as the Armenian Princess. Her knowledge of the menu and wine pairings was great. She was fun, too.

A decaf espresso, and back to the hotel. What a wonderful meal.

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  1. I think it's just getting better with age. And they have a cool happy-hour menu and late-night menu as well.

    1. That suckling pig face sounds amazing. Thanks for the report. Mailaino is one of our favorite restaurants in NYC.

        1. re: pbjluver

          with tax and tip, perhaps $190+/-. that includes two drinks and three glasses of wine. A teetotaler can get by for about half.

          1. re: pbjluver

            Hmmm. My guess based on my recollection of the menu and per glass wine charges would be in the area of $150-175 after tax and tip if this was a dinner for 1. Nice sounding meal. I should break out of the malfatti rut I'm in when I go. Always seem to order the same thing.

            1. re: Bkeats

              The glass of wine with the pig face was expensive, exceeding my personal limit by quite a bit. :)

              1. re: ichabod777

                Good for you. You have to do that every now and then. 5 drinks? I would have had a very pleasant feeling after that meal. Missed the cocktails in my initial estimate as you initially withheld that info otherwise I think I would have nailed it. Jeez, I eat out too much. ;)

          2. ive been eating less pork over the years but maybe its time for another visit to maialino.

            for the record, they serve the maialino al forno for 1. i split that with my girlfriend and it was still pretty huge.

            if they have that upside down plum cake, i wouldnt sleep on that either.

            1. I sometimes have wet dreams about their Cacio e Pepe and Carbonara. Can I say that on CH?
              As much as we enjoy eating this stuff in Rome, I actually prefer them at Maialino

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