Proprietors/Chef: Mario Batali & Joe Bastianich/ Dan Drohan
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village
1Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10003
Mood: Happy Hour…or Italian classics… stick to staples
Tastes Like: great pizza, pasta and small plate options, paired with an extensive beer and wine list. Daily specials to spice things up a bit. it doesn’t get any better than this. Highly impressed with their pizza. Pepperoni was smoked to perfection and the crust was not too crispy, chewy and very inviting. The prosciutto was not too salty, which made for an absolute ideal slice of pizza with some greens on top. Semi-healthy. Everything was so good, I seriously couldn’t stop grabbing another slice. Luckily, the pizzas are individual sized, so the portions are fitting and you won’t have a problem eating 5 slices (which equates to 1-2 slices by NYC standards).
Must Haves: Prosciutto & Arugula pizza & Pepperoni pizza
Stay Away: mmm… wasn’t so in love with the fig appetizers. It was pickled…and I imagined it to be something completely different. If you like pickled food and figs, hey, give it a shot.
Ambiance: happy, loud, casual joint. You might lose your voice at the end of the night, but guaranteed to be a bustling night.
Service: very swift and knowledgeable of daily specials. not as attentive, but i was wrapped up in heavy conversations with a friend so the non-interruption was much appreciated.
Rating: 4 stars
Caveat: Always jam packed. Highly recommend making reservations ahead to score seats…or if you are content at the bar tables and standing… knock yourselves out.
Proprietor/Chef: Mathew Kenney
Neighborhood: East Village
65 2nd Ave
Manhattan, NY 10003
Mood: tapas to share with a large party…. feeling festive and seafood-y adventurous
Tastes Like: party in your mouth… with a few key things they can easily tweak to make it even better. Tapas is a must for sharing.. and even great for large groups because you get to try a variety of stuff. We opted for Yuca fries, lobster guacamole, two different types of ceviche, hangar steak and octopus tiradito. The seafood here is OK, not too shabby. The lobster guac was my favorite, only because the plantain chips are so addicting and when lobster meat is lost in translation with the guac, it doesn’t matter how fresh the lobster is. I wasn’t particularly in love with both ceviche (classic and tuna)… pieces could have been more chopped up, and it was too tart due to the overwhelming amount of lime juice used. The tuna was a bit on the sweeter side for me. The portions here were on the bigger side (not complaining). And we left pretty full and satisfied. Hangar steak was pretty good. I think they need to look at each dish and just modify the ingredients and usage of each ingredient (salt, limes, pepper) to refine each dish. Plus, a lot of it seems to be too much clutter. Sometimes less is more. It’s almost there, but not quite fully.
Must Haves: lobster guacamole, hangar steak, octopus tiradito
Stay Away: ceviche.
Ambiance: Outdoor seating a plus.
Service: I don’t think we got each other’s sense of humor…he seemed … afraid of me.
Rating: 3 stars
Caveat: No pitchers of sangrias available.. ONLY by the glass. How the hell does this make sense??