“Three of… many more like it” – Review of Three of Cups

“Three of… many more like it” – Review of Three of Cups

BY CAROLYN ONOFREY

Three of Cups
83 First Avenue
East Village

212-388-0059/threeofcupsnyc.com

I met a group of old friends at Three of Cups recently.  I had only been there briefly before, stopping by their lounge downstairs to pick up a friend.  My experience, although short lived, did not make Three of Cups seem like the type of place I wanted to spend a nice night catching up over dinner and drinks with the girls.  The place was packed with bikers, and metal and rock music were blaring from the DJ booth.  Don’t get me wrong, a fun night out, but not my first choice for a weeknight dinner.

Pollo alla Milanese. Photo by Carolyn Onofrio

Pollo Milanese alla Tre di Coppa. Photo by Carolyn Onofrio

However, when I walked into the main upstairs entrance I was pleasantly surprised to find a small bar, a fireplace, and even some tasteful Christmas decorations.  I took a seat at the bar, as I was the first one to arrive, and ordered a $4 Happy Hour Six Point Lager from the tap.  The bartender couldn’t have been nicer, explaining the specials to me and offering to get a table ready for my party and I.  I couldn’t help but to notice his long hair and rough exterior, and wondered to myself if he’d be much more comfortable downstairs.

When my friends arrived we were promptly seated in a booth and greeted by our waitress who brought over warm bread and olive oil.  The menu was comprised of a surprisingly large selection of Italian dishes, which although not terribly adventurous, sounded appealing and made everyone content with their choice.  I settled on the Pollo Milanese alle Tre di Coppa ($17), a breaded chicken cutlet with arugula, tomato, basil, and Gorgonzola cheese. The ingredients of this dish were all very fresh and I loved the fact that it was so simple.  The flavors worked well together, except for the oil drenched chicken cutlet.  What was really the centerpiece of the dish, was fried to a pulp and all I could really taste was the burnt oil.  A real shame.  However, I managed to eat the whole thing.

In a city of what seems like endless Italian restaurants, I often walk away disappointed.  Not to say that the food is inedible at most places, far from it.  I just can’t seem to sort out one mediocre Italian restaurant from the next. Citysearch.com states that there are over 1,000 Italian restaurants in Manhattan alone! A restaurant can certainly be memorable without a Michelin Star pinned to its menu, but it’s going to take more than good service and ambiance to make me remember.  Quality ingredients prepared correctly is definitely a good start.  All in all, Three of Cups was a great experience, the service, the atmosphere, and the fresh ingredients made this place an almost winner;  will I come back? I probably won’t, but only because there are so many more Italian eateries in the city to try out and to (hopefully not) forget.

way disappointed.  Not to say that the food is inedible at most places, far from it.  I just can’t seem to sort out one mediocre Italian restaurant from the next. Citysearch.com states that there are over 1,000 Italian restaurants in Manhattan alone! A restaurant can certainly be memorable without a Michelin Star pinned to its menu, but it’s going to take more than good service and ambiance to make me remember.  Quality ingredients prepared correctly is definitely a good start.  All in all, Three of Cups was a great experience, the service, the atmosphere, and the fresh ingredients made this place an almost winner;  will I come back? I probably won’t, but only because there are so many more Italian eateries in the city to try out and to (hopefully not) forget.


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