BY BETH KAISERMAN
On a cold wintry night, six New York City strangers wandered the night seeking one of New York’s revered dining establishments.
A few disagreements later, they ended up at a warm and wonderful Italian restaurant – in one area of what seemed like an endless city.
That was January 2009, before I ever planned on moving here. But I finally stumbled upon this memorable restaurant again and had to retry it, to see if I was just a jaded tourist or if it truly was as magnificent as I remembered.
The first time I had a savory pumpkin gnocchi. This time I opted for a panini – with plans of saving room for dessert.
From the moment I entered, the service was impeccable. The friendly hostess was enthusiastic about the restaurant and made it a very comfortable environment. She said the restaurant just hired a new chef, so the food would probably be different than my visit last year.
With bread made in-house, the panini seemed like a great choice. I chose the multigrain bread with rosemary chicken, black olive paste and arugula. Panini are served on ciabatta or multigrain with a mesclun salad on the side, a nice lunch for $10.
The panini was very aromatic; when it arrived a romantic scent of rosemary hit my nose. The greens were a bit too salty for my taste and would have benefited from tomatoes, or even some lemon-infused olive oil. It needed some acidity to balance out its powerful punch of flavor.
The almond tart, with honey and powdered sugar, was a perfect top-off to a light lunch. I couldn’t finish it all though, so brought half of it home.
All in all, Tarallucci E Vino offered a pleasant, relaxing experience that wasn’t too expensive.
*Tarallucci e Vino was also reviewed on this blog by Elena Mancini in 2008.