Last 7 days I described on how New York’s finest French restaurant, Le Bernardin, re-opened and proved the resilience of the city’s great dining segment. So, this week I am just as delighted to report that the city’s best Italian cafe, Il Gattopardo, positioned in a previous Nelson Rockefeller townhouse throughout from the Museum of Modern Artwork, run by Gianfranco and Paula Sorrentino and Chef Vito Gnazzo, is exhibiting the same motivation to protecting high-quality dining with an Italian flair and refinement that have often been its hallmark.
Named immediately after the wonderful 1958 novel of Sicilian lifestyle, Il Gattopardo, by Giuseppe di Lampedusa, the cafe is unfold on two flooring of the Beaux Artwork townhouse upstairs is the primary dining place, downstairs a huge social gathering space, and in their streamlined minimalist décor each make excellent stylistic neighbors to MOMA across the street. The lighting is smooth and glowing in the eating home, the walls absolutely free of artwork, and the snug chairs, double tablecloths, skinny wineglasses, great china and new flowers retain the metropolitan level of sophistication.
The mainly Italian wine list exceeds 300 labels, all picked by the affable Gianfranco himself, nonetheless with several wines below $50. Gnazzo, from Salerno, experienced worked at the renowned Antica Osteria del Ponte outside Milan, then at the equally esteemed Rex in Los Angeles. At Il Gattopardo he demonstrates a further upgrading of cucina Italiana, proudly specializing in Southern Italian classics that he helps make the most of, in no way elaborating when perfect simplicity can be so essential to a dish’s results.
We left ourselves in his arms for a tasting menu that began with smoked mozzarella called provola in a hearty pizzaiolo sauce of tomato and basil ($25 à la carte), and cuttlefish and artichokes sautéed with a touch of anchovy and white wine in excess of frisée greens with sunshine-dried plum tomatoes and Taggiasca olives ($26). Equally confirmed the shiny shade and sunshine-enriched flavors of Gnazzo’s residence area, as did a pasta of buffalo ricotta gnocchi with black truffles, sweet sausage and toasted mascarpone cheese ($45). This was a lavish dish (and all portions as a most important course generous) in which the gnocchi are increased, not coated above, by the other elements. If you are a fan of bottarga (dried roe) you will enjoy the spaghetti with gray mullet bottarga, garlic, parsley, further virgin olive oil and a trace of crushed Calabrian crimson pepper ($30). I found the bottarga taste far too pronounced, when it may well have been subtler.
Gnazzo treats Sardinian fregola like risotto and enriches it with spring’s sweet asparagus suggestions and sea scallops ($32), a dish that exemplifies a far more sensitive touch of which texture has as significantly to do with the dish as taste.
Rombo, or turbot [$140 for two], is a incredibly gelatinous sort of brill that ordinarily does not translate very well when transported across the Atlantic, but Gnazzo’s treatment, only roasted and glossed with olive oil and parsley, with sautéed broccoli di rabe on the facet, was impeccable. The fish, lifted from the bone, experienced a velvety body fat and sweetness, and it is remarkably filling.
Contrary to most Italian restaurants each right here and in Italy, desserts are not an afterthought at Il Gattopardo. The deeply satisfying mousse di cioccolato with Aglianico wine coronary heart ($18), and the tangy sweet “Delizia al limone” of sponge cake soaked in Limoncello Amalfitano with white chocolate curls ($18) are delights, and never miss out on the regular Neapolitan cheesecake called pastiera ($18) designed with wheatberries.
Thanks to the Museum also becoming open up and the restaurant’s spot on a street of townhouses, even lunch is possible.
Il Gattopardo also serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays with goods like ricotta pancakes with berries and maple syrup ($21) and eggs in a spicy cherry tomato sauce with pancettabacon.
The Sorrentinos also run the tiny trattoria Mozzarella e Vino (now under reconstruction) up coming doorway and, up in the vicinity of Lincoln Heart, the extremely fantastic Leopard at Café des Artistes. All share the perseverance to retaining the finest that Italy has to present in phrases of components, cooking and assistance that can be observed in New York ideal now, and it’s a beacon for some others to abide by as dining places get better from the pandemic.
13-15 West 54th Street (in close proximity to Fifth Avenue)