Locanda Verde had been on my “To Dine” list for some time now, with restaurant heavy hitters Chef Andrew Carmellini and Robert De Niro, I had heard some very good things about this Tribeca Italian hot spot. So when it came time to plan a cousin’s night out, I knew this was my chance!The server brought us a lovely crusty focaccia which was a great start to the meal, and he recommended we ordered a bunch of items and share family style. We decided to start off with some antipasti, and I of course chose the Tripe alla Parmigiana with a fried organic farm egg. Now you may recall that I had recently had some delicious tripe at Babbo, and this whole fried egg thing really peaked my interest. Plus I had the hubby along with me this time, and I really wanted him to try Italian style tripe since he had only ever had the Polish standard. Anyway, the tripe was a hit! (With him and me that is, my cousins refused to try it when I told them what it was – haha!). The tripe was tender and flavorful and though I would never think to mix tomato sauce with a fried egg, somehow the flavor combination was just delightful.
Next, we had the Lamb Meatball Sliders with caprino and cucumber, and they were tasty little bites of meaty deliciousness! The salty caprino and crunchy cucumber were a perfect match to the tender lamb meatballs.
And of course we had to try the Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Crostini with sea salt and herbs, all of my Italian side of the family loves ricotta! The sheep’s milk made the ricotta somewhat thicker and creamier and definitely more flavorful. For the rest of the dinner (after some debate) the majority of us decided we each wanted to get our own dishes. I went for the pasta of course (which is all made in-house) – Squid Ink Linguini with manila clams, squid, sopressata, shishito, and garlic. I keep seeing this trend of adding non-Italian spicy peppers to seafood pasta dishes (both Del Posto and Babbo), and although the Italian purist in me sees it as a big no-no, I must admit it does make for a very interesting flavor combination!
P also had pasta, he had the Rigatoni with bolognese ragu and he even gave me a bite! It was an excellent ragu, with a rich and hearty sauce. Ok so for the life of me, I cannot remember what fish this was that my cousin ordered, and Locanda Verde has a frequently changing menu so what they have online is not the same menu from when we dined there. In any case, he didn’t love the fish (and apparently it wasn’t very memorable) so maybe that’s why it’s no longer on the menu! Also, it seemed like it hadn’t been cooked through all the way, it was a bit pink in the middle, but our server assured us that was how it was supposed to look.And lastly two of the girls shared the Corn Ravioli which was such an interesting take on a traditional ravioli…it actually had kernels of corn inside the homemade ravioli. It was a very light and summer-y dish. As we decided on dessert, a plate of biscotti was brought to the table which I thought was a nice touch.
The dessert was possibly one of our favorite items that night, we just got one for all of us to share, and we practically licked the dish clean! Again, this dessert is no longer on the menu but I believe it was some sort of Corn Budino with hazelnut ice cream and it was amazing! I loved the addition of the sweet caramel popcorn, it really brought a new dimension to the dessert.
Overall I must say that Locanda Verde was an excellent choice. We really liked the ambience, it was warm and cozy but lively, and the food was top notch (not that I expected anything less from Andrew Carmellini!)
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Locanda Verde | www.locandaverdenyc.com | 377 Greenwich Street