Restaurant Week Dinner at PO

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Po is a delightful little Italian restaurant tucked away on Cornelia Street in the West Village.  The vision for Po is simple: “A restaurant that serves fresh, simply prepared seasonal fare in a cozy and inviting neighborhood setting.” And this they have done.

After we were seated, we were served a nice chunk of bread with a side of olive oil, as well as complimentary white bean bruschetta– Sliced bread with white beans and more olive oil. Even though I’m not a huge fan of beans, this tasted quite good: Full of flavor, though very oily. I also loved the crispiness of the bread.

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We ordered off the Restaurant Week Menu, which pretty much had the best dishes from the menu and even some that weren’t on the regular menu. I started off with the Sea Bass Ravioli, made with tomato sauce and scallion butter. I expected it to be a little more substantial, as the plate only came with 3 medium-sized ravioli pieces. It was also a little lacking in presentation. I thought it was decent. The sauce was light, and could definitely taste the sea bass which was the best part by far.

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My entree was veal porcini ragu with fusili pasta, which was delicious. The veal was extremely tender, full of flavor and combined well with the porcini mushrooms. The fusili was cooked to perfection and there was just enough sauce to taste, but not overpower the distinct flavors of veal and porcini. Add to the dish some Parmesan and  a sprinkling of pepper to enhance the flavors, and voilà!

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Next was dessert, which was dark chocolate terrine and drizzled with espresso caramel sauce. The terrine was delectable, with a strong flavor of amaretto and just melted in my mouth. I also loved the sweet smooth flavor of the caramel sauce to go with it. Overall, it was wonderfully rich and creamy. Almost too rich, with almost being the operative word. I still ate most of the chocolate terrine…

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My friend was able to get the other dessert and luckily, shared some with me: Apple torta with vanilla gelato. Now, this dessert was amazing! I have always been a lover of chocolate, but this apple torta was even better than the dark chocolate terrine. The apple torta came to us warm, seemingly straight from the oven. The torta was  chewy, flaky, buttery and crisp all at once. The crust was caramelized and crisp, and had the distinct flavor of caramel. The vanilla gelato was the perfect companion: Creamy, smooth, and flavorful.

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Despite my initial reservations, Restaurant Week Dinner at Po turned out to be a delightful experience with great food and pleasant service.

Address: 31 Cornelia Street.

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Take advantage of NYC Restaurant Week: Winter 2013, which is from January 14 to February 8, 2013. This is when a ton of well known and usually quite expensive restaurants offer a special 3-course meal, which is $25 for lunch and $38 for dinner. Here’s a sampling of participating restaurants: 21 Club, Capital Grille, Le Cirque, Locanda Verde, Morimoto, Nobu, The Palm Court, Russian Tea Room, and Spice Market… And I’ve been to 5 of these (for past Restaurant Weeks.)

Stay tuned for upcoming Winter Restaurant Week reviews!

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