Tag Archives: Italian

RW Lunch: i Trulli

i Trulli is a lovely and charming Italian restaurant with a gorgeous outdoor garden in the back, where a friend and I enjoyed our Restaurant Week lunch meal.

i trulli_meFirst we were given water and our glass was always full. Then the waiter brought out a small basket of bread: There were 2 different types. One was foccaccia like with sun-dried tomato, fennel, rosemary and other seasoning. The other was rustic brown bread. It came with nice fluffy and creamy butter.

i trulli_breadI had the baby calzones for my appetizer. One had cheese and tomato filling, while the other was sausage and broccoli rabe. I think I liked the cheesy one better. There wasn’t enough of the filling in the other calzone.

i trulli_appsFor my main course, I chose the “straw and hay” pasta dish, Paglia e Fieno, which came with peas, pancetta (lots of it, to my delight) and cream sauce. It was truly delicious! The pasta itself were long strips of golden yellow and green colors and cooked to perfection. The peas were fresh and wonderful, the pancetta was incredibly flavorful with just the right amount of salt, slightly crispy with tons of great seasoning. It tasted amazing. The dish also came with lots of Parmesan cheese. It was very rich and filling.

i trulli_pastaMy friend had the Pork Scaloppini which was pork medallions with bread salad of tomatoes, onion and cucumber. The presentation was really nice and I loved that it was so colorful, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the pork. It didn’t taste all that flavorful to me and was a bit too chewy. The salad was pretty tasty though.

i trulli_porkchopDessert was Torta di Cioccolato, chocolate cake with a scoop of coconut sorbetti. When we were first served dessert, my friend and I felt that the portion size was quite small, but it still satisfied us. The cake, however, was more like a mini brownie with chocolate drizzled on top. The ice cream was in a perfect small ball and there was toffee peanut brittle underneath it. I enjoyed the cake which was chocolate-y, moist and slightly sweet, while the coconut sorbetti was refreshing and light.

i trulli_dessertI really enjoyed the meal, atmosphere and attentive service at i Trulli.

i trulli

i Trulli
124 E 27 St
New York, NY

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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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Nonna’s Italian Chef’s Tasting Menu

I had heard about the 5-course tasting menu at Nonna’s Italian Restaurant and wanted to try it out, so I jumped at the chance to help host a Rotating Dinner there, featuring Nonna’s Italian Chef’s 5-Course Tasting Menu, with Random Events and New York Social Network. It was a pleasant experience and I enjoyed getting to know different people throughout the meal.

We started off with something called rice balls, which look like spaghetti meatballs but are much better. The rice balls are deep fried in a red sauce with mozzerella cheese sprinkled on top, with risotto (rice with peas and melted cheese) inside. These were soo good: Full of flavor, crispy and melt in your mouth delicious.


Next came Cesar salad and a plate of meat and vegetables. The salad was just okay, nothing to write home about, though the accompanying little cheese balls on the side were quite good. The plate of assorted meats and vegetables was lovely- Bright, colorful, fresh and came with carrots, olives, peppers, artichoke, tomato, cauliflower, a whole head of garlic, cheese and prosciutto.

After that was the pasta dish. I had the pappardalle with mushroom sauce and truffle butter. Although the description made my mouth water, the actual dish wasn’t delectable as anticipated. Though the pasta was well made, the sauce wasn’t flavorful enough.

For the main course, I had gotten the cod with some sort of white bean underneath. The cod was light and flaky, with just a the right amount of crispiness and complementary seasoning. The white beans came with a delightful sauce.


I had my dessert with coffee (included). To our utter delights, we were given 2 desserts: Zeppoli and Tiramisu. The zeppoli is fried dough balls with a honey sauce, with powdered sugar on top. They were just okay next to the Tiramisu, which was simply divine. Perfectly melded tastes of coffee, expresso, marsepone cheese, whipped cream and a sweet egg yolk mixture. The tiramisu was both light and creamy, sweet but not overly so and just melted in your mouth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, quite an Italian feast with good service and great company!

 

Address: 520 Columbus Avenue

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