Along with Buddakan, Locanda Verde was an absolute must for Lex and I on our recent trip to NY. This rustic Italian hotspot is a well-known establishment in TriBeCa and the photos on their website were mouth-watering. I’d heard about it as I knew it was partly owned by Robert De Niro. In fact I was so happy with our food at Locanda Verde that I was inspired to watch De Niro in The Intern on the plane trip home! (Great movie by the way). Lex and I originally booked to go on a Friday night however there was a slight change of plans due to us getting tickets to see The Book of Mormon (yay!), so instead we hit up Locanda Verde on a Monday night. Even though it was a more unusual night for a fancy meal, the restaurant still had a buzz and was a night when the locals came out.
I should say that this was an absolute freezing night in NY. Being as we were staying only a few streets away from Locanda Verde at the Duane St Hotel, we figured getting a cab would be difficult. We decided to walk, and I must say it was the walk of my life…and not in a good way. I don’t think I have ever been that cold in my life. As soon as we stumbled into the restaurant I decided I would make this the longest dinner of my life. As it turned out the walk home wasn’t as bitterly cold for some reason – phew!
Even though Lex and I dressed up and made sure we put on our poshest Australian accents when the hostess greeted us, we were pleasantly surprised to find that Locanda Verde has a warm and comfortable atmosphere. Our waitress was attentive but not over the top, and our water was constantly being topped up (this is important to me!).
What we ordered:
We started by ordering a bottle of red. As with previous posts you might know that I can never remember the name of the wine we order (after a few drinks the name becomes less important anyway…). I’ll make sure I ask Lex.
For Antipasti we chose the Winter Insalata with bitter greens, speck, dried cherries & hazelnut. This actually went down well! Lex is not much of a salad kinda guy but even he was impressed. The ingredients just tasted really fresh and compliment each other so well. It was also nice to have an Antipasti that wasn’t heavy and felt guilty (like salami, prosciutto etc.). They also come around with some bread if you’re feeling peckish. I wan’t to make a shout out to the Celery Root Soup. Although we didn’t order it for an Antipasti, the combination of gorgonzola cremificato, pistachio and medjool dates sounded yummy.
We’d actually already decided on what we wanted to order for mains as we had searched the menu at our hotel. We couldn’t go past the Wood-Fired Garlic Chicken for Two. Lex and I don’t normally share our meals, but the chicken was featured as a picture on their website and we couldn’t even be tempted by anything else after seeing that! For sides we ordered the Crushed Potatoes with shallot butter and grana padano, and the Roman-Style Squash Dumplings with brown butter and sage. These sides were the perfect companion to the chicken, especially the Squash Dumplings – absolute heaven. But let’s talk about the chicken…It came in a casserole dish with onions, zucchini, baby carrots, leek, and a super tasty garlic sauce. We actually asked the waitress for a spoon so we could drizzle the sauce over the sides too. Lex and I normally go for pizza and pasta when we go to Italian restaurants, but if this chicken is typical of Italian food then I’m changing my go-to pasta order! Words don’t really do it justice and the picture below doesn’t really either, but take a look anyway.
My Aussie side came out a little when it was time to order dessert. I told the waitress “Nah, we might give it a miss”, and she had absolutely no idea that I was trying to politely decline dessert. Lex had to translate.
The bill came and no, it’s not a cheap eat. But with food that tastes that good, I really wasn’t in the mood for caring about cost…
Until next time Locanda Verde,
P.S. Reservations are essential at Locanda Verde. Book early to avoid missing out.