Tarallucci and Vino just opened a new location at 44 East 28 Street and I couldn’t be happier. Michele and I attended a “soft opening” dinner last night and it was terrific. First of all, it is a great looking place with a large outdoor area, spacious bar room and comfortable dining room. The owner Luca Di Pietro greeted us and immediately offered us glasses of Pecorino, which was very welcome and refreshing on a hot night.
Lorenzo Baricca, the wine director, whom we had met on a wine trip several years ago, is a partner. He proudly showed us his impressive collection of older wines going back to the 1960’s.
We began our meal with some appetizers. Burrata cheese with roasted baby eggplant for Michele and grilled octopus with potatoes, celery and caperberries for me.
There was also an appealing list of small plates for sharing, such as fried polenta, ‘nduja with mascarpone and tomato, and pancetta with a confit of shallots. These weren’t available for the preview dinner, but they sounded delicious.
For our main course, both of us chose pasta. Michele had the Fregnacce with Duck Ragu, broad fresh pasta strips with a rich duck sauce and Parmigiano Reggiano,
while I opted for the Agnolotti, ricotta-filled ravioli sauced with mushrooms, hazelnuts, and basil.
We also had a side dish of roasted eggplant.
To finish off the wine, we ordered a cheese course. Three cheeses appeared: Parmigiano Reggiano, gorgonzola and robiola, all of them in perfect condition. A small bowl of good honey topped with chopped almonds accompanied the cheese.
We couldn’t leave without dessert so I chose the gelato
and Michele had the panna cotta with verbena and peaches.
The wine list is extensive but not overwhelming. Lorenzo has some unusual wines on the list such as Caprettone, a white from Cantina Olivella, the aforementioned Pecorino, and a Nero D’Avola which we also sampled. The highlight for me was the bottle of Benanti Etna Rossa “Rovittello” 2004.
The older wines on the list include the 1962 Barolo Riserva Speciale from Marchesi di Barolo ($250) and Rivetto Barolo 1966 ($150), which are very well priced.
“Tutto finisce a tarallucci e vino,” is an old Italian saying meaning that it all ends well.
To quote the menu, “The famous Italian saying comes from a tradition of resolving any matter over a glass of wine and tarallucci, the classic southern Italian cookie. Since 2001 Tarallucci e Vino has adopted this philosophy and applied it every aspect of our dining experience. From our handcrafted pastries every morning to our fresh pastas and locally and seasonally inspired Italian plates at night, we invite you start or end your day and unwind at Tarallucci e Vino.”
What an appealing thought and we totally agree!
There are several Tarralluci e Vino locations in Manhattan. For more information go to http://www.taralluccievino.net/. 212-779-1100