As I slid through the boisterous crowd, my mind was completely focused. Only one thing mattered: beef tartare.
This is Locanda Verde, an Italian restaurant in Tribeca, New York City.
Locanda verde means “green inn” in Italian. The name is apt — there’s an inviting rear garden.
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“Have you been here before?” I asked the lady next to me.
“Try the beef tartare.”
Okay, I guess she wasn’t as excited as I was. More for your old buddy Francis.
Soon, the mythical dish hit our table. There was only one question — if I grab for it instantly, will I seem gauche?
Caution to the wind!
I gobbled one of the little beef toasts, delighting in the savory flesh dressed with fine olive oil. The bread is an airy sourdough, a perfect complement.
Eyes akimbo. Will anyone notice if I grab a second?
It seems not. Perhaps my dinner companions were a bit put off by raw meat.
Oh, there were other dishes. And they were superb.
I particularly loved the pillowy ricotta, surely one of the house’s most popular plates.
Nor is the mushroom pasta to be missed. The chef uses a mix of mushrooms, always the best way to show these fungi at their finest.
And never forget cake!
I contemplated a second piece of the chocolate tart, but even I couldn’t do it. I’ve failed you, I know.
The tart is rich and permeated by the flavors of cocoa and espresso. There’s even a slight crust of powdered sugar, carmelized by torch.
Locanda Verde takes the small things seriously.
Why serve a tart when you can serve a bruleed tart? Why use one kind of mushroom when you can use three, each with a distinct flavor?
It’s those little details that add up to a fine meal. My hat is off to Locanda Verde for doing honor to this food I love so much.
What’s your favorite Italian spot? Leave a comment and let us know!
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