Saturday, December 1, 2012

Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto vs. Brucie

Today we have the ultimate Italian showdown. New York City vs. Brooklyn. Upper East Side vs. Cobble Hill. Tablecloths vs. barstools. Not that these 2 restaurants have anything to do with each other besides for the fact that both are Italian and I happened to frequent both this past week. Nevertheless, we shall see how they measure up.

Salumeria Rosi Pamacotto, the new Italian bistro on 72nd and Madison is the brainchild of Cesar Casella who has a restaurant of the same name on the Upper West Side. I had a nice lunch there the other day while meeting up with a good friend that lives close by. I had heard about Cesar's place on the UWS and there was some foodie buzz going around about this new location. The UES is generally not touted as a hot restaurant area so when a new spot does open, it's sort of a big deal. 

Salumeria has all the marking of an old school UES Italian trattoria. Tablecloths - check, dark painted walls with Italian statues - check, foreign languages being spoken - check. In the front there is a retail counter filled with cured meats and cheese. From the moment I entered, on a weekday afternoon, the staff seemed buttoned up and attentive. As far as the crowd, there was the usual mix of older expensive looking gentlemen with younger women, ladies who lunch, and tourists. Not my favorite crowd but ok, we are not in Brooklyn anymore. 

There is an extensive selection of Italian wines on the menu, and the food overall was good. Not great, but good. Bread was served (with no condiment or salt). A cauliflower soup was a little too heavy on the cream. The cauliflower steak with some sort of a melted mozzarella (?) cheese and forbidden rice could have been excellent but I found to be slightly under seasoned. For the main course we shared a rigatoni with eggplant and mozzarella which was truly delicious and flavorful and I would probably get again should I return here. The black bass with spaghetti squash and roasted tomatoes was just fair. The fish was a little mushy not crispy like a good black bass should be and the broth tasted like tomato water. 

 Overall was a good experience, and is a convenient area for those shopping around Madison Avenue. The pasta truly was exceptional, but the rest of the meal was not. You can probably find better food in this area, but you won't be too disappointed either. I should probably also mention that lunch for 2 people ordering only the 4 items mentioned (no drinks either) cost a whopping $70 each. 
Next time maybe I can convince my friend to come to Brooklyn. 

Neighborhood: Upper East Side 

Good for:  impressing out of towners, corporate cards, business lunches, ladies who lunch

Bite mark: **and a half 

Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto; 903 Madison Avenue bet 72nd & 73rd 212-517-770


Thursday night we went out with another couple to Brucie, an Italian spot in Cobble Hills Brooklyn, not far from the Cobble Hill movie theatre. It's dimly lit but casual, with bar stools and a long table in the front, bar area, and back room. I found this restaurant to be very "Brooklyn", charming and homey but still casual and comfortable. Who couldn't love a place that divides its menu into "Biggie" and "Smalls" ?!

The waiter was friendly and knowledgable, and we had some good beer, and a great drink with grapefruit and tequila. We started with the Caesar Salad with butternut squash, Aracini Rice Balls, Root Vegetable Salad with winter radish, carrots, romanesco, pistachio, and the Marinated Anchovies with roasted peppers, house burrata and. Wow. The egg was slightly soft in the center and complimented the cheeses and anchovies really well. I really enjoyed this dish. All the appetizers were really amazing.

Next came the Tagliatelle with house burrata, brussel sprouts and tomato butter. WOW. We got a second one of this, one just wasn't enough. Delicous, not too heavy, perfect. The Cannelloni with trumpet mushrooms, kale, and house ricotta was also delicious, baked in the oven, warm and gooey. 


For dessert the waiter insisted we try the house made Ricotta Ice Cream. I don't know what they put in this but it was salty yet sweet, satisfying yet still light. I think he said something about orange peels and sea salt. 

Overall I really enjoyed Brucie. Casual ambience, good service, and solid food always works. And the menu changes so you never get bored. It was not my first time there and will not be my last. It's also not one of those places that make you wait 2 hours on a Thursday night (key for those who like to dine out on Thursday or Saturday nights). It was full but not packed and the food really delivered. The Brooklyn Bite definitely approves. 

Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Cobble Hill 

Good For: date night, girls night, lunch, groups

Bite Mark: *** and a half

Brucie; 234 Court Street @ Baltic Street. Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. 347-987-4961

 Between Brucie and Salumeria, what can I say? I am a Brooklyn girl at heart. Strictly based on the food, I would say Brucie wins out. But obviously they are very different dining experiences and are each serve different purposes. 

Try them and share your experience....