Friday, February 15, 2013


This year for Valentine's (or the day before as we like to do it), instead of opting for a fancy stuffy place that we've never been (last year we did Le Bernardin, year before was Daniel), we deciding on keeping it real, and just going with somewhere we love with amazing food.
L'Artusi was my number one choice and all week it was all I could think about (seriously hah).  I love this place. It's not new and it's not fancy, but each time I go they are packed with young, hip people and the service and food get better and better. I've been a number of times now and I can boldly say that L'Artusi is one of my favorite spots in the whole city (!!) 

L'Artusi is named for the famed gastronome Pellegrino Artusi and is run by the wonderful team of Gabe Thompson and Joe Campanale (Dell' Anima, L'Apicio). It is an inviting and warm Italian restaurant in the West Village, with an open kitchen, white marble bar, cheese and raw bar, and comfortable booths. There's space for private dining upstairs and also boasts an impressive wine cellar. The service each time I've been here is friendly and impeccable, and the food is always EXCELLENT. Their brunch is amazing, and their dinner even better. 

When the hostess told us upon arrival to have a drink at the bar and 2 seats magically became available at that same moment, we decided to make ourselves comfortable and let Aaron the bartender take care of us. I jokingly warned him that the bar may not have room to hold all the food I was about to order but he reassured me to leave everything to him.

THE FOOD. We started with a special cheese of the night which was a House-made Ricotta with EVOO, sea salt and toasted cracker type bread with an orange marmalade. We licked it clean. The Fluke Ceviche with pear, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate was fresh and clean tasting and we had to fight over the last bite. Roasted Mushrooms with fried egg, and ricotta salata. All I'm going to say is please ORDER THIS! I wish I got a better picture. It was so f****ing good! I don't know what they do to those mushrooms but they were salty and crispy and almost meaty tasting and paired with the egg and cheese, it was heaven in a plate. Seriously, get this. 

 Next came the pastas. Their basic Spaghetti with garlic, parmesan, and chilies is anything but basic. It is spectacular. It is delicious. It is so simple yet so freaking good. Al dente and crispy and really just perfection. I could have had 3 plates of this. The Ravioli with autumn squash, sage brown butter and parmesan was also delicious but definitely had that sweet kick. It's also an excellent, excellent pasta. We went for the Red Snapper with white beans and spinach for the fish and although it was okay, it honestly did not stand up to the rest of this wondeful meal. The Cauliflower side with capers, lemon, and bread crumbs was yummy, but the Brussel Sprouts with black pepper and pecorino, Oh My Lord. I know it sounds like I keep saying this, but holy freaking cow. They are insane. 

 We ended the meal with Aaron's recommendation, the Hazelnut Chocolate Torta with Praline crunch and salted caramel gelato. Another home run. Really really excellent and delicious. Salty, creamy, sweet, crunchy. Wonderful. 
So to recap, go to L'Artusi hungry and I can guarantee you will leave happy. Do not miss the mushroom appetizer, spaghetti with chillies, roasted brussel sprouts, and hazelnut dessert. I honestly don't think you can go too wrong at L'Artusi. They are running a fabulous establishment here and they are doing it really really well. 

Enjoy, and Happy Valentines's to all!! 

Neighborhood: West Village

Bite Mark: ****

Good For: Everything! Date night, Out with Friends, Family, Girl's Night, etc, etc, etc

L'Artusi, 228 West 10th bet Bleecker & Hudson  212-255-5757