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Manhattan Italian

GREAT (new?) authentic italian on 10th, just east of 6th ave

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Restaurants & Bars

GREAT (new?) authentic italian on 10th, just east of 6th ave

Julia | Sep 10, 2001 11:40 PM

I stumbled upon this place while walking around and the menu seemed interesting so I came back for dinner. What a find! It's called Piadina.

I am very snobby about Italian food, as I have been to Italy and been to cooking school there, so I take my Italian food seriously...

The food is simple, but very good and a great value. We went at around 10 pm on a saturday night, and though the place is small (maybe 15-20 tables), there was an open table and we were seated immediately. The service was truly fantastic - very informal, but warm, friendly, lightning-quick, and unpretentious. As a younger chowhound, I have been patronized before when eating out (despite always dressing to the nines and tipping well...go figure), but I was treated well at Piadina.

The menu was not too long (which I usually consider a good sign), and we started with the rucola and pecorino salad, which was simply dressed with a touch of oil (not sopped to sogginess like some salads), though nothing really amazing, it hit the spot. They brought out this AMAZING focaccia...REAL focaccia....it was DIVINE, sprinkled with herbs and drizzled with olive oil. Both my friend and I ordered pasta -- he had the green gnocchi with tomato sauce and a spinach, and I had the special, farfalle in a porcini cream sauce. The gnocchi were obviously fresh (not those horrid frozen kind), light and cloudy, and the sauce was good though slightly lacking in salt for my tastes. The farfalle were perfectly cooked with a nice bite, and the sauce was very good, rich but not too rich, with dried porcinis which were nonetheless delicious. Portions were European-sized, but certainly filling, and they were generous with the delicious focaccia.

For dessert, we shared the very authentic, excellent tiramisu. I am indeed the biggest tiramisu snob, and this tiramisu made the cut. Rich yet light, soaked in yummy liquor and espresso but not to the point of sogginess. A classic done well, without any strange misguided attempts at "originality". The rest of the dessert menu seemed appealing as well.

The wine list, though limited, was also quite good.

Dinner, with salad, pasta, and a shared dessert, tip included, came to $60 for two. Pastas ranged from $12-16, meats from $15-22, desserts $6 I believe. There are always daily specials, and they serve lunch also it appears.

-Julia

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