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review: Tarallucci e Vino (18th/bwy)

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review: Tarallucci e Vino (18th/bwy)

fusilli | Dec 12, 2005 04:42 PM

About 4-5 weeks ago, this place opened on 18th Street between fifth and Broadway... these guys own the little cafe, on the corner of first Avenue and 10th Street in the East Village, where I've been going for coffee for the last few years.

I have now had coffee here a dozen times, dinner twice, lunch once, and drinks at the bar with antipasti once...............overall, very good..that said, i have a lot of comments

the place is open for coffee in the mornings, and is open for lunch and dinner as well. the idea behind the menu is small plates.. bigger than Tapas, but not that much bigger...... if you're a big eater, the place can get expensive, because you will order a lot of plates-- but if you're a modest eater its ok---the individual dishes are not that expensive.

First-- coffee:........ the espresso is generally is excellent-- I don't drink regular coffee or cappuccino so I can't opine on those. The breakfast pastries are also excellent-- mainly Italian croissants and freshly fried donuts, just like their other location in East Village. there is some slight inconsistency in the way they fill them-- Some days too much cream or jelly, some days too little.... but they're always good... admittedly I find the apricot jelly too sweet and corn syrupy...... but overall this is an excellent stop for morning espresso. They use danesi beans from rome.............

for lunch, they have panini, salads, square pizza slices, and a few other things. all good.... not much to say about these... I have not had Sunday brunch here

for the dinner and wine:

it's a heavily Italian list but not entirely
they have 16 wines by the glass, 8 Reds(6 italian), and eight whites, plus a couple of sparkling....... the three best reds are the pinot nero, prunotto's barbera, and probably the second or third best montepulciano on the market in New York (the best being valentini and pepe) . however, I'm not particularly fond of the red wine list because most of them represent one style: moderately modernist. there's very little red made without new oak on the by the glass list. they are all also quite fruit forward..........if you like new style italian, fine,.. if you like "new world" youll do ok, ....these are very good wines to just sip, but, I'd prefer less oak and a little more 'classical lines' to go on with most of the food.......

the white wines are a bit more interesting but I haven't had any there--- includes 3 or 4 non-italians..........like pinot blanc from alsace (blanck).........

the wines by the glass were not exactly cheap ($8-$14 or $15), but they did give a pretty generous pour.... they also had prosecco, franciacorta & real lambrusco (dry), which I like but is an acquired taste...... I asked the host- he said they're going to be expanding the wine list soon.......

they have a full selection of salumi plates, as well as several cheese courses.... their cheese selections are very good... cow,sheep, and goat are all represented......... the cheeses are from Italy, Spain, and maybe France- don't remember if there was anything French there. Each cheese is served with something--i.e. a particular type of honey, a particular type of jelly, or something else.... + several different breads..........all in all, good antipasti....

as for the other dishes, we had the gnocchi, which was excellent, and the fregnacce, probably the best dish on the menu.... this is pasta in a aduck ragu....... excellent........the baccala on polenta is good, but I have had better-- I think the problem is mainly that the polenta is a little bit too small and too thinly cut....... but still tasty......

I think is only 3 or 4 pastas on the menu, 2 or 3 meat dishes, 1 or two fish dishes,.... kind of a small menu.... aside from a large salumi/cheese section....... I think they could use one more fish dish, and more pasta....

this is real-italian food......... but do not expect spaghetti and meatballs here........

the desserts are high point, it seems a little bit strange to have 9 or 10 desserts on a small menu, but they told me the owner makes them all herself--we had 4 of them...3 were delicious, one was a little much for me but good (somthing covered in a chocolate sauce)...the tiramisu is excelelnt, the tiny donuts too.....and the bannan/pienapple cake was good

service- good, not perfect, but good........

overall it gets a thumbs up.......

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