+
Discover the unexpected in Manhattan. Explore All of New York City
Restaurants & Bars 6

Malaparte - for the love of God, avoid this place

Bob Martinez | Dec 13, 2013 07:27 AM

I don’t give Al Di La enough appreciation. It’s near where I live, it’s been there for years, and I take it for granted. I say that because last spring we were looking for a simple Italian meal in the West Village and a Google search turned up Malaparte on Washington St. and Bethune. I looked at the menu and it read a lot like Al Di La’s. “Wow” I thought. “How convenient to have this in Manhattan.”

We went last March. (You know what’s coming. If it was good I would have told you about it earlier.)

It certainly looked the part. Exposed brick walls, pleasant, if minimalist décor. The wait staff were all Italian, another positive sign.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8510/85...

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8387/85...

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8228/85...

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8101/85...

Then things began to go wrong. The bread and olive oil fooled us. They were unremarkable but not bad either.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8375/85...

Then it was on to the starters. Shaved Fennel, Rucola, Grated Parmesan & Olive Oil & Lemon

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8529/85...

It looks like it would be interesting at worst, and very good at best. No. Deadly dull and resistant to what little help could be supplied by salt and pepper.

Grilled Polenta with Sautéd Mushroom Medley.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8105/85...

The description reads well – it looks good too. No. Like the fennel, this was really dull. It’s as if they left out a couple of key ingredients.

Lasagna Bolognese.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8521/85...

Again, flat. Dull.

Porkchop.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8239/85...

Actually, if they described this properly, they would have said “pork cutlet” and I would have avoided it. By this time I knew what to expect. Minimal spicing, really the absence of spices. I’m reaching to say something positive. OK – it wasn’t dry. That’s it.

Some night in June you may be walking down Washington St., past the packed Barbuto, you'll go another block, spy Malaparte on the corner and think “that place looks charming.”

Keep walking.

Al Di La, please forgive me. I will never bad mouth you again.

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound