I went to have a group dinner at Locanda Verde last Friday at 8:30pm. When we arrived, the place was packed. There was literally no standing room near the bar nor near the host. People bumped into each other as they passed. When I eventually got up to the hostess, I announced that I had a reservation for 8 people at 8:30pm. They quickly found it and asked if everyone was there yet. I said no but it was still before 8:30pm. We waited 10 minutes for everyone to get there. Once our party was complete, I told the hostess that we were all present. She checked again and the table was still busy with patrons. I waited and waited and checked every 15 minutes. Once with another host. At 9:00pm, I was a little annoyed because the place had cleared out a bit and I could easily see tables available now. I asked another host (Iram) about it and he said that they were waiting for our whole party to show up. I had told him that we have been here for about 20 minutes now. He apologized and quickly led us to our table.
We all sat and were relieved to finally get a table. The waitress comes over with the menus and tells us a little about how she thinks we could order: family style. We thought about it but decided to get our own appetizers and entrees instead. As she left for us to peruse over the menu, the host (Iram) comes over with 2 plates of the ricotta appetizers. He apologized again for the wait. He was really gracious to us. I was happy because I was nothing but patient and nice the whole time. We thanked him. Then we dove into the warm ricotta cheese and toast. We needed more bread because they give you a lot of cheese. A bread basket of foccacia came in quite handy.
Now on to the food. We all ordered a variety of the menu. For appetizers, we had: steak tartare, priest collars pasta, lamb sliders, tripe parmagiana, burrata salad, beet salad, and blue crab crostini. I tasted everything except for the burrata, beets, and crostini. But everything tasted really good. My own dish was the priest collars which had pasta rings with calamari is a pesto like sauce. It was really filling for an appetizer but delicious. It wasn't spicy at all though. The lamb sliders were highly praised. I really liked my friend's steak tartare. It had black truffles mixed in with the meat and on the toast. You could smell it. And it tasted mighty fine.
Now onto the entrees which I thought were better. We had the duck, buccatini, porchetta sandwich, pork chop, priest collars, and grandma's ravioli. My dish was the duck and it was cooked beautifully. The duck was still nice and pink but the fat had rendered. It was delicious. A lot us liked the porchetta sandwich. It tasted very tender and the flavor was good. I wish there were cracklings in it though. There could have been but I didn't have any in the bite that I tried. The pork chop was enormous. It could have easily fed two people. But we're big eaters and finished them. Also, the ravioli was filled with veal, pork, and beef (I think) and was very rustic and old fashioned.
We didn't have room for dessert because the portions were pretty big.
I really liked this place and would definitely go again aside from the crowdedness and the wait time. But they apologized and made up for it. Otherwise, the service was very good.
377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013