Review - Roberto Passon (741 9th Ave @ 50th, 212 582 5599)
It looks like Chowhounds were right on about this Theater District Italian. We were there the other night and really enjoyed ourselves. The decor is serene (white and black wood) with linen tableclothes and napkins. Despite constant rumblings about service issues, we were treated fine although there did not appear be that many people when we went there for a pre theater treat before Jersey Boys (which was great as well).
We started with a Bellini ($8) and a cooling Soave ($8) which munching on their bread and bean dip. Our waiter cheerfully popped open a bottle of Falesco Montiano we had brought ($20 corkage) and brought our first set of appetizers.
My wife started with an artichoke special, which was sauteed artichokes in a thick puttanesca style sauce, served in crispy parmesan shell. I think it was $10 or so; it was quite nice, but salty in the Batali style. I had the white asparagus ($10), on top of prosciutto, with a poached egg on top. They give you a ton of food in both appetizers and both are well made for sharing. The poached egg was perfect, soft and golden in the middle with a nice crust of salty cheese sprinkled on it.
Then our pasta arrived, piping hot, and looking beautiful. The SO had the tagliatelle in the lamb ragu ($16 and recommended on the board here) and it was quite good, with lots of chunky lamb, but again heavily salted in the Roman style. I had the pumpkin ravioli with sage and butter sauce ($15) which was super, although a tick sweet. This was a delicious fall treat. Again, portions were large and the pasta was made fresh.
By now, we were too stuffed for any carne/pesce so skipped straight to dessert. We split a saffron creme brulee ($7) which was ok, but on the small side. It was the only thing I would pass on the next time I visit.
I really liked the place and it is a good value, conveniently located, that is perfect for folks in the nabe or visiting. A little less raucous than Becco, but a worthy standby choice for the area.
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