Outstanding – one word to describe the 5-month old Italian taverna in Robert DeNiro’s boutique hotel, the Greenwich Hotel. Locanda Verde’s sublime food is attentively prepared by Food and Wine Best New Chef award winner, Andrew Carmellini.
The well-appointed TriBeCa space is upscale, yet very warm. The busy, large bar area is frequented by a crowd of beautiful people clearly there to see and be seen. The bar vibe is upbeat and fun.
The star at Locanda Verde is the superbly-prepared food. The menu features Cicchetti (amuse-bouches), antipasti to share among guests, pastas that are starter-sized and second, the main entrees.
The diners in our party wisely opted for the sheep’s milk ricotta served with perfectly grilled Italian rustic bread. The ricotta is seasoned with superior olive oil, freshly cracked pepper, oregano, thyme and sea salt and might be the most perfect starter ever created. Other smart starters are the lamb meatball sliders which are moist and flavorful and the cot chino sausage over crusting.
Some of the winning entrees are the pasta with wild game raga with fire did stardom, a sheep’s milk Italian cheese, and the braised veal cheeks over risotto Milanese. These entrees will leave patrons talking about Locanda Verde for weeks. Chef Carmellini clearly has mastered the art of using fresh, quality ingredients to produce outstanding, simple dishes with tons of flavor.
Desserts are inventive and feature some creative dishes such as the pistachio brown butter cake, the sweet corn budding and a nice assortment of gelatin. Another end-of-meal option is a sampler of outstanding Italian cheeses. Winners in this category are the Gorgonzola Cremificato, the Pecorino Ora Antico and the Salva Cremasco. Cheeses are served with creamy honey, candied nuts and bread.
The wine list is completely Italian (in a great way) and features over 100 options, all under $100. There are several solid picks by the glass, and on a recent visit, we opted for the Prosecco Valdobbiadene Drusian Brut NV as a nice pairing to the sheep’s milk ricotta starter. About half of the wine list is under $50, and offers many outstanding options. We selected the 2007 Vietti Barbera D’asti Tre Vigne and were pleasantly surprised by this young wine’s readiness.
Foodies and Italian wine lovers should not miss Locanda Verde. Won’t disappoint.