Tuesday, January 22, 2013

a restaurant for all occasions

Justin and I recently went to L’Artusi twice in seven days. We coincidentally had a Hanukkah brunch with family and a holiday dinner with friends, both at the same West Village eatery.

L’Artusi is another West Village restaurant with scrumptious food. I don’t love the décor. (My friend Brian and I decided that the look is 1970’s casino bar meets French bathroom meets front porch.) However the quality food and excellent service make up for the restaurant’s shortcomings in design.

For brunch I recommend starting with the Assorted Fresh Pasties Basket. It’s not your typical breakfast breadbasket. The fresh loaves and pastries are amazing. I also recommend the L’Artusi Scramble with pecorino, broccoli rabe and crispy potatoes. Justin recommends the L’Artusi Breakfast with two fried eggs, roasted mushrooms, crispy potatoes, sausage, bacon, roasted tomato and toast. The Bloody Marys were… interesting. My future sister-in-law (woohoo!!!) pointed out that they tasted a bit carbonated. The waitress remarked on her discerning palette and explained that they put some sort of ale/beer in the L’Artusi Bloody. So if that’s not your thing, go for a Mimosa instead.
Our holiday dinner was a larger party with a pre-selected menu. The Holiday Dinner is a new tradition among Justin’s high school friends and their significant others, all of whom have become my close companions. We opted for a four course family style dinner with unlimited beer and wine. Needless to say it was a feast. And it was delicious. See below for the menu –
FLUKE CEVICHE pear, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate
GRILLED QUAIL autumn squash, pomegranate, sage
ROASTED MUSHROOMS pancetta, fried egg, ricotta salata

RAVIOLI autumn squash, sage brown butter, parmesan
GARGANELLI mushroom ragu
TAGLIATELLE bolognese bianco, parmesan

STRIPED BASS tuscan kale, cannellini beans, tomato
HANGER STEAK crispy potatoes, salsa bianco

Assorted Dolci:
A house assortment of cookies, fruit and mini olive oil cakes for the finale

Following the L’Artusi Holiday Dinner we ended the night with a boozy dance party at our friend Michael’s apartment. (And props to Michael; he had also spearheaded the planning of the inaugural dinner.)

L’Artusi was a success on both occasions. I’d love to go back sometime, maybe in the next seven weeks.



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