Bivio and the Chocolate Bar

Restauranteurs in New York seem to be growing and capitalizing on their successes these days. The owners of Bot and Bottino opened another B restaurant in the West Village called Bivio. Bot never worked out but Bottino has been around for quite some time in Chelsea. I always liked Bottino. The food is always good. There is a nice vibe in the restaurant and the garden is lovely. I have probably had more lunches there than dinners because they have the best food in the area around the Chelsea art area.

Last Saturday night, we walked into Bivio around 6:30ish. We had our son, so going out late was not happening. The beautiful thing about Saturday night early, is that you can literally walk into any restaurant and have dinner. I felt like I was doing the early bird special. The staff could not have been nicer. It is a real hipster neighborhood restaurant. Sarah Vaughn was the music of the evening. The bar circles around in the front so wherever you sit, you can pretty much see everyone in the restaurant. There is a blackboard wall which posts all the specials of the day. Making the restaurant feel incredibly intimate and cozy. I also like the logo they used for Bivio. Very modern.

We started the evening off with a mixture of the antipastos. The blackboard highlights what else is available besides what is on the menu. We ordered the proscuitto di parma, hunks of pecorino cheese and nice sized marinated artichokes. It was delicious. Not too heavy and we could all share. We also got the gratin of roasted asparagus with tiny pieces of proscuitto melted into parmigiano. This was a bit on the oily side. Conceptually a great mix of foods but the parmigiano ends up only sticking to the top few stalks. They should really consider mixing the cheese through out the asparagus but regardless, the taste was good. We also had the calamari which was browned, crispy and flavorful. The appetizers were really good.

Main courses came. We basically decided, like the appetizers to split up stuff. We had the fish of the day which was a branzini fish that had been filleted and roasted to a crisp served along side with potatoes and broccoli rabe. Perfect. We also had the zitti with a red tomato, eggplant and roasted pepper and ricotta salata cheese. The eggplant pieces were chunky which made the sauce rich and tasty. We literally licked everything off the plates.

We passed on dessert and took a stroll over to the Chocolate Bar which is a tiny store that serves chocolate bars, chocolate popcorn, chocolate truffles, chocolate candies etc. You basically can not go wrong. We had a bit of a tasting. We had a oversized reeses type peanut butter cup, an oversized reeses type peanut butter cup filled with peanut butter and jelly, and another oversized type reeses peanut butter cup filled with peanut butter, caramel and nuts. Over the top! We could not help ourselves and picked up the chocolate covered popcorn which was really really good. We also had to split a peanut butter cookie which was rich, crunchy and chewy at the same time. I have always liked this place. I actually picked up each of our kids a shirt. We are all chocolate people. “chocolate boy” for our son and “chocolate girl” for the girls.

After an evening of serious stuffing ourselves, we strolled over to the video store and picked up Dr. No. Classic James Bond. Our son is obsessed. Diamonds Forever is on the que for the following night…