L'Artusi opened about 5 years ago in the West Village. For whatever reason I never got there. Our friends made reservations there the other night and I was psyched to see them but also excited about L'Artusi. The place was packed when we got there and when we left. Now I know why.
The restaurant has a really nice vibe with a large open kitchen in the back. You almost feel as if you are dining at someones home with a really big dining room. The service is great, the food comes out quick and they were happy to accomodate my anti-garlic needs. Some of my pictures are a bit blurry so sorry about that.
We split everything. We started with a few cheeses. One was a soft goat cheese with toasted sliced almonds on the side and a hard cheese that had something to pair with it. There was a basket of these delicious melt in your mouth crackers to eat with the cheese. Nice touch.
There are 5 headings on the menu. Crudo (raw fish), Verdura ( salads ), Pasta, Pesce (fish), Carne (meat and chicken). We had two crudos. Cubes of hamachi mixed with grapes, almonds and a sauce that they refer to as white gazpacho to bind the dish. Delicious. A nice combo of flavors.
Thinly sliced sea scallops covered with sea salt, olive oil, dusted with chili peppers and a hint of lemon. Fresh and quite good.
This was a serious winner. Roasted mushrooms crispy pieces of pancetta with a fried egg over the top and shaved ricotta salata. Mix this all together and dig in. I loved this dish.
Special pasta of the night. A rich brown sauce with crispy pieces of Italian ham. Not a great description but really good.
Squash stuffed ravioli topped with brown butter, Parmesan and sage. Sage is one of my all time favorites when it comes to the fall.
Charred octopus mixed with sliced potatoes, chilies and pancetta. Almost like a warm salad.
Simple grilled branzino that literally could be cut with a fork. So well prepared with thinly sliced roasted lemons, sliced olives and touched with a spot of honey.
Olive oil cake that was light and moist with a creme fraiche dollop on top.
Hazelnut chocolate torta with a praline crunch and salted caramel ice cream.
All and all a really delicious meal and evening. Looking forward to going back. Not waiting 5 years!