Moss is one of my favorite stores in all of New York City. Moss carries modern home accessories from glassware to pots to vases to flatware to wine glasses to an occasional lamp and sofa. The store is minimal and modern. When Murray Moss opened a restaurant around the corner, I had to try it out. Even just to check out the way Moss put it together was worth going regardless of the food.
Centovini is located on the corner of Mercer and Houston. Small tables with comfy chairs. A wonderful wrap around bar. The highlights are definitely the lighting. Each hanging light is fantastic just by itself. I particularly liked the one hanging over our table which is probably Morano glass of flower blossoms structured together in a round orb. The piece in the wine store, next door, has colored graped hanging off of it. It is pretty cool.
The true bonus is that the food is quite good. We shared a bunch of different starters and then had our own main courses. We began with a deep fried dough that was stuffed with salami and pecorino cheese. Quite good and great for bar food. They have a variety of cheeses and meats you can have but we opted to try the appetizers off the menu. They are big into breads. We did try one of those. A sour dough type bread that has been dipped in an olive oil that is only served with this appetizer. The olive oil is the first of the year batch and served with a mixture of cooked down white beans. Delicious. I’d be happy to have a jar of those beans with olive oil in my refrigerator.
We split 4 different salads. One was the special. Sardines, marinated and then cooked on a bed of greens. This wasn’t my favorite. The sardines were just not that interesting. Too heavy. A sardine should be delicate. The carpaccio of beef served over a porcinni mushroom and argula salad was really good and different but I wish they have added some shaved Parmesan over the top. The salad was calling for it. A mache salad was really good. Filled with little pieces of crispy parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes and walnuts was the perfect winter salad. The different flavors and textures really worked. Our last salad was the warm octopus salad. Octopus was delicate and crisp at the same time served with sliced cherry tomatoes and endive. The key to that salad were the crunchy black chickpeas. I could have eaten a bag of those chickpeas by themselves.
Dinner was good too. I went with the lamb chop special. Classic Italian grilled lamb chops served over roasted vegetables. Simple and good. Two people went for the special of spaghetti with sea urchin. It was delicious. This seems to be the season to serve this and this particular one was one of the best I’ve tried of this version. Someone also had the classic Bolognese with pasta. What I really liked about this particular Bolognese is that it was mostly meat not heavy on the sauce which highlighted the flavors instead of being overcome with a red sauce.
We had some really good wines too. The wine store and restaurant are partners with Moss and the owners of I Truli. They have mixed design, wine and food all together. Totally Italian. We will most definitely be back.