Pulino’s Bar & Pizzeria

It took me this long to get to Keith McNallys last restaurant that he opened, Pulino's.  He has a formula that certainly works in terms of decor.  The restaurant looks familiar as in you can close your eyes and be at a retooled version of Morandi, Pastis, Balthazaar or Minetta Tavern but you aren't.  What is happening in the kitchen is completely different.  He knows his formula as I am pretty certain I have never been to one of McNallys restaurants that aren't packed at almost every meal…breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

I was at Pulino's with the Hot Bread Kitchen gang.  Our annual dinner where the board and staff get together to celebrate our year.  It has been quite a year too.  Our product is making its way onto the shelves of Whole Foods and into the mouths of Chipolte customers.  So for a large table..I believe we were a group of 18 and the food was really great.

We began with a winter salad.  Hazelnuts, roasted squash, roasted mushrooms, shaved parm and a mixture of greens.  Really tasty.  Love a good salad that celebrates the season.

Next out was a big hunk of lasagna.  You can just cut through this with a fork.  A nice spicy bolognese sauce that oozed out of the piece mixed together with melted cheese.  A treat.

Pastas came next.  The gnocchi was particularly good.  Soft potato gnocchis mixed together with a wild boar sauce with a little shaved parm over the top.  Perfect for a cold winter night.

Pasta with greens
Wide pieces of pasta mixed together with roasted mushrooms and some greens.  Just simple and loaded with butter and olive oil. 

Pizza is certainly there thing.  A large wood burning oven in the kitchen.  Thin crust.  The top pizza is your classic margherita with tomato, mozzarella and basil.   The other one is a combo of spicy pepperoni, tomato, oregano and olives.  I loved how the olives baked in the pizza and that salt really was a nice touch with the rest of the ingredients.

Another pizza was with prosciutto, pecorino and arugula.  A little lighter. 

Dessert was a tiramasu.  This looks structured but a spoon cuts straight through it.  I have always been a fan of tiramasu.  Love the cold thick pudding after a warm Italian dinner.

A nice touch…chocolate sundaes for the table.

Really nice night.  Like all of McNallys restaurants, I always have a good meal.  We didn't get to have any of the main entrees but my guess is we went with the right meal.  Fun to come and share a bunch of dishes with friends and colleagues.  Will return!

(Just a pet peeve that I have to note, why do restaurants make you download their menus in pdf files?  So annoying.)