234 E 4th St, New York, NY | Directions 1000940.723433 -73.983030
Mon-Thu, 5pm-midnight; Fri, 5pm-1am; Sat, 11am-1am; Sun, 11am-11:30pm
Neighborhoods: East Village, Alphabet City, Downtown
A Michelin-starred molecular gastronomist brings modern Italian food to the East Village, in an unassuming little osteria. – In Short
In a neighborhood where cheap, chic Italian joints are a dime a dozen, this cozy, low-lit osteria looks the part-- but exceeds expectations. Simone Bonelli, late of the Michelin two star Osteria Francescana in Modena, earned his own two stars from the New York Times with his avante-garde cooking, which includes a parmesan mousse "creme brulee" with a thin balsamic crust, and melon and proscuitto agnolotti. The sculpted appearance and over-the-top creativity turns on diners even when they don't like the taste, which is apparently pretty rare--the place is booked weeks or even months in advance.
It's like being in Italy – Having coming to this restaurant after spending time with a relative in a nearby rehabilitation facility was truly a blessing. The riceballs were gooey with cheese and rice and the bruschetta sample was amazing! My fav was the goat cheese with honey. To die for! Sampling the different white wines from the many different regions of Italy was also fun to have with dessert, which was expresso gelato over pound cake. Almost everything on the menu is made from scratch: pasta, breadsticks, desserts, and so much more. We sat outside and people watched and just really enjoyed the ambiance and laidback staff. They only take Amex.
Great for a relaxing, off-hours dinner – I went to Perbacco on a Sunday night, when the rest of the East Village was settling in for the evening. Despite the timing, the service and food were excellent. The goat cheese and honey bruschetta from the bruschetta sampler was phenomenal, as was the scallop and broccoli rabe salad. The low lights and friendly staff made for a cozy experience.
Ideal for small groups. Big selection of tapas. Not the best customer service. – Cosy little restaurant. Went there with a big group and sat at one long table. They have a big selection of italian tapas. Their lamb skewers and arancini were quite good. Had the buttersquash risotto pancake as a main course that was absolutely delicious. The service was a bit brisk and had to be flagged down for more water, glasses, etc. Plus we felt like they were in a real hurry to kick us out to fit more people. I think it would be ideal for a smaller group. Stick around for dessert! And they only take cash.
Possibly the best chicken I ever had – Ambiance was good, wine list was fine, but I was really impressed with the food. Most everything we had was dee-lish.
terrible hostess – My experience here was ridiculous. They gave us a 9:30 reservation despite their no res policy because we were a biggish party, and when we showed up they said that our table - pointing to a big group having dessert - was almost done and asked us to wait at the small tables outside. Np, but when the group left 30 min later, the blonde hostess/mngr made a mistake and gave the table to other people. Instead of copping to it when asked, she shrugged obnoxiously and said that that wasn't our table after all, that our real table was still finishing dessert. Wha? It's a small place and we could see that there weren't any tables left that were even ON dessert yet. But we gave her a shot and ordered more wine while we kept waiting. 40 min later, after no new tables had freed up and we'd finished our drinks, she didn't offer to comp a single one and STILL HADN'T APOLOGIZED for the by then 70 min wait. How is that ok after so badly messing up a reservation, especially when we'd actually been cool about it? We ended up at the E.U across the street - the staff and food THERE completely turned our night around.
Like being in Italy – Fantastic Italian food, wonderful waitstaff and bartenders who all speak Italian, and beautifully arranged and delicious desserts. The mushroom risotto is fanstastic, and I was never a risotto fan before this. I had a special ravioli once with a butter sage sauce that was incredible. The special desserts have always been incredible, and I'm a dessert fein. Just had a hazelnut chocolate & strawberries special that was one of the best desserts I've ever had. If they have it, try it!! You won't regret it.
GREAT food, spotty service – The appetizers are all AMAZING, (I'd recommend just going with a group and eating lots of them with wine from the great wine list. The pasta good (but can be a little unspectacular), the second plates good too, and the desserts are GREAT. So with nothing to complain about in the food, I'd have to say only that the service is always a little bit questionable. They pretty shamelessly push the most expensive foods and wines on the menu, (including a prix fixe dinner for groups), and they can be rude. Either way though, I've been four or five times now, and I'll keep going back -- it is the best Italian food at reasonable prices that I've had in the city.
Great place, if a bit tight – I really liked this restaurant. The wait staff gave us a taste of wine while we were waiting and then led us promptly to a table when it opened up. The food was really good, especially for the price. The seating situation is a bit tight, so I'd probably recommend against this place if you're looking for a private, intimate evening. Otherwise, a great place to go for a date.
right back at cha – #1 sin for any bar/restaurant is to have specials priced differently than the range on the menu, and to push those "specials." We coursed into this pleasant-looking place on an afternoon walk in our neighborhood, asked for a recommendation, and went with the bartender's choice for a glass of wine, ordering their fried olives to accompany. The olives never came by the time we finished our drinks, and watching the dynamics of the staff made us want to depart. The bill came at TWICE the standard price of their wines. I am disgusted with ourselves for tipping normally.
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