REVIEW #95

L'Artusi

Pellegrino Artusi is the author of La Scienza in Cucina e l'Arte di Mangiar Bene, a seminal book in the development of Italian cooking that is something of an Italian corollary to Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  Continuously in print since 1894, Artusi has, for over a century now, aided Italian housewives in their pursuit of the art of eating well.  

Gabriel Thompson and Joe Campanale, the team behind the excellent but diminutive dell'anima, decided for their second act to open a much larger, bi-level space five blocks away.  As at dell'anima, which means "of the soul", the food at L'Artusi is hearty, rustic and completely winsome.  Yet Thompson is a former chef at Le Bernardin and Del Posto, while Campanale is a former sommelier at Babbo, and their illustrious pedigree shines through the homier packaging of their cuisine.  The roasted mushrooms with pancetta, fried egg and ricotta salata are everything they are reputed to be, and more.  The crispy, spicy Brussels sprouts with black pepper and pecorino are nearly the best we have ever had, surpassed only by má pêche's and The Lion's.  There is high-quality crudo, such as the escolar with avocado, basil and chilies, a fluke ceviche with pear, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate and dayboat scallops with sea salt, olive oil, lemon and espelette.  And the pastas on the menu are particularly fine, with the orecchiette with sausage, salumi and pecorino being the standout. 

The restaurant was designed by Brooke Maples.  There is a 30-seat white marble bar with bar stools that are quite comfortable notwithstanding their hideous upholstery, a cheese bar and a chef's counter overlooking the open kitchen on the ground floor.  The second floor offers additional seating together with a walk-in wine cellar cum private dining room.  For such a large, trendy restaurant, the service is surprisingly adroit and knowledgeable. 

There are a handful of restaurants in the city that truly excel at country Italian (Osteria Morini, Locanda Verde, Hearth) and we think L'Artusi belongs among them.

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INFORMATION

West Village
228 W. 10th St.
New York (nr. Bleecker St.)
(212) 255-5757
Mon-Wed, 5:30pm-11pm; Thurs-Sat, 5:30pm-midnight; Sun, 11am-3pm, 5:30pm-11pm
    Gabriel Thompson, Chef
    Erin Shambura, Chef de Cuisine
    Katherine Thompson, Pastry Chef
    Joe Campanale, Beverage Director
    Brooke Maples, Designer
    Meyer Davis Studio, Designer

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