REVIEW #98

Locanda Verde

Locanda Verde showcases the inventive and hearty Italian tavern cooking of Andrew Carmellini, the former head chef at Café Boulud who subsequently opened A Voce. More casual than Carmellini’s previous restaurants, Locanda Verde is always bustling with a young and energetic crowd eager for his affordable, rustic fare. The cuisine is not particularly refined or ambitious, but it is fresh and addictively delicious, a characterization exemplified by the assortment of crostini on the menu, including one with blue crab, jalapeño and tomato and another with sheep’s milk ricotta, sea salt and herbs.

Although it is styled as a neighborhood restaurant, its fare and ambience has already made it a magnet for foodies from further afield. The industrial chic space in the Greenwich Hotel is the result of a stylish redesign by Ken Friedman (of The Spotted Pig fame) and Meyer Davis Studio, with new subdivisions heightening the intimacy of the unusually configured space. There are chalkboard menus, an amber glowing bar, exposed brick and wood beams, shelves overflowing with wine and books and, in seasonable weather, the large French windows are cast open to Greenwich Street to accommodate al fresco dining. A sizable and reasonably priced wine list has been assembled by Josh Nadel that offers a panoramic tour of Italian wines. And the restaurant has scoured a coup in hiring Karen DeMasco, one of NYC’s great pastry chefs who rose to prominence while at Craft.

Unfortunately, the pleasure of dining at Locanda Verde is somewhat blighted by a systemic attitude problem amongst its staff, one which comes off less as part of its shtick (à la Peter Luger) than as simply unpleasant rudeness. In our frequent dining at Locanda Verde, we have yet to have a single visit unmarred by some objectionable experience. In any case, we keep returning, gluttons for Carmellini’s food, if not the punishment.

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INFORMATION

TriBeCa
379 Greenwich St.
New York (at N. Moore St.)
(212) 925-3797
Mon-Fri, 8am-11am, 11:30am-3pm, 5:30pm-11pm; Sat-Sun, 8am-3pm, 5:30pm-11pm
    Andrew Carmellini, Chef
    Ron Rosselli, Chef de Cuisine
    Karen DeMasco, Pastry Chef
    Josh Nadel, Beverage Director
    Ken Friedman, Designer

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