I am a bit embarrassed to admit how behind I am on posting this — but, better late than never! 2012 flew by so fast AND I have a feeling that 2013 is going to be an amazing year in so many ways! So, what was my final dinner of 2012? ITALIAN, of course!
So here we go … my final meal of 2012 was a great one! I headed downtown to the Lower East Side for dinner at L’Apicio — the sister restaurant to L’Artusi. It opened only a couple of months ago and we have been excited to head on down to the LES to get a taste of the menu.
L’Apicio’s menu is set up the same way as L’Artusi’s — reasonable sized plates that you share with those you are dining with. Italian cuisine and tapas style… what could be better than this?
When it comes to tapas, I will admit that I go a bit crazy ordering. It first usually starts out with me and my foodie partner-in-crime looking over the menu, eying down what we have to have then we come together to share our choices, we narrow it down to a handful of plates then we confuse ourselves by asking the server what he/she prefers on the menu. Usually we end up picking a plate or two that the server prefers, then we both pick plates we both want, then we decide on one final dish that looks good.
We started with a delicious cheese plate — my guess is the restaurant changes this cheese menu based on what they are able to order / what is fresh. I would suggest ordering 2-4 different types of cheese to start. They go beautifully with wine as well!
Then, we ordered a couple of appetizers — but there is one specific plate I have to rave about. The Hamachi was out of this world! Hamachi is also called yellowtail (click here for more info). This dish was made with apple, jalapeno, and chives. All of these ingredients made each bite full of fresh and vivid flavors. The funny part about ordering the Hamachi is that I was hesitant about eating it — I wasn’t too sure about the description on the menu but boy am I happy I gave it a try! It might be my new raw obsession!
Another dinner favorite was the Mezzalune — ravioli stuffed with cauliflower and topped with pinenuts and capers. The capers added the perfect amount of salt, the pinenuts made the ravioli texture unique and the cauliflower made me feel like I was eating something healthy! The plate was small and something I wish I could have devoured all on my own. If I went back and had to order only one plate — this would be it! Who would have thought how flavorful a cauliflower ravioli would be!?
Another great order — the Osso Bucco Ragu Gnocchi. Gnocchi is already a very filling food, and paired with hearty meat you are bound for a food-coma. It’s also very easy to screw up cooking gnocchi and the chef at L’Apicio cooked this plate perfectly.
And, last but not least, the perfect side dish — the Delicata Squash. The squash was made with hazelnuts, sage and maple. All of these sweet flavors made the vegetable taste like candy. It’s the perfect side dish to order when you are eating such savory main dishes. This is also an inspirational side dish that I would like to recreate at home!
We also ordered polenta but it was not something we enjoyed. I believe the consistency of polenta is either loved or hated — and in a nutshell, it’s something I really don’t like. But, if you do like polenta, the restaurant gives you a few beautiful options to choose from!