This past weekend, my boyfriend and I decided to go out to dinner at a restaurant that was recommended to us by a coworker of mine. I am always up for Italian food! I could eat Italian cuisine every day for the rest of my life and be satisfied — I’m one of those people. Even though I enjoy sushi, thai food, Mexican, and French cuisine… I never really crave the foods! But Italian food, I think about it all the time.
Crispo is located right on 14th Street near 8th Ave. It’s so close to Union Square, but I’m going to guess that it’s technically in the Meatpacking neighborhood. If you’re looking for a restaurant close to the hot spots, fun night clubs, and rowdy bars that can be found in Meatpacking, this restaurant is just a 5 minute walk from all of those shenanigans.
The restaurant is loud but intimate. The lighting is magical and you’ll feel cozy at whatever table you are seated at. The low ceilings probably help a lot with the cozy and intimate setting.
The menu is gigantic and a bit over whelming and I was surprised that there’s an entirely different menu for the “specials of the day.” Can you believe it? Of the dayyyy!
Off of the main menu, we started with Parmigiano Crusted Roast Asparagus — this plate contained 4 massive pieces of asparagus spears cooked perfectly (not too over cooked and mushy and it had the perfect crunch to it) and half of the spears were covered with my favorite type of cheese — parmigiano reggiano cheese. The cheese was nice and crispy on top but there was a large amount of it on the vegetables so the cheese was warm and melted underneath the crispy layer.
Another appetizer we ordered off the of the main menu was the Caramelized Brussel Sprouts, Toasted Almonds, and Maple. If you are limiting yourself to only one appetizer, this is the one to get. It was my favorite (and my boyfriend’s favorite too). The brussel sprouts are cooked perfectly and the maple glaze on top adds so much sweetness to the vegetable you will forget what you are eating. Personally, I love brussel sprouts — they can be steamed in a Ziploc steam bag and I’d eat them just like that. But the maple adds loads of comforting flavor to it — I think I’m going to try to recreate these in my own kitchen!
Our final appetizer we ordered was off of the daily special menu — it was a zucchini popper dish that came with cheese stuffed on the inside of the popper and a spicy red sauce. This was our least favorite, the bread on the outside of the zucchini poppers was rather soft and kind of soggy. There was also so much cheese on the inside, I may have been lucky to have one full bite that included a piece of zucchini. The flavors weren’t bad, but the texture was lacking.
For our main dishes I knew exactly what I wanted I didn’t hesitate when ordering — the Butternut Tortelloni with Roast Italian Chestnuts, Sage and Parmigiano.
Anything with butternut I know I am going to love. Perfectly cooked and nice and sweet, exactly what butternut dishes tend to be like, I indulged in every bite. Not a single piece of food was left on my plate. The sage also brought out fantastic flavors in the dish! I recommending this plate as an order if you venture to Crispo.
My boyfriend ordered a pasta dish and he ranked it as just ok. There could have been some more flavors added into the plate. But for all your ordinary pasta lovers that don’t need much to say “wow” I’m sure you would have been happy with the order. (I believe his pasta dish came off of the daily special menu so I can’t tell you exactly what was in it.)
Finally, for dessert… We ordered the tasting of creme brulee and chocolate pot de creme. The creme brulee is definitely one of my favorite desserts and the chef at Crispo did a fantastic job with this! The brown sugar was perfectly torched on the top and all of the flavors were beautiful. The pot de creme was also very tasty and satisfied my chocolate sweet tooth!
Over all I really enjoyed this restaurant — thank you coworker for your recommendation! The restaurant isn’t too far from my apartment and I plan to go back. Hopefully I can bring my friend Stef… I can see her falling in love with the appetizers just like I did!