The other weekend when my friend Brittany was in town, we ventured to some fabulous foodie hot-spots. I love when Brittany visits because she doesn’t feel like the typical visitor like everyone else — she’s ready to explore, she’ll walk from the financial district of Manhattan all the way back to my apartment in Chelsea just so she can explore the city. It’s always exciting for us to galavant around town while searching for hidden jewelry markets and tasty restaurants.
Last winter I had eaten at Locanda Verde in TriBeCa but I sadly haven’t been back since. For those who don’t know, TriBeCa stands for “Triangle Below Canal” and this neighborhood is known for some fabulous restaurants and luxurious lofts that will blow your mind away (if you need specific examples, tune in on Bravo for Million Dollar Listing New York). Well, I had such a great experience at Locanda Verde, I had to take Brittany here.
I was so sad to discover that the ravioli I devoured the first time I was at the restaurant was taken off the menu (I don’t remember exactly what it was, but it was in a brown butter and possibly sage sauce). I understand that restaurants need to change up a menu… but why on earth would you take off such a popular dish that everyone loves? Take off something shitty (like something with pork in it). Speaking of pork, I became overwhelmed when I discovered that about three-fourths of the menu had some sort of pork in it (remember, I don’t eat pork). So we had to be picky — and I hate being picky.
We settled on some Sheep’s Milk Ricotta crostini for our appetizer. Perfectly fluffy and flavorful ricotta cheese seasoned to perfection with just the simple basics of salt, pepper and a few herbs served with a fantastic rustic bread — yummm. I feel like the majority of ricotta cheese in the United States is fairly bland; but with the perfect seasoning from Locanda Verde I will now bite my tongue before judging ricotta because it was the complete opposite of what my perception of the cheese used to be. When in Italy this past September, my Italian family had us over for a family dinner one evening while we visited Rome. I think my parents and sister would agree with me on this — the home-cooked dinner our family prepared for us was probably the best meal while we were in Italy. My cousin had bought the most flavorful ricotta cheese for us to shred over top of our pasta. It didn’t taste like any other ricotta I have had before and she even told us that it wasn’t the typical ricotta cheese that you usually purchase. If only we could live in Italy and eat like the Italians every single day…
I think Brittany would agree with me on this, our favorite entree was the Spice-Glazed Duck served with cavolo nero, faro piccolo, and pomegranate. Every bite we took we made sure to scoop up the faro piccolo and the pomegranate because it added extra flavoring that complimented the juices that came out of the duck meat. Both sweet and savory — it was the best duck I have ever eaten. Quack Quack.
We also ordered a ravioli dish that is no longer on the menu this week — thank goodness! Instead it has been replaced with something called “Fonduta Agnolotti” with figs, walnuts, brown butter and sage — which I think we would have ordered if it was on the menu! The ravioli we got was supposed to be a shrimp scampi ravioli and when our plate arrived we were shocked to find some other types of fish in it that Brittany doesn’t eat. (The menu does a horrible job specifying what food is in each dish. For example, the Lamb Meatball sliders on the appetizer menu sounds fantastic and last second the waiter told us that there was pork in it! Why would a lamb meatball slider have pork in it!?! The same thing with the ravioli and other dishes that shouldn’t have specific ingredients in them unless noted on the menu. That is my biggest complaint about the restaurant.)
We had a side order of the most delicious potatoes. They were were perfectly seasoned and cooked beautifully. The skin was crunchy and the inside was creamy as if mashed potatoes was what stuffed these large bites of potato. The garlic and parmigiano-reggiano cream sauce on top was impeccable. Thank goodness we ordered this side dish!
Overall the food was great but we were insanely disappointed at how the menu is very deceiving. The ravioli was horrible and I am so happy that they took it off the menu! But, the duck was such a success and I recommend that to be your entree if you venture to this restaurant in TriBeCa!