110 Waverly Place
New York, NY 10011
Tuesdays – Saturdays, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM, 5:30 PM – 11:15 PM
Mondays, 5:30 PM – 11:15 PM
Sundays, 5 PM – 10:45 PM
I’ve been to a handful of Italian restaurants, and this one, I can say, tops all of the ones I’ve tried so far (and am sure will top anything else I try in the future or the rest of my life)!
My husband and I came here, being underdressed (there were people who fancied up, and a few who came with jeans; they didn’t make us feel uncomfortable, though!). We swooped in without making a reservation, so being seated in the back of the restaurant was out of the question.
However, we were seated by the bar/front of the restaurant area with smaller tables meant for 2, which I thought, was perfectly fine! I do think it was actually more romantic than being all elbow-to-elbow in the back with no sense of privacy. The place does get packed, and without reservations, you are looking to an hour to an hour-and-a-half wait. It is definitely worth it, though!
I ordered the Grilled Octopus with “Borlotti Marinati” and Spicy Limoncello Vinaigrette for the appetizer/antipasti, and it was grilled, full of octopus-flavor, and a hint of a citrus action to it. It was good. For the main dish, I ordered the Black Spaghetti with Rock Shrimp, Spicy Salami Calabrese and Green Chiles. Hands down, I literally died and had gone to heaven when I took my first forkful! It was filled with bits of rock shrimp, a plentiful handful of salami calabrese which was just like precious pricey bacon bits in your mouth. The sauce was this oil-like coat that was all over the black spaghetti noodles, and it was spiked and infused with garlic and the chili. The dish itself was spicy, but not spicy enough that you are sweating like a salami yourself. The portion was perfect. I LOVED it, and I licked the plate clean, literally!
My husband ordered the Gnocchi with Braised Oxtail, and the portion was on the smaller side – I expected it to be at least 2 or 3 times as much. He loved the gnocchi, and he did mention that the oxtail was good. He just wanted more!
For dessert, we ordered the Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Orange Sauce and Hazelnut Gelato; this one can knock your tooth out, so if you have a sweet tooth for chocolate and the hazelnut combo, this could be your cup of tea. It was overall good, but I preferred my dessert, which was Saffron Panna Cotta with Quince, Pink Peppercorn and Quince Sorbetto and rhubarb pieces. The panna cotta was flan-like, and it melted in your mouth. The rhubarb dices were a great tang-like flavor and great crunchiness with the panna cotta. The sorbet was delicious, refreshing, and lovely with the overall plate.
I loved the service – it was attentive, always refilling your glass with NY’s finest tap water, and it wasn’t rushed nor slow. I would come back here and wait another 1-2 hours for the food. Neverending kudos to Batali!!!
+Black Spaghetti with Rock Shrimp, Spicy Salami Calabrese and Green Chiles