March 9, 2011

{Dining Out} Locanda Verde

Being fans of Andrew Carmellini's cookbook, Urban Italian (we love his quick dinner recipes), we have been eager to try out his restaurant, Locanda Verde.  It's located in Robert de Niro's Greenwich Hotel (he's also a part-owner of the restaurant).  The space itself is beautiful and the atmosphere is casual, with a very "New York" feel.  And the food?  Let's just say that after we tried the complimentary well-seasoned, light, and airy foccacia to start our meal (in lieu of the regular bread basket I usually push aside), we knew we were in for a wonderful lunch filled with simple pleasures.

Sheep's Milk Ricotta ($14) with sea salt and herbs. Is there anything better than crunchy bread to hold dollops of homemade, creamy ricotta?  The soft, creamy texture of the ricotta, nutty olive oil, and rosemary is a great starter to share (likely for four people, not for two people like us whose eyes are often bigger than our stomachs!).
Orecchiette with homemade duck sausage ($18) with broccoli rabe and piave cheese.  I loved this light pasta with a nice al dente texture. It was balanced with lovely bitter greens and sharp cheese.  The broccoli was so good - we would have loved to get just a plate of this as a side (if only our stomachs had room for it).
A side of Brussels Sprouts ($8) with panchetta and pecorino epitomizes that classic combination of Brussels sprouts and bacon.  Lots of salty and really crispy pancetta fill up this dish and the sprouts were perfectly cooked.
By now, I was pretty full, but my husband still had 2 more sandwiches to come! The first one was the Shaved Porchetta Sandwich ($15) with grilled onions, provolone, and a mixed greens salad.  My husband loved the juicy tender pork with refreshing greens on the side.  As you can see, the portion was very generous and if I wasn't so full, I would have shared it with him.  Instead we took half of it home for dinner.
The second sandwich my husband ordered was the Slow-cooked Lamb Sandwich ($16) on a rosemary bun with farinella (similar to chick pea fries).  My husband liked the tender lamb in this sandwich. The farinella reminded me of tofu because it was so soft in texture.  Again, most of this plate ended up being wrapped up for dinner! 

Even with the beautiful decor and celebrity factor (my husband spotted Natalie Portman and her fiance while we were dining, but apparently I was too engrossed in my food to see anything), the real star at Locanda Verde is the food.  We definitely want to return for brunch!

Locanda Verde is located at 377 Greenwich St (at N. Moore St) in NYC.

Locanda Verde on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

  1. What a delicious looking meal!! The sheeps milk ricotta looks so creamy - and with the combination of olive oil and rosemary I'm sure it was quite the treat :) I'm actually thinking of making an Orecchiette recipe - and the picture of your dish has totally inspired me!

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  2. Can't wait to see your orecchiette recipe Anjali! I also loved the Orecchiette dish at Del Posto (http://www.highlowfooddrink.com/2010/05/29-lunch-deal-at-del-posto.html) with morels and soybeans.

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  3. A wonderful lunch! The pasta with the duck sausage looks incredible and the sandwiches sound awesome for sure!

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