Reserving a table at Maialino at normal hours these days can be trickier than making Lindsay Lohan show up to court. But seeing Jim Breuer at the nearby Gramercy Theatre meant a late 10:30 pasta fest with baby Ziggy and the wives. 4 hours past my dinner time, one hour before bed time, and 8 hours before the normal Saturday morning cranky time. I cant quite explain it but I get cranky Saturday mornings. The family knows it, the neighbors know it, and now the neighbors cat knows it. But anyway, sorry as usual for the iphone pictures and lets get back to the subject…
Maialino is one of the latest creations of Danny Meyer’s and by far my favorite of the Union Square group bunch, but I’m partial to nicely executed pastas.
Roman classics is the theme here. Passed on the suckling pig which is their specialty and the pasta with the suckling pig wasn’t available on this night. Started off with a nice assortment of Salumi with olives. Octopus with beans was cooked well and tasted great although not a very ”healthy” octopus. I’m telling you that trip to Portugal totally spoiled me. Fried artichokes was.. well.. fried artichoke, pleasant nonetheless.
But I’m here for the Roman pastas. Tonnarelli a Cacio e Pepe was peppery and simply magnificent. The Carbonara was perhaps the best of show. Perfectly al dented and with that deliciously salty guanciale was just about perfect. We tried to recreate it back at home and the result was… err… never mind, forgot the wife is reading the blog.
Pappardelle alla Bolognes – Cooked well and enjoyable although I feel like I’ve had this dish way too many times lately. I prefer Da Andrea’s version.
Garganelli al Sugo di Coniglio – loved this too. I love Garganelli and every time we order it it looks completely different than before. Comes in all shapes and sizes I guess and this was one of the better ones and with that tender rabbit it worked very well. Someone ordered the black bass which she wasn’t too thrilled about. I gave up ordering fish in pasta fests like these a while ago. Fine cabbage and Sunchoke (Jerusalem artichoke side) contributed nicely to a lovely meal.
The desserts here were big winners as well especially the bread pudding and the flourless chocolate cake. Not so much the olive oil cake.
My road trip in North Italy a few years ago completely changed the way I think about Italian food. And living in NYC is the perfect cure for that mini obsession. Check out Maialino boys and girls.