I never had crack cocaine! Its a well documented fact that I was smoking cigarettes at the young age of 5 and wearing a patch 9 months later, but I never had crack cocaine nor do I have any idea how it tastes like. Does it taste like Strozzapreti made with lobster coral (egg sac)? Does it taste like lobster and scallop sausage with the look and texture of loose chicken skin? Or does it taste like sweet lobster meat gently floating in a delicate sauce with lemony hints? Is it like all of the above put together smelling like the sea as soon as it arrives? If the answer is yes to any of the above, where do I sign up?
Is it too early to name the dish of the year? Probably. But a few more like this bright Strozzapreti (most likely named after someone envisioned a pasta shape while witnessing a priest being strangled) this year and I will be a very happy Ziggy. The chicken skin-like lobster/scallop “sausages” especially gave me a ratatouille moment that almost made me drop my iPhone. Other dishes I enjoyed between two meals in order of deliciousness….
The Spongata, a superb honey and nut cake came with a satsuma sherbet that was so heavenly it could probably thrive on the dessert menu alone. Reginette, curly ribbony pasta was perfectly cooked and topped with a chunky veal, pork and beef, would most likely satisfy any Bolognese Ragu craving. A mild creamy Burrata with fava beans, peas, spring onions and a light minty sauce got a tremendous boost from the sensational prosciutto-like cured pork shoulder. The only dish I didnt quite know what to make of was a trio of Mortadella, prosciutto, and a thin head cheese slice sitting on top of a puffy fried dough on some fruity sweet sauce. Do I like it together? Separate? without the sauce? I found myself experimenting just like the chef was.
Every few months the menu changes to include dishes from a particular Italian region, although you could arrive in between regions as I did yesterday and still enjoy well crafted food. As is the case with most fine Italian in town, the strength in Lincoln is with the pasta. And long time Per Se and French laundry alumni Jonathan Benno is widely considered a pasta virtuoso. Lincoln Ristorante is of course part of the Lincoln Center complex. A 20 million design triumph includes floor to ceiling windows, 3 dining rooms, and a spectacular open kitchen. The service ranges from friendly to cold depending on the day of the week. And the open kitchen may also mean you could hear what they plan to do with you depending on where you sit…
Server just picked up first course from your table: “Number 37 is done with the first course”
Chef: “Lets give him a minute to gather himself and pick up his phone. Give him some more bread”
142 W 65th St
Recommended Dishes: Strozzapreti, Reginette, Burrata, Spongata