Tag Archives: crostini

Gruppo: thin, crisp, and chewy pizzas with lots of flavor

GruppoGruppo
98 Ave B
New York, NY 10009

After playing a couple hours of pretty intense volleyball, a short but tiring game involving a soccer ball, and an hour and 15 minutes of anti-gravity yoga (a story for another time…), LAW and I were starved and so happy to hear that the rest of our crew had already been seated at Gruppo, Posto’s pizza sister located in Alphabet City. When we arrived to join our dinner family, E.C. had already ordered for us. I normally am pretty involved in the ordering process so felt that it was refreshing to have someone else take the lead.

We started with the Strawberries & Pecorino Crostini with toasted ciabatta bread, topped with pecorino cheese, fresh strawberries, fresh basil, and white truffle honey ($9). SO. DAMN. GOOD. Strawberries aren’t in season now so were a bit more tart, which was solved with the delicious truffle honey. The saltiness and creaminess from the cheese gave this crostini a delicious balanced flavor. The fresh basil added a nice herby kick. I am definitely going to make this at home sometime, perhaps with a saltier cheese. Continue reading Gruppo: thin, crisp, and chewy pizzas with lots of flavor

Osteria Morini, Michael White’s casual Italian joint in Soho.

Osteria Morini
218 Lafayette St
(between Kenmare St & Spring St)
New York, NY 10012

We had a big dinner here to celebrate J.P.’s birthday.  M.C. and J.H. organized everything and J.H. even crafted a set family-style menu ($80 each) so that we could try a bit of everything.  If it weren’t for this family-style meal, I probably would have had only two things: free bread and pasta.  After having tried half of their menu now, I can say that the free bread and pasta were the highlights of my meal anyway and will probably be the things I have the next time I’m there.  I’m thinking of starting a “free bread” ranking… to rank the restaurants with the best free bread.  If a restaurant takes the time and energy to serve you warm, delicious, buttery rosemary rolls, or in the case, airy light focaccia drenched in olive oil, you start the meal with a smiling face and happy belly.  Only good things can ensue.  Thoughts?

We started with the Five-Choice Crostini (normally priced at $28), which consisted of towers of crostini, also drenched in olive oil, and five different types of dip.  From left to right: 1) fresh pea, fava bean, mint & crispy speck; 2) smoked trout, olives, and sour cream; 3) roasted beets, shallots, and ricotta (which the waiter made sure to pronounce as rhee-KOE-DA); 4) buffalo ricotta and nepitella pesto; 5) veal crudo and tonnato.  It was nice to see that the kitchen paid such close attention to every dip.  It was clear that every single one was crafted with care and meant to shine on its own.  Not one was just thrown in as a filler.  My favorite was the smoked trout, olives, and sour cream.  It was like a tuna salad on crack.  The smoked trout was so smokey in flavor and went very well with the slight tartness of the olives.  Sour cream added an extra creaminess that mayo alone couldn’t provide.

We also had the Polpettine Prosciutto and Mortadella (a large Italian sausage) Meatballs baked in tomato sauce (normally priced at $10).  I did not know that the meatballs were made with prosciutto and mortadella during dinner as I never saw a menu and definitely wasn’t able to distinguish the unique meats through taste.  I do remember the meatballs being extremely robust.  Each ball was hearty as hell and very tasty, though it could have been a bit more tender.  Parisi Bakery’s meatballs still win in my book.  We also had the Insalata Mista (normally priced at $12), which was a mixed green salad with spring vegetables, salumi, and parmigiano.  The spring vegetables were pickled, which I happen to like a lot.  However, the dressing itself was a strong vinaigrette; once combined with the pickles, seemed a bit too sour overall.

Continue reading Osteria Morini, Michael White’s casual Italian joint in Soho.