New York City-Lower West Manhattan
May 11, 2018
A welcome (relatively) new addition to the Meat Packing district dining scene, Scott Conant’s excellent Italian restaurant has a name that roughly translates as “little shoe”, meaning the shape that bread takes on when you use it to soak up the sauce left on the plate (crime novel fans should avoid any mental images of the famous pathologist with the same name, which might put you off when you’re carving up your meat). This gives you an idea of the kind of superbly earthy Italian fare they serve up in this surprisingly sleek space (on the site of what was Gin Lane). Food is truly sublime, deceptively simple and yet wonderfully rich in flavour, as fans of Conant would expect – top quality, freshly made pasta is pricey but worth the money: the spaghetti is already renowned, while the duck and foie gras ravioli gets rave reviews. Or try the melt-in-your-mouth meat selection or creamy polenta – it’s easy to see why this place already has a solid reputation as serious foodie paradise. Great food is complemented by a decent selection of cocktails and an unsurprisingly Italianate wine list. Tables are hot and prices are steep, but the bar and café areas present a more accessible and, in many ways more, appealing way to sample what this place has to offer, and the service is top-notch throughout; courteous, friendly and knowledgeable about the food on offer while never veering into intimidating or pretentious. So why not kick back, sip a Barolo at the imported mahogany bar and pair it with a superb sauce-laden pasta dish? Heaven.