If you are looking for quality Italian food, L'Artusi in the West Village is the place to go.
Since December 2008, this restaurant has been a tenet of the New York food scene and is a part of Epicurean Management Company- a group of invested food and beverage professionals looking to present guests with authentic and responsible food experiences.
L'Artusi is headed by the well-known trio of Executive Chef Gabe Thompson, executive beverage director Joe Campanale and Managing Partner August Cardona.
On a Monday night, I went in with a friend and explored their menu. The service was attentive and inviting right from the start, a whipped ricotta and strawberry preserves snack arriving just shortly after our arrival.
Our waiter was knowledgeable and took us on a tour of the wine list, pointing out his recommendations according to our preferences.
We started with a white wine as we moved our way through some appetizers. Must-orders are their beef carpacio, lightly drizzled with crema and horseradish and their roasted mushroom dish - meaty mushrooms roasted with pancetta and ricotta salata, topped with a perfectly fried egg.
As we switched to red, we switched to pastas. I can vouch for their simple gnocchi and their cauliflower ravioli. Both exemplify the simplicity of traditional Italian cooking. A highlight was definitely the rabbit fettucini, with big chunks of tender rabbit, cacciatore and parmesan.
Without a doubt, do not miss out on their grilled octopus, a favorite by all, by far, and their crispy sweetbreads are like no other. Meaty and tender, rich and nicely contrasted by the ripe and juicy blackberries that were the nightly accoutrement.
Despite the amount of food ordered, always leave room for dessert. The hazelnut chocolate torta with salted caramel gelato is a fine way to end a meal.
Whether you are on a first date, or a 30th anniversary...or just out for a nice drink and snack, L'Artusi should rank high on your list.