Those who think spring is time to ditch the hearty pastas in exchange for things like orzo salad are poorly informed. Bar Eolo: Sicilian Kitchen & Wines serves a menu of homemade pastas perfectly suited to the breezy April weather (or any weather, really). Fresh dishes are accompanied by a glass of Pinot from their extensive wine list, which can be sipped on at Bar Eolo's sidewalk tables that offer prime views of the bustling Chelsea streets.
Chef Melissa Muller-Daka specializes in contemporary Sicilian cuisine, and she calls her restaurant her love letter to Sicily.
And just a few bites of pasta can make anyone fall in love.
Eolo's early spring menu is full of fun shapes, fresh ingredients, and ingredient combinations that unite the transition from hearty dishes to lighter spring fare. The Reginette al Ragù brings long ribbons of flat curly pasta with a tender beef short rib ragù, topped with pecorino cheese foam. The dish is rich with tomato flavor, and the ridges of the reginette scoop up the soft strands of beef nicely. As ragu seasons fades away, this is an ideal adieu to still include some heartiness in your spring diet.
For a truly seasonal dish, opt for Tagliatelle cu Aragosta: a lemon tagliatelle preparred with meaty lobster claw and tail, spinach and crispy artichokes. Because the lemon is infused in the pasta dough, you get a nice citrus flavor with every bite of the dish. The thin and crisp artichokes add a wonderful contrast to the soft lobster, and the dish unites acidic, citric, sweet, and savory flavors perfectly.
The restaurant also has nightly specials featuring fresh local ingredients like carrots, beets, and seafood. For those interested in learning the art of pasta making, Chef Melissa teaches cooking classes at the restaurant.
A passion for pasta is truly at the heart of Bar Eolo's success, and I'm excited to continue trying their creative homemade pastas with each season.