While I was in New York around the time of Thanksgiving, we capped the trip with our final dinner at L’artsui located in the Greenwich Village on 10th. Easily one of my favorite dining experiences, L’artsui’s menu is star-studded with handmade pastas and in house crafted cheeses that will give you a polished Italian dining experience unlike any other.
To start our meal we ordered the special Homemade Ricotta plate, which for the holidays was paired with a cranberry jam and a drizzle of an orange reduction served with biscuit crackers. Probably the most luscious and creamy ricotta on this earth, I would question myself mid bite whether I was eating cheese or butter. Being paired with the orange and cranberry jam was a wonderful winter combination that added freshness and zing in comparison to that velvety ricotta.
Along with the ricotta, we had the Butter Lettuce salad layered with a lemon crema dressing, gorgonzola cheese, olives, and hazelnuts. This salad was rich, creamy, and salty which is quite unusual for a salad, yet it worked so well. The hazelnuts add a necessary crunch factor with a bit sweetness, and the lemon crema cuts through the heaviness of the gorgonzola and olives. The butter lettuce salad is fit for the kings, and sets the stage for an indulgent meal to come.
Before the rest of our entrees were served, the chef sent our table a dish of his compliment, being a broccoli rabe ravioli with a lemon butter cream topped with shaved pecorino. A light and subtle pasta dish that is crafted perfectly, from the tender homemade ravioli, to the hearty broccoli rabe, the zing of the lemon, to the salty pecorino. My highest compliments to the chef on his complementary dish!
Next on the table came the pastas; we ordered the Garganelli, the Ricotta Ravioli, and the Spaghetti. (Pro tip: come with friends so you can eat everyone else’s food too!)
Let’s start with the Garganelli. This in-house pasta is paired with a mushroom ragu and finished with a ricotta salata. This dish is so appealing to the eye as the dark brown mushrooms contrast with the bright white ricotta shavings. If you’re looking for a hearty pasta dish this is definitely the one for the way the earthy and meaty mushroom ragu stands against the creamy ricotta. This dish is a real winner.
For those with much bolder flavors in mind (me!), I HIGHLY recommend the spaghetti. As long as you love garlic and don’t mind a little spice, this dish is for you. Perfectly tender spaghetti tossed with red chilies, parmesan, garlic slices, and crispy breadcrumbs, these big flavors make it a go to item for those who like a little kick!
Last of the pastas ordered that night was the Ricotta Ravioli, sauteed in brown butter along with sage and autumn squash. This ideal fall pasta dish was great for Thanksgiving just around the corner. If you’re looking for a warm seasonal, brown butter hug… this is the pasta for you.
To finish the night, I demanded we mustn’t leave before we had the Olive Oil Cake and if I’m right about anything, it is this. DO NOT LEAVE BEFORE YOU ORDER THIS CAKE; it will be the best thing you do all day. As if the rest of the menu couldn’t be better, the olive oil cake is the absolute star of the show. A moist yellow cake with rich olive oil to soften and provide moisture, served with a golden raisin marmellata preserve, vin santo drizzle, and a creme fraiche mousse; this dessert is easily the best cake I’ve ever eaten.
Overall, L’artusi is one of the most outstanding restaurants I’ve eaten at to be quite honest. I don’t think this place has a bad item on its menu! Every dish is exquisitely thought through with even better execution. With a warm yet chic environment, L’artsui is a refined Italian dining experience that you will not forget.