Thursday, October 22, 2009

Heavenly Truffle pasta at Bar Pitti, NYC

One last great meal before we left for the airport, where did the time go?? This New York trip was all about catching up with old friends, lots of walking and of course, lots of eating and drinking. For our final lunch, we decided to dine at Bar Pitti, home of the truffle pasta that Fay had been talking about all weekend.

It is a neighborhood joint located in Greenwich Village and it got crowded while neighboring Italian joint was pretty empty. Apparently there is a known feud between the two owners who used to be partners and friends. The restaurant is cozy and there is 80's music playing in the background. The wait staff are mainly cute Italians with strong accents. But beware, it's cash only. The seats outside are most coveted for people watching, but since it had been raining, no one was seated outside. After doing some research when I got home to LA, it appears that Bar Pitti is supposed to be a popular celeb hangout, although it seemed more like a simple, low key restaurant.

Our waiter brought over a blackboard with list of specials; apparently the specials are the way to go. The service was a little abrupt and he had a bit of an attitude. We decided to order a few plates to share but one plate of pasta would not be sufficient so we went with 2 plates of the truffle pasta and two meats dishes.

Started with 2 bottles of wine. Bread was also served with olive oil. I asked for balsamic vinegar, but I got an odd look and the vinegar never came. Perhaps our waiter was bewildered that I asked for balsamic when olive oil should be sufficient.

Fettunta E Prosciutto: grilled country bread with prosciutto di parma, garlic and olive oil
OMG, look at the large slices of prosciutto. It was the best few bites because the bread was crusty and toasted with essence of oil and garlic. And the prosciutto was paper thin, freshly moist and with a sweet and salty flavor.

Truffle linguine
This was a definite winner. To be honest with you, I could have eaten the whole plate myself and then some more. Sometimes, cream sauces can be very heavy but this was light and a mild truffle infused flavor. The pasta itself was cooked al dente and was fresh. And atop the pasta was a generous topping of shaved truffles. A delicious and comforting dish that really left me wanting more.

Boiled beef ribs
They were served as is, without a sauce. The meat was tender and the dish was very simple but delicious with parsley and boiled vegetables on the side. This was a lighter meal compared to a beef stew or braised short ribs, which was a good thing right before a six hour flight.

Lamb chops
The lamb was a bit gamy and was a bit overdone by the time we got to it. Our bad. I reckon that it would have been cooked perfectly if we had eaten it before the pasta, but how could we resist that scrumptious pasta?

Side of potatoes that went with the lamb.

After our meal, we ordered four cups of joe.

Our waiter (who was in a better mood by this time), brought by dessert wine and biscotti for us. FOR FREE! How sweet! I don't usually drink dessert wines but when I was in Paso Robles the prior weekend, I was very impressed with the dessert wines that I tasted at the wineries. The biscotti was hard, crunchy and had an almond flavor.

That was an amazing meal and I will be dreaming about for a while. The food was delicious, especially the truffle pasta which was absolutely memorable. The place is charming and it really is a cozy and casual dining atmosphere. The waiters are charming especially after they warm up a little. The truffle pasta will be on my list again when I next return. In fact, I have already recommended this to a few friends. If you are craving for homemade pastas and hope to catch a glimpse of a celebrity, this is the place.

Hits: pasta, free dessert wine, good looking Italian waiters
Misses: cash only, service a bit rude at times
Rate: ****

Bar Pitti
268 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10014
(212) 982-3300

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