Two Incredible Meals: Dell’Anima and Colicchio & Sons

11th May 2010

I’m a lucky girl. In the past two weeks I’ve eaten at Dell’Anima and Collichio & Sons in New York – both over-the-top, fabulous meals. If you’re in the area, check out both spots.

Dell’Anima – I didn’t know much about this spot before my friend Emily booked our reservation, but I was pleasantly surprised. The food, well, it’s to die for. And, I was also really excited to run into my friend Kevin, who is now managing the place.

We started with two salads – arugula with lemon and shaved parmigiano reggiano, and asparagus with capers, tarragon and meyer lemon aioli. Both amazing. We also tasted a few bruschette – avocado, rapini pesto and cannellini with preserved tangerine and aleppo. Again, all amazing. I’d recommend you just have a few bruschette and split one appetizer for a group – it was a lot of food for the two of us.

For entrees we both tried a pasta dish. I had the Tajarin “alla carbonara” with ramps, speck, egg and pecorino. The portion was small and filling – I ate every last bite (this is quite a feat for me – it’s unusual for me to get through a quarter bowl of pasta). It was fabulous. I can’t wait to go back and have it again.

I also hear the duo – owner and chef – behind Dell’Anima own another great spot called L’Artusi, also in the West Village. The menu looks great and very reasonably priced. Can’t wait to check it out.

Colicchio & Sons – Tom Colicchio opened this new spot a few months ago to rave reviews. I’m told the menu is inspired by his “Tuesday’s with Tom” series, which he started early last year. The menu’s were all created with simple, fresh, local ingredients, and his new restaurant continues the same commitment with a slightly more refined edge.

What made this meal particularly special is that my friend is a personal acquaintance of Tom’s, so they really rolled out the red carpet for us. It was a meal I’ll never forget – great food, great wine and great friends. Without further ado, here are all the delicious details…

For an appetizer I had ricotta ravioli with morels, fava beans and ramps. It was so simple and delicious. One of my friends also tried an interesting starter – stinging nettle agnolotti with chorizo, pork belly and octopus. Apparently quite yummy. To our surprise, we were also sent a round of second appetizers for the table – fresh scallops with foie gras, raw and powdered honey. It was not something I would traditionally order, and an incredibly special treat.

For dinner we all tried something different. I had lamb with merguez (spicy sausage made on-site) and and lentils. I also tried some of the other dishes on the table – roasted sirloin with piperade and roasted ramps, pancetta wrapped monkfish with fava beans and black truffle vinaigrette, and spice-roasted Lola duck with braised romaine hearts, black garlic and hen of the woods. Everything was amazing – really and truly amazing.

Lastly, we tried dessert on the menu. No, I’m not kidding. There were so many I can’t remember all of them. Yes, I know I’m a lucky girl. I’m not usually a dessert eater, but I tried a bite of all of them. They were all so good I think I’d like to eat dessert there every day for the rest of my life.

Photo of Colicchio & Sons from The New York Times.

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