Maialino –NYC

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The only think I like better than talking about Food is eating”- John Walters

Coming from the word Maiale, that means Pig in Italian; Maialino(“piglet”) is a modern-preppy place where you and your friends could have the perfect lunch or dinner. The setting suits perfectly with the private, newyorker Gramercy Park that’s located just in front of the restaurant.

The decoration is one of a kind, and they slay on mixing the classic of the roman’s with the classy of the new Yorkers.

While they escort you to your table you will pass by a fancy bar, a pastry open counter, and a cheese table you will want to make a quick stop and take a bite, or have a drink in either one of this.

The Wine shelf’s, are coarse and they are a fair representation of their wine menu. You could find an extensive list of Italian fine wines that are hard to find in other restaurants. A good example of this could be a Barbera, a wine from the Alto Piemonte, or a well-known Nebbiolo vintage such as “Giuseppe Rinaldi“. If you get overwhelmed by too many options, and you were not sure of what would pair your meal there’s a very good sommelier you could take advise from.

I strongly recommend the Tonarelli Cacio e Pepe you can’t go wrong with this one, the home made pasta, and the blend of flavor’s would take out a big smile from your face.

Also their “Malfatti Malialino” if you like pork is the signature dish in this place, the meat is so soft and perfectly combined with the pasta and watercress that you will finish it in a glimpse.

And sometimes they have specials; ask for them. Last time I ate a ricotta cheese raviolis that where just marvelous.

One thing I really love about this place is that almost all of the pastas and primi piatis have a size option, Small or medium, so you could save a place for dessert.

Regarding dessert, I could definitely recommend la -Torta de la nonna, the lemon and nuts are just balanced in the right way. Or the classic –Affogato, with Fior di Latte and Italian coffee. And if you are in a stronger mood, please ask for a cup of sweet wine, and enjoy the cherry on top.

The music is the perfect companion with the environment, and invites you to stay and enjoy your lunch or dinner, just make sure that you’ve got time on your hands, because the service is a bit slow.

 

 

 

Vandal- NYC

There’s no sincerer love, than the love of food”. –George Bernard Shaw-

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The name of this place speaks for itself, albeit not in a negative way. Expect the unexpected…

Located on Bowery Street in NYC, this restaurant-bar is frequented by plenty of fashion and trendsetters; you will find the hosting area packed of either models or famous people wearing the latest Gucci outfits.

Upon entering Vandal, there’s a convenient flower studio for those wanting to buy some flowers for their significant others, thus making the perfect entrance for the evening. At the reception you will find an enormous pink bunny sculpture, which everyone shares in IG; it’s really funny!

This place is huge considering it is in Manhattan. It is divided in a bar, three dinner salons, and a lounge upstairs, each of them decorated in a different way yet always respecting the concept of the place: “street meets art”.

At the bar, you’ll find yourself in this amazing old/ classic style lounge, with walls all covered in graffiti art, and above them the classic yellow light that goes along with the mood.

One can ask for a nice drink while waiting for a table to be ready. I asked for the “rio de frose”; it may seem a girly drink, but believe me, it’s not light at all. My husband had a “lost and found” and was delicious.

Once seated, the menu is adapted to the the place’s conceptualization, and stay’s in the street standard food, you will come across the likes of a –New York Hot Pretzel Steak tartare- an amazing pretzel used as base for a French style tartare, or the Yellow Tail Sashimi, a nicely presented dish, among others.

You can’t cut back on the desserts, as the options are amazing. We ordered the almond pops- small dark chocolate popsicles filled with almond and amarena cherries, and the vandal’s smore, a vandalized American classic.

Overall, the food is ok. You have to go to this place once to check out its architecture and decoration, but don’t expect to have an amazing dinner. I do give credit for their authentic cuisine and adventurous food presentation, but not the best flavors or ingredients.

It’s a perfect place to hang out with your friends or couple, just make sure to have an early reservation as it is usually overbooked.