16 August 2010

NYC Eats: dell'anima












August tourists crowd well worn cliches of West Village restaurants like the once formidable but now over rated (and over crowded) Babbo. I ranted about Mario's musical taste, his once perfect beef cheek ravioli and paying double for a bottle of wine here. Not as good as it was...

dell'anima, which means soul, is a small Italian wine bar on 38 8th Avenue. Open just two years, the tourists stumble by dell'anima on their search for celebrity chefs while some mighty fine things are going on here.

For the month of August the restaurant will knock 20% off your bill if you come in for lunch Monday thru Friday. Prices are affordable to begin with. That 1998 Notturno Sangiovese from Emilia Romagna was $48. That's a bloody steal offered by an owner who was once the sommelier at Babbo.

I shared a huge starter of bruschetta, a quail salad and a bolognese (along with a bottle and a half of the Notturno) with an old friend who is hands down the best authority on hidden gem restaurants in New York. Chuck's spread sheet of Paris brasseries is worth a small fortune and his exploration of the village's Italian wine bars is nothing short of economic genius. After all, this is a man who travelled across the United States on a dollar. I kid you not.

And I kid you not about this soulful little wine bar. An open kitchen with smells that transport you to Lucca. A wine selection that is affordable, intelligent and for August, 20% cheaper. And while the crowds amble by in search of Mario - Raise your glass to them and wish them well. For you are in soul.

11 comments:

M.Lane said...

Looks amazing. I'll put it on my [ever growing] Trad recommended list.

ML
mlanesepic.blogspot.com

Belle de Ville said...

Oh, it sounds wonderful. And what in the world is Lily Confit?
Mario's restaurants are totally overrated and I'm still regretting hosting a dinner there last month.

brohammas said...

He travelled the U.S. for a dollar!? That would do wonders to my overhead, and his spreadsheet would do wonders to my overhang.
I am formally request his contact information so I may attempt to steal your friend.

Razvan said...

so where can we take advantage of Chuck's knowledge ?

i just discovered your blog thanks to a continuous lean and I want to thank you for sharing your stories

Anonymous said...

When last in NYC, I had an opportunity to dine at a newer sister restaurant to dell'anima, L'artusi, and found it to be quite satisfying as well. In particular the grilled asparagus, fresh ricotta, and fried egg plate...

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Quail salad. Perfect. I've been on a duck confit salad kick, but quail salad... . And at 20% off. That's the way to do lunch.

Alice Olive said...

BTW, there's nothing wrong with being a neat freak. I live in a small space and like order.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

Big fan of your blog, I am from the south but up near New York City for work for the next couple of months. I have made a visit to J. Press but was wondering if you had any reccomendations for other stores I should visit while I am in the area.

Thanks -

longwing said...

Here in the sticks you can get a nice DOCG Chianti Classico for that kind of money. The food mostly sucks but the wine is good.

Brummagem Joe said...

I've added it to my list. I'm developing a bit of theory about American eateries. They're great at either extreme (ie. very cheap or very expensive) but usually fairly dire in the middle. I had a meal in a waterfront restaurant a couple of nights ago that cost about 80 bucks for two (no bottle of wine) and it was truly appalling. The place was packed. I've eaten better food in the back streets of Sheffield in England which is supposed ground zero for bad food (I don't agree btw). Given the relative weakness of libel laws perhaps Esquire which is always publishing lists of best bars, restaurants etc should publish lists of the worst.

TRAWETS NILTGEOV said...

Aleppo pepper's a Greek touch. And I suppose the preserved lemons are a North African touch. Looks like "Italo-fusion," and I have come to hate those "understated" e e cummingsian ingredient "explanations." So cute and quaint!

Cutting the shit, though, I'd probably like the food.