It is easy to get lost in the sea of restaurants in the Flatiron District, which are generally mid-tier quality and on the pricier end of the spectrum. The trick is to do your research in advance, which can be time consuming. The easiest suggestion: follow our advice and head on over to Trattoria Italienne.
Trattoria Italienne focuses on Northern Italian cuisine with hints of Mediterranean and Southern French inspiration mixed in. The restaurant interior is warm and inviting, as if you are entering the kitchen of a luxury villa in the Italian countryside.
Guests can cozy up at the bar and enjoy small plates with wine, or there are two large dining rooms to host your next family gathering. Much like a traditional Italian meal, the menu consists of light bites such as charcuterie and cheese for sharing, as well as larger entrees of pasta, meats, and seafood. And of course, all of the dishes can be paired with wines from their extensive wine, cocktail, and beer program.
Before Chef Jared Sippel landed in New York, he made a name for himself at Quince in San Francisco and Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colorado. He teamed up with General Manager and Proprietor James King, inspired by cooking from his Italian grandmother who exposed her entire family to the joys of cooking and hosting elaborate dinner parties in their home.
I was slightly overwhelmed by all of the amazing options on the menu, so I was delighted to hear more about the tasting menu option. The tasting menu is a selection by the chef, featuring a few options from the à la carte and perhaps some additional specialty items. Depending on the seasonality of the locally sourced ingredients, the menu changes and evolves, so you can return and be sure to try something new and different.
While there is not a shortage of amazing wines, we kicked off our experience with some cocktails. My favorite was the Francese 75 made with Malfy Gin, lemon, honey, and prosecco. Another cocktail on the lighter side is the Brugal Buck with Brugal Anejo Rum, Cruzan Black Strap Rum, pineapple, ginger, lime, and topped with seltzer, a refreshing option to off-set a dense meal. For a drink with a kick, try the Sunnyside with Old Forester Bourbon, Amaro Nonino, ginger syrup, lemon, and Allspice Dram.
Our meal started off with a prosciutto plate, thin slices aged 24 months and 36 months, with the option to wrap around grissini breadsticks and slather on European butter at your leisure. The meat itself was soft and buttery, salty enough to whet your palette but not overwhelm your taste buds.
For the salad course, we were presented with a traditional Italian gem salad, a roasted wedge of gem lettuce topped with caesar vinaigrette and Spanish boquerone. The salty anchovies paired well with the buttery gem lettuce and enhanced by the dressing. We also enjoyed this with accomanying dishes of large Fava beans and olives.
Next up was a board of grilled cheese; definitely not your “I’m too hungover, just crawling to the corner deli” grilled cheese. Each slice was perfectly buttered and toasted, cheese evenly melted, and topped with a salsa verde for an added kick. Quickly to follow was the Polpettini, juicy and flavorful pork meatballs on a bed of soft bed of polenta with calabrian chili agrodolce.
Finally came the dishes I was most anticipating: pasta! The first dish was a stuffed pasta in a with a brown butter sage sauce with pancetta, sweet complementing salty. The second dish was comprised of soft, fluffy gnocchi bites with asparagus and mushrooms, delivering a light, spring flavor.
For the first main entree, we had Wild Halibut from Nova Scotia sautéed in butter for crispness on a bed of carrot purée with English peas. While often times seafood leaves you still feeling hungry and wanting more, this fish is a hearty and flavorful option.
As if that was not enough, we also had the Roasted Chicken coated with a Moroccan spice rub on top of couscous with a touch of lemon. Because of the amazing quality of all the dishes, our suggestion would be to find dinner guests who are willing to share everything.
We finished our excellent meal with dessert, helmed by Pastry Chef Alex Grunert. The chocolate mousse had a banana purée, which was decadent but still light and smooth. My favorite was the olive oil cake with strawberries and sour cream sorbet with a refreshing tang.
The dishes are familiar and comforting but with complex flavors, and you can tell that the fresh, locally sourced ingredients are chosen with precision and care. Whether planning for your next date or a big get-together with friends, be sure to check out Trattoria Italienne.
19 W. 24th Street
New York, NY 10010
Photos via Trattoria Italienne and by Yvonne Lee