Cardoncello diVino celebrated their one year anniversary in July of their NoMad restaurant, and I was excited to experience their delicious modern Italian cuisine firsthand.
Owned by Andrea Colombo and Giuseppina Torno, the restaurant is centered around the Cardoncello mushroom, the “food of the gods” and is only found in Southern Italy. The mushroom was once banned by the pope for its aphrodisiac qualities, probably only making it more alluring.
The restaurant’s kitchen is helmed by Executive Chef Massimiliano Convertini, formerly of Antica Bottega Del Vino, and assisted by Chef de Cuisine Gianna Palazzo and General Manager and Sommelier, Christian Ferrulli, former owner of Trattoria del Tacco in Desio, Italy.
To curb the summer heat we ordered some refreshing cocktails. La Pera è Mista is a great way to cool off with Grey Goose Poire (pear), St-Germain, Prosecco, and a splash of fresh lime juice. Another great option is the South Side with Tanqueray, Angostura, house-made syrup, a dash of fresh lime juice, and mint.
For something with a bit of kick, try the Grande Stella with Bribon Tequila, Vida Mezcal, Marie Brizard Orange, spicy Cardoncello, and a house-made bitter made with their signature Cardoncello mushroom.
For those who want to stay authentically Italian, their wine list boasts over 180 bottles representing almost every Italian regions and with organic, biodynamic, and sustainable options.
To kick off our meal we started with the Panelle, jumbo sautéed shrimps over a chickpea polenta with goat cheese and herbs. It was a delicious blend of flavors of the salty seafood with the sweet creamy goat cheese.
Another popular appetizer is the Sardine, baked fresh sardines with a sweet potato puree and roasted artichokes, as well as the Cardoncelli, highlighting the signature Cardoncello mushroom which are roasted, with potato, caciocavallo cheese, and truffle tortino. For larger groups with more opportunities to share, try the EVOO tasting flight that includes a selection of four different EVOOs, ranging from light to more intense, paired with small bites.
As you can imagine, the pasta dishes are some of the highlights of the menu at Cardoncello diVino. For a lighter option that makes you feel as if you’ve been transported to the Mediterranean seaside, we loved the Tagliolini: fresh linguine with clams, dill, pepper flakes, and tarallo crumble.
Though I was tempted by the Gnudi (basil and ricotta dumplings with smoked cacio and pepe), ultimately we went with the pasta special, the Tagliatelle Ragu. They have specialty dishes that change weekly based on seasonal ingredients, so even regulars will be kept on their toes and can try an array of different dishes every time you visit. The ragu was amazing with such delicious tender meat mixed in with the fresh sauce, but will return for another visit to try the Gnudi to get rid of this FOMO feeling.
Speaking of tender meats – for the main entrée we decided to get the Guancia di Manzo, the slow-braised Wagyu beef cheek with a carrot mash and baby zucchini, topped with Cardoncelli mushrooms. This was our chance to try the signature mushroom! The meat easily fell apart with each bite that didn’t even require a knife. On the other hand, the mushroom required cutting like a tender piece of steak! The saltiness of the flavored mushrooms paired well with the sweeter mash.
We ended on a sweet note with the Panzerotti, a set of three baby calzones filled with Nutella and topped with truffle honey and toasted almonds. Even with a light drizzle the truffle comes through in the honey and is a great balance with the sweetness.
For other excellent dessert options, try the Pastiera, a sheep milk ricotta and barley tart with salted caramel, or the Catalana coffee crème brûlée.
43 W. 27th Street
btw, 6th Avenue and Broadway
New York, NY 10001
Photos by Yvonne Lee