Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Convivio [CLOSED]

When a birthday comes around, I'm usually the organizer. I think of places that would suite the honored guest and create the guest list. I make reservations and most importantly I harass invitees about responding. Yeah, I'm good at that. So Mr. Peanut Head's birthday passed recently and I picked Convivio for him. It's a nicer place he would normally choose but sometimes it's good to go somewhere nice. Ms. Lollipop and Mr. Matzo Ball came too. And it was such a lovely dinner. I only wish I had the picture to express my joy about Convivio. Alas, I forgot my camera and was left with the crappy blackberry one. Two trips to this place and no good pictures to prove it's delectable-ness. Convivio's menu shows a list of several a la carte items separated as sfizi (bites to share), antipasti (appetizers), primi (1st entree), and secondi (2nd entree). There are also sides and specials listed. However, I think the best deal of the house is their $59 4 course prix fixe. You can pick any of the item listed on the a la carte menu and mix and match as you please. This includes the specials unless a supplement is listed. I generously convinced my friends to do the prix fixe. Last time, I chose the Fegatini (chicken liver crostini - $5) as a starter. I was so impressed that I was so tempted to get it again. But alas, I always like to pick something different to explore the entire menu. So this time, I picked Baccala Mantecato (creamy salt cod crostni, black olives, roasted tomato - $13). The fish was creamy and had a slight fishy taste but in a good way. It was really refreshing and a great start to a meal. My friends picked Lingua (veal tongue - $14) which was super tender; Ostriche (crispy oysters - $12) which were crunchy on the outside and supremely soft and creamy on the inside; and Salamureci (chilled heirloom tomato soup - $15) which was very refreshing in a gazpacho type way. Next, the Primi. Again, choosing something different from my first visit (Malloredus - $25), I picked the Agnolotti ai Formaggi (creamy burrata-ricotta filled pasta, tomato, basil - $20). I recently had my first encounter with burrata cheese a few weeks ago. And I fell in love. It's like fresh mozzarella cheese but a soft gooey center that oozes over everything. How could I not pick a pasta with burrata in it? And it was wonderful. The cheese melted in my mouth wonderfully. The light tomato-basil sauce balanced the rich creaminess with its own tartness and freshness. So incredibly good. They picked the Cavatelli al Forno(baked ricotta cavatelli - $24) which had braised rabbit ragu but didn't taste gamey at all; Mezzaluna al Tonno (tuna-tomato filled pasta - $24) which sparked with the salty capers in the sauce; and Spaghetti con Ragu di Funghi (semolina pasta - $24) which was surprisingly fresh and delicious in a different yet good way. For my Secondi, I picked the special which was a seared duck breast ($30). It was really good and cooked so tender. I hardly needed the knife to cut it. The sauce was amazing and I wanted to get every bit of it in my mouth. I loved this dish. Unfortunately, I don't even have a crappy picture of that to share. I forgotten to snap one before I proceeded to stuff my face. My friends picked the Capesante (seared scallops - $30) which were very large and succulent; the Bistecca alla Griglia (prime skirt steak - $28) which came out juicy and cooked to order; and the Salsiccia di Maiale (house made pork sausage - $27). How can you go wrong with house made sausage? Lastly dessert. We were quite happy with the savory part of our meal so far. And now the sweet. Again, I picked something different and chose the Tartaletta di Caramelle which was a chocolate caramel tart. It was sweet and sticky. The simple vanilla gelato complement helped add creaminess. They chose the Affogato al Caffé. It's like a ice cream float but with espresso and gelato instead. It was strong and creamy at the same time. So good. Also, an assortment of gelati and sorbetti was picked (chocolate, coffee, and mixed berries). Simple yet good. And lastly, the Panna Cotta. Now, normally I don't like gelatinous desserts but this was really good. It was served in a glass kind of like a parfait. But the lemon sorbet really cut the super creaminess of the panna cotta. And it was so good. The meal was really good and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. The birthday boy was happy as well as my other friends. Another birthday done, another wonderful dinner had. *Sorry about the bad pictures!* Convivio 45 Tudor City Place New York, NY 10017 (212)599-5045 convivionyc.com

4 comments:

  1. I love Convivio, but don't they have just horrid lighting for food pics!

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  2. @fressagirl: I know! I was embarrassed to put these pictures up.

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  3. Aren't the sizes kinda small?

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  4. @Anon: They are bigger than they seem in the pictures. In any case, they are really filling and I feel completely satisfied after every meal. Sometimes I leave overly stuffed.

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