We didn’t make a reservation for our last evening in New York and were just playing it by ear. When our last day rolled around, we decided to give Locanda Verde a try. Since it was a little late to make a reservation, we just walked in around six on a Thursday and were seated within five minutes.
Located in Tribeca, the restaurant (part owned by Robert De Niro) is on the main floor of the Greenwich hotel. Loconda Verde is an Italian restaurant with a warm and casual atmosphere. According to their website, “a locanda is a local spot to eat and drink and stay over if you want. Verde means green and sounded good next to locanda.”
During our visit, it looked like most people had just come from work and were only here to grab a drink by the bar.
We started with the Sheep’s Milk Ricotta – with sea salt and herbs ($14). It came with a generous portion of ricotta topped with olive oil, sea salt and various herbs. It was served with large pieces of grilled bread which I preferred over the typical small crostini served at restaurants. I also liked that the pieces of bread were still a little soft in the middle as opposed to being crisp like a cracker. As for the ricotta, it was incredible. It had a bit of a tangy flavour and was very creamy, making it easily spreadable over the bread. Although it was delicious, I found it to be a bit much for two people since it’s such a rich dish.Another starter we ordered was the Lamb Meatball Sliders – with caprino and cucumber ($12). After the delicious ricotta, the next dish had a tough act to follow. Luckily, this was another fantastic starter.
The meatballs were tender, juicy and had the perfect amount of marinara sauce on them. The sliders came with a pickle on each which seemed a bit out of place but it actually worked very well. I also really enjoyed the soft cheese buns that the meatballs were served on, which soaked up the sauce nicely. Although these were delicious, I found the price to be quite high for only two tiny sliders – $6 per slider!
For one of our mains, we ordered My Grandmother’s Ravioli ($18), which contained a mixture of beef and pork. These soft little pillows were topped with a fresh-tasting tomato sauce and cheese. Taste-wise, I found them the ravioli to be decent, but nothing special. After eating at Babbo, pasta elsewhere just paled in comparison. As a warning, the portion of this wasn’t enormous so I don’t think someone would be full after eating this dish without ordering an appetizer.Our last dish was the Shaved Porchetta Sandwich – with grilled onions and provolone ($16). The sandwich was piled with a pile of thinly-shaved porchetta. The fatty porchetta had a nice flavour and the addition of the provolone was nice. The onions had a balsamic flavour and would have been nice if there wasn’t so much of it. There was a thick slice of onion (a full ring) which gave the sandwich an overwhelming sourness. I ended up taking most of this out of the sandwich. Overall, this was a decent porchetta sandwich but it definitely is no match for Porchetta & Co or Meat and Bread.
The sandwich was also served with a side salad, which wasn’t anything to write home about. However, I loved the two pieces of crackling that it was topped with. Not the healthiest thing to eat, but oh so delicious!
Overall, we had a solid meal at Locanda Verde. The starters were definitely the stars of the meal. So, if you’re from the city, it’s definitely worth a visit. But if you’re only in NYC for a short visit, there are better options.At a glance:
• Mid-range prices (approx. $20 for pasta; less than $30 for meat dishes)
• Located in Tribeca (in the Greenwich Hotel)
• The sheep’s milk ricotta and lamb meatball sliders are recommended
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4 stars
• Service: 4 stars
• Atmosphere: 4 stars