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Piccola Cucina Enoteca
Posted by Cyrill on 10/16/2012
Never again... This little Italian place opened about 3 years ago next-door to where I live, and I decided to check it out with a friend. Both of us know what real Italian food is like, having both lived in Tuscany for extensive periods. It was a disappointment. The pasta was OK, but not worth the price, the service was spotty, and we were overcharged in the end. So I though that was it for me and that the place won't last. Well, as we say, never step on the same rake twice... Last night was rainy, and so my wife and I decided not to go far and give the place another chance. At first, a nice atmosphere, a charming Italian guy, chatted in Italian with him, this and that, and got a promise of real italian taste. And here comes the first surprise: the restaurant has no kitchen! Apparently, it's too expensive for them now, so they only have small dishes to accompany wines. OK, taking a look at the wine list, and there you have a list of things from $40 and up to $380. Well, those in the bottom end look a bit like things you can get in an Italian supermarket for 4 euro. Fine, since they advertise themselves as a Sicilian place, decided to give their Nero d'Avola a try. And there comes a second surprise. The wine is barely drinkable, the usual industrial variety that you can get in NY for under $10 a bottle. In fact, 1.5 glasses and you are dead drunk (which speaks of the quality). And then comes a third one: the oil. Boasting to be super-tuscan oil! Well, I have some tuscan oil in my kitchen 50 meters away, and I tell you, it ain't tuscan olive oil, not even sure if it's actually olive oil. The oil had essentially no taste, and for that reason the dishes with it were pretty bland. And then there was a carpaccio of pesce spada... To cut the story short. Wine: at 4am getting up with a splitting headache. A lingering taste of bad wine still remaining in the late morning... You decide!
Posted by anonymous on 02/27/2012
Dining solo, I stumbled upon this cozy little slip of a restaurant and sat down to tuck into a delightful dish of tagliatelle pasta with mushrooms and a bottle of wine. Mid-bite halfway through my pasta, was "politely" asked to shift to the table by the door (cold nite) to accomodate a a family of four in exchange for dessert "because, after all, we are a small restaurant." Could they not have waited until I finished enjoying my meal, especially since I was 1) dining solo, and 2) almost done AND 3) had ordered a fairly expensive bottle of wine and had wanted to enjoy it at a reasonable pace? Did I even want dessert? I did now. I reluctantly shifted, ordered a cassata and a cappucino, and summarily paid my bill and left. Many MANY excellent Italian restaurants in New York City, and right around the corner from there too, so no need to tolerate that kind of ill service. For pity's sake, I realize that we live in a city where real estate is competitive, but come on... take your dining dollars elsewhere. For the same price, you can get a pretty fantastic meal a few blocks away.
Posted by Barbara on 06/21/2011
We had the inexpensive lunch special here and the food was delicious! Great pasta dishes, excellent service and coz y European atmosphere. A lovely surprise experience.
Posted by Joseph on 04/06/2011
This a place to go for a quick meal not expecting anything about tasty Italian food. The penne I ordered was not homemade and it was hard, not al dente. The menu is very limited, no salads, no soups, no sides. 80 % of the menu is seafood. The place is cute but very small, don't go with more than 4 people. There are other places in nyc that offer great Italian food and more options.
Posted by M Marks The Spot on 03/22/2011
Piccola Cucina defines the word ‘gem’ in restaurant speak. Located in Soho, this is the perfect spot to find beautifully plated authentic Italian food and excellent service. Albeit the space is small (22 seats + 4 stools at the bar), the design and layout makes everything feel open and airy with a Euro neighborhood twist. The menu boasts the credentials of Chef-Owner Philip Guardione. Philip, born in Sicily, formerly worked for one of the most famous international Chefs (Mr. Sergio Mei) at Milan’s Four Seasons Hotel. As one would expect, ingredients and presentation are everything here. I suggest going to Piccola Cuina for the Lunch Special, which includes a choice of two full size dishes ($20). In the evening, the menu (written entirely in English and Italian) remains the same but with standard prices obviously making for a much pricier meal. I love the Sicilian Swordfish Rolls with buffalo mozzarella and cherry tomato stew ($16) as well as the Sicilian Rice Balls filled with meat ragù and buffalo mozzarella ($15). The Parma Prosciutto Crudo with pears is a great light antipasti ($17). If you want something heavier, the Potato Gnocchi with taleggio cheese and walnut sauce ($17) and the Grilled Lamb with Wild Herbs and Sicilian caponata ($28) are both delicious. I’m dying to go back and try the Panna Cotta with bellini sauce and fresh berries ($9) for dessert. Bottle of wine. Summer afternoon. Piccola Cucina. Molto bene!
Posted by 'anonymous' on 08/17/2010
I went to dinner here with my boyfriend and his parents. We started with the grilled octopus and it was the best I had ever eaten! We all got a different main course and yum's were heard around the table. My only complaint is that the place is really small so I was bumped a few times while eating.