- scene: bustling; nicely lit and exposed brick space with big windows onto Tribeca; hidden outside courtyard area in the summer; walk-in friendly, which is convenient because getting a reservation here is as easy as getting an English speaking cabby...
- sip: The Italian wine list has some nice affordable gems, such as the $60 Barbera d'Alba that I had
- savor: meatball sliders; trofie with pesto; market bean salad with tuna dressing; chicken for two; branzino; cheese plate
- sit: good for a catch up with some friends and a bottle of wine; nice date place, can head to Brandy Libray after for a cozy evening; also a good place to impress, because I am totally in awe when someone gets a reservation
- spend: $$
- address: Greenwich Hotel, 377 Greenwich Street (at North Moore)
- phone number: 212-925-3797
- website: www.locandaverdenyc.com
In full disclosure this review has been revisited a few times. Although Locanda Verde is now one of my favorite restaurants in all of the NYC, I apparently must of had some off-night experience a few years ago that originally left me with a bad taste in my mouth (figuratively, because all of the actual tastes are sent directly from heaven). I now recommend this place without thinking twice to anyone to asks, it’s where I take Boyfriend for special occasions, and when I am tipsy I randomly go on Opentable and see if I can get a reservation any time in the near future; I was shocked to see that I originally was not blown away by Locanda Verde. But like that suitor that you blew off because he maybe wore bad jeans one night and then give another chance and end up marrying, I saw the error of my ways. … Below is the most up to date version of Locanda Verde…
Greenwich Street in Tribeca will always remind me of my days as a slave in the basement of Tribeca Grill, dying for it to be 11 am for staff meal and not seeing the light of day for hours at a time. Locanda Verde is a vast improvement over both the short-lived Ago experiement (so many years Ago) and the parking garage that was there back in my basement days. The vibe is at once a desitnation, full of buzz and attractive people, and also neighborhoody, also full of well-dressed local people, because this is Tribeca Prime after all. I love Italian food, and I know enough about it to know that you don’t need to be in a slick looking place to have an amazing Italian meal, but the atmosphere and food come together at Locanda Verde for a really special evening. And once you get a fucking reservation, they treat you really nicely.
The food, consistently and unwaveringly defies expectations. The sliders won Meatball Madness at NYWFF a few years ago, and that was justified, not in the fixed vote Billy Joel scam where Katie Lee won Burger Bash with white bread and meat sandwiches (bullshit). They are the perfect size, and consistency, and messy enough to show you they are serious, but not too sloppy. The oyster sliders at the Dutch are amazing too, so I guess Carmellini is good with little buns. The seasonal salads are all very fresh and right from the market, worked with dressings to bring out their flavor and not mask it. My most favorite pasta (after much experimentation) is the pesto. The trofie is perfectly suited to soak up the green deliciousness, and pine nuts, roasted tomatoes and potatoes (potatoes!) give this dish lots if interesting bite combination potential.
Any loyal readers can attest to my love of roast chicken,(Boyfriend too), and this bird that they serve at Locanda Verde is pure perfection. Garlicy, moist, and simple in its authenticity, it is really a thing of beauty. There are a lot of chickens in this town that get a lot of play (the NoMad, Forgione), but Locanda Verde holds my vote. I would like to say something complimentary about the desserts, but I am usually too full (um, drunk?) to sample any, but I do remember a rocking cheese plate one night.
Leaving LV makes me sad, like a long-distance friend you don’t know when you can see again. I suggest you try to make some friends, or take your chances as a walk-in, tell them Bobby D sent you…
Note: Brunch at Locanda Verde is worth a visit as well, and not nearly as busy. I don’t think you can get the chicken in the morning, but everything is a trade-off….