One of my favorite restaurants I've eaten at over the past year is L'Apicio. It's by the same family who runs and manages Dell'Amina and L'Artusi. There are a few reasons why I love L'Apicio. First of all, you really can take anyone there; need a place where you can have a real conversation without shouting or straining your neck? You got it. Want a fun evening where you catch up on gossip over girls night? Yep. Looking for a romantic date with your partner? Yes and yes. The restaurant is elegant, not pretentious, boasts helpful staff and service, and the food is reasonably priced and excellent.
I always love to start with the Charred Octopus, which arrives on a hefty bed of pearly Israeli couscous, slivers of pepperoni, olives, celery, and a lemon vinaigrette. The octopus is charred without losing the texture or being too chewy or gummy.
The battle comes with the entrees. It's fun to go with a group so you can try the polenta and pasta. I love both. On a recent experience, we opted for two pastas: the Bucatini with shrimp and chilies and Gnocchi with braised veal and porcini. Both excellent. The bucatini arrived looking like a pretty nest of goodness. The tubular noodles were al dente and perfectly enveloped in a light cream sauce and a lemon zest that burst in your mouth. Crunchy, salty breadcrumbs and delicate shrimp delighted the palatte. The gnocchi was decadent and delicious. Delicate bits of veal practically melted in your mouth, satisfying your taste buds with a rich, deep finish.
For dessert, we split the Hazelnut Ice Cream Cake, which boasts all your favorite things; roasted hazelnuts, a chocolate crust, sweet and salty ice cream, and crunchy bits of heaven. For someone who loves a nut and chocolate combination, this is a great dessert.
If you make it to L'Apicio, I hope you enjoy the restaurant as much as I have. Let me know what you think and what your favorite dishes are.
13 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003
Phone: (212) 533-7400