Tuesday, April 22, 2014


So our best of the week feature basically highlights something remarkable in Harlem that we tried out for the first time.  There are a lot of great eats in Harlem and this ongoing series will have the best of the best.

Vinateria at 119th and FDB has been one of the best restaurant uptown since it opened last year and the Bespoke team dropped by this past weekend to see what was on the seasonal menu.  One of the remarkable things about this updated Italian eatery is that the ingredients are so current with the food trends in the city but acknowledges traditional ingredients.  First up for the night was a fresh mushroom flatbread appetizer which was a perfect modern answer to pizza with its thin, crisp crust, impossibly savory porcini topping, rich fried egg and a splash fresh arugula.

Whole grains such as braised lentils or starchy farro were also a refreshing whole-grain side pairing to many of the dishes which included a spicy, house-made merguez or a crispy duck special cooked medium well but still quite succulent with just a touch of pink color inside.  A sprinkling of fresh sprouts added as a nice garnish to many of the plates and is something that adds a new nuance to even the most familiar offerings.

Other notable dishes included a light tartare with fried quails egg, a dark sepia pasta with octopus and a fresh, bright corn soup that was still being mentioned by an associate two days later.  Then there was the fried artichokes that had some sort of dipping sauce which was not needed because the flavors were already so much more robust than any french fry that one would ever come across.

So next time anyone drops by this spectacular contemporary restaurant, make sure to ask for the seasonal specials and trust the chef on this one.  More on Vinateria can be found in or past post: LINK

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