September 16, 2010

Piattini Ristorante

Kelli & I finally hit a spot that's long been on my Bay Ridge Radar: Piattini Ristorante on 4th Avenue, on the northwest corner of 98th street (it appears they don't have a website!) It's a not-too-short walk from our building, and one beautiful Saturday night we trekked out beyond our 4-block comfort zone and tried it for ourselves.

The sun was just beginning to set, and we took a lovely table right by the window (all the better for people watching AND photo taking!) Piattini means little plates in Italian, and I thought the little bread plates were quite fetching, upturned corners and all! I also found myself liking the stemless wine glasses, though I still prefer glasses with stems for standing around at a party, etc.

Piattini has an impressive wine list, and it took us a few minutes to decide what we wanted. Kel and I both favor reds, so that part was easy. We chose a lovely Italian red, a Poliziano Rossi di Montepulciano (photo at top of post) that was decently priced at 27 dollars for the bottle. This wine was perfect--not too tannic or puckery--very light, very drinkable, and quite delicious with each and every part of our meal. Two of the gentleman working there commented on our wine choice, explaining that it would be going up in price soon by a few dollars but was still a great deal, going for 40-45 at other restaurants. We were quite happy with our selection.

We munched on some bread and olive oil while we waited for our food to come. The bread was fine, chewy crust and soft inside, but the olive oil was much better. It had a light fruity taste that I really liked. I didn't want to waste too much stomach space on that, though.

Our cheese plate featured two kinds: a mozzarella and a cacciocavallo, a Sicilian cow's milk cheese. The mozzarella was soooo good. Fresh, airy, delicious. The cacciocavallo was like a softer Parmesan. I liked it, but the mozzarella blew it out of the water. The pesto was a bit salty for me--I best preferred the cheese unadorned, save for a few sprinkles of black pepper.

Kelli ordered short pasta with a sausage ragu, and oh my word was this delicious. I had two bites of the chewy pasta and expertly-seasoned sausage--fennel came bursting through in the first bite. The tangy, salty cheese was the perfect foil for the sweet, perfectly-spiced sausage.

I ordered the Bucatina a Matriciana (with onions and guanciale, aka pig cheek bacon). Holy moly was this amazing. The server recommended I not get cheese on mine, and he was right. This did not need one extra thing on it. The whole dish was lovely. The bacon was chewy but tender, the pasta was perfectly cooked, and the sauce was a wonderfully yummy tomato based bit of deliciousness. I couldn't finish it all, but you can bet I tried.

The main draw for us to Piattini was their house-made gelato, which has received rave reviews. I purposely didn't finish my dinner (as scrumptious as it was) just so that I would have room for dessert. Our affable server ran through the flavors, and when he hit 'amaretto,' my eyes lit up and I said 'that one!' I also got pistachio, which is another favorite gelato flavor. One scoop of amaretto, one of pistachio, some amaretti cookies, and a sprinkling of crushed pistachios--quite tasty! I was hoping for a stronger amaretto flavor, but it was still delicious. I wouldn't say it's the best gelato I've ever had, but it is good, and it's definitely the best gelato within walking distance of my building!

Kelli opted for chocolate and cassata, which our server likened to cannoli filling (which is exactly what it tastes like). The cassata was good, but the chocolate was SO. GOOD. If you go (and you should), save room for dessert (and you MUST)! Kel & I are already plotting our next trip back there. Yeah, maybe my expectations were a little high for the gelato, but it was still worth a try. The service was fantastic--several people checked in on us, made conversation, joked around with us, and I really appreciated that. Sometimes you forget how rare great service is until you finally experience it again! Between the wonderful wine list, excellent, attentive service, the perfect pasta, and the delicious, light gelato, there's no reason to wait!


Anonymous said...

Amazing restaurant. I was pleasantly surprised. Thanks for the tag. I love keeping up with your food blog it gives me ideas for a hearty night out :)

My Little Space said...

I'm drooling! The ice-cream is melting me away. Thank you for sharing & have a nice day.

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