ince the recession hit, upscale burger joints and thin-crust pizza parlours have exploded into the world as violently as the A-bomb hit Hiroshima. Cowardly owners have changed their upscale eateries, that once revelled in serving up high-ticket items like bronzino and lobster, to middle of the road joints that proffer up plain pizza and pastas whose prized item is a caper or sardine. But of late, the economy seems to be making a turn for the better, so for the time being, the rich, who are again getting richer, can finally forget about eating their crusts: Montenapo is here.
Montenapo, hot off the presses in the architectural wonder of lightness and clarity that is Renzo Piano’s New York Times Building, hearkens back to a time (about a year ago) when Italian food was worth a pretty penny and pretty people with pennies were willing to pay for it. The 5200 square-foot, glassed-in space, facing the birch-moss garden courtyard of the building, has a modern, luminescent aesthetic that fits perfectly with the structure’s contemporary design and compliments the classic, yet new-world inspired Italian menu.
Having enjoyed a long career at Bice restaurant in Paris, Chef German Lucarelli is now at the helm of Montenapo where he looks forward to bringing his commitment to fresh, organic ingredients to New York city – a town that is often bereft of all things natural. The eclectic menu, offering appetizers like herb-cured buffalo carpaccio with celery and mustard drizzle, pancetta-wrapped green asparagus in tallegio cheese sauce, and poached egg with aged Parma ham, burratina cheese and Sicilian tomatoes, modern pasta like dry vermouth and lemon zest trofie pasta with baby scampi bisque, or more classic dishes like large home made pappardelle with lamb ragout and thyme, and baked lugurian filet of dentice (red snapper) with fingerling potatoes and olives, is bound to be hit.
The opening of Montenapo might not be a sign that the recession is over, but its woodsy design, greenhouse architecture, towering birch trees, and clean, fresh tasting food will at least, for a moment, make you remember that there is more to life than money… as long as you can pay the bill.
Address: 250 West 41st Street, New York, NY
Contact: 212 764 7663
Hours: Mon. – Fri. 11:30am – 11:00pm, Sat. 5:00pm – 11:00pm
Price Range: $$$$(Expensive)
Payment: Master Card, Visa, American Express
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