Maialino, NYC

Famed Manhattan restaurateur, Danny Meyer (Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison, The Modern, etc.) has just dropped a little bit more cachet on The Gramercy Park Hotel. Suffice it to say the Ian Schrager’s latest hotspot, which is curated by filmmaker Julian Schnabel, already has its quotient of status.

Still, Danny Meyer has tarried forth and opened his grass-roots Italian restaurant, Maialino — meaning little, or suckling pig. The new New York restaurant is divided into two main spaces: the casual bar room — a modish clashing of decades evidenced in its 70’s-style wooden furniture and deco-inspired flooring — and the more formal but still intentionally blasé trattoria. The round marble-topped tables, deco-style teak sideboards, and short unencumbering tablecloths make for a warm, homey atmosphere; the perfect environment to serve Meyer’s authentically Roman ingredients like eggplant, artichoke, anchovy, pecorino Romano cheese and guanciale (magical Roman bacon) as much as possible.

Specifically, the humble, rustic menu features a variety of antipasti — like spelt and turnips, tripe, tomato, pecorino and mint, or octopus, tomatoes and arugula; pastas — like spinach and cheese “malfatti” with suckling pig and ravioli with egg yolk, ricotta and potato; and mains — like aged sirloin with heirloom beans and escarole and lamb neck with rosemary and frascati wine.

Maialino, a restaurant which is quite minimal both in menu and in design, seems to be a fairly odd fit for the design-empurpled Gramercy Park Hotel. In fact, one might anticipate that Gramercy-dwellers will be disappointed in the new hotspot. Still, I imagine Meyers’s decision is nothing less than sagacious, implicitly and confidently letting his food speak for itself.

Address: 2 Lexington Ave, New York, NY
Contact: 212-920-3300
Cuisine: Italian
Area: Gramercy
Venue: Restaurant
Hours: Opening Soon
Price Range: $$$ (Within Reach)
Payment: Master Card, Visa, American Express

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