By Karen Rempel
I live on West 10th Street, and watched with interest over the summer as the former Piadina at 57 West 10th Street (near 6th Avenue) gradually metamorphosed into Osteria 57. Happily, on September 15th, I attended a champagne reception and experienced bite-sized, intriguing tastes of joy.
I’ve returned numerous times to swoon over consistently sublime, world-class Sicilian and Sardinian dishes. The co-owners, Host Emanuele and Chef Gennaro, love the moment when people stop for a meal after a day spent trying to conquer or save the world. Emanuele has worked with top New York restaurants for the past 10 years, starting with Il Buco, whose owners mentored him. He and Gennaro have created an eclectic seafood and vegetarian menu, with special care taken for vegan and gluten-free friends.
The duo partners with local and ethically like-minded suppliers to source every item, from sustainable fish to hemp tea. They serve carefully selected wines from around the world, minus the intense mark-up of other high-end New York restaurants. (On Sunday and Monday, Osteria 57 offers half-price wines by the bottle. Prices range from $18 to $32.) When I recently visited Osteria 57 with friends, vintner Paolo Martinelli of the La Gigliola Winery near Florence treated us to a sampling of four chiantis. While we marveled over the chianti and agonized over the menu, we received a generous plate of chewy, rustic Italian bread accompanied by green olives floating in divinely aromatic olive oil.
My vegan friend, Suzanne, ordered Insalata di Funghi and Ribollita Toscana, a vegetable soup with croutons. The mushrooms in the salad were hand-selected delicacies, and the soup was a very substantial, rich, rosemary-infused melange. She wants to eat this every night for dinner
Sally and I shared the Salamella di Salmone—an exquisitely delicate, citrus, paper-thin confection of wild Alaskan salmon and scallops garnished with pinzimonio (toothpick-thin raw vegetables that lend a wonderful crunch). Act two was Osteria 57’s fresh take on a classic Roman dish, Carciofini e Pecorino—fried, fresh baby artichokes dusted with sheep’s milk cheese. This was truly heaven on a plate, with crispy flavor-packed leaves surrounding a tender, green moist heart. We agreed that these two dishes were the most marvelous appetizers we’ve had.
Next, Sally ordered the Pici Cacio e Pepe—fresh noodles with sheep’s milk cheese infused with black pepper, served in a fluted shell of crisped parmesan. Wow! I had the Scaloppine di Halibut—a flaky and fork-tender filet with prosecco sauce and fresh black truffle. It was proportioned perfectly to add a subtle nuance without overpowering the delicate fish flavor.
Osteria 57’s décor is enticing, with white brick and grey concrete walls, wood beams, warm lighting, and copper notes throughout. The lampshade over the Italian-tiled bar, containing hammered and swirled copper shaped like a gigantic flying jellyfish, takes the light and surrounds you with a halo—a very romantic spot for an after-theater glass of wine on your way home.
The staff is always friendly, attentive, and unobtrusive. With joy-inducing food that makes you glad you’re alive to taste it, Osteria 57 is sure to be a West Village favorite. For more information, visit: osteria57.com.
57 West 10th Street