By Karen Rempel
Osteria 57 has been lighting up West 10th Street with tiny fairy lights for a year and a half, and delighting our mouthbuds with intricate flavors constructed from the earth and sea. I’ve enjoyed many meals and special occasions at owner and host Emanuele’s Sardinian masterpiece of hospitality and epicurean adventures. Last night I dined with a friend and we sampled some new menu items, as well as our old favorite, Carciofini e Avocado, a construction of tender baby artichoke with just a little crunch, creamy avocado, and a nice bite from arugula and Parmigiano-Reggiano. I love scallops, and have tried them in many variations throughout the city. O57’s Capesante (pictured) equaled the old dowager Blue Water Grill’s (which closed on January 1 due to an astronomic rent increase). The scallops were pan-fried with a nicely crisp, thin outer layer and juicy tender inside, served on a bed of chestnut purée, red wine poached pear, and black trumpet mushrooms. Exquisite! Emanuele and staff have created these innovative flavor combinations with an Italian base and exotic touches from their travels in India, Central America, and Brazil. Another flavor explosion came in the form of Crochette di Baccala, salt cod croquettes topped with a dollop of basil mayo and a red berry plate garnish. “These are very good,” my friend burst out as we bit into the crispy batter and dense, satisfying cod filling.
Fish lovers that we are, we eschewed the pasta and shared a main plate of black cod cooked to perfection, snuggled up into sautéed chanterelles and sunchoke purée, with a charming mushroom broth on the side. Osteria 57 rocks an eclectic seafood and vegetarian menu with special care for vegan and gluten-free friends. We kept it light last night, but last October, on my birthday, my party of ten took over the back room and swooned over three to-die-for desserts. My friends all agreed that the panna cotta was the best we ever had. There’s a secret reason why, but I swore not to tell.
Emanuele says thank you to the West Village for becoming part of his restaurant’s family. Starting March 1, Osteria 57 is serving brunch Saturdays and Sundays, opening at noon with Italian lunch and brunch options.
57 W. 10th Street near 6th Ave, 212.777.0057
Open for dinner at 5:30, 7 days a week.
Sunday 1/2 price wine by the bottle. Entrée range $18 to $32. Chef tasting $70/$110 with wine pairing.