WHAT I ATE: Pappardelle with Vermont veal ragu and grana padano cheese
WHY IT’S GREAT: A hearty, flavorful sauce peppered with tasty veal morsels coats wide, flat pasta. A perfect balance in one bite.
WHAT’S ON THE MENU: The veal ragu was so rich, but with a melt-in-your-mouth quality that made me go in search of more and more tasty veal morsels underneath the pappardelle. Pappardelle is a large, flat pasta and this version had just the right amount of chewiness that you want out of a pasta dish. This dish was not overly saucy, which was great for me, as I’m not a big sauce person. I prefer the way the Italians, and Baker & Co., serves their sauce – just enough to coat the pasta but not drowning in red sauce. Each bite was a little bit of perfection with the right ratio of sauce, veal and pasta. I’ve been dreaming about the veal ragu ever since.
FUN FACT: The name Pappardelle derives from the verb pappare: to eat with almost childlike joy and pleasure/to gobble up (and you WILL want to gobble this dish up). The term comes Ragu from the French ragoûts and reached the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna in the late 18th century, perhaps following Napoleon’s 1796 invasion and occupation of those northern regions. In this region, ragù typically uses minced, chopped or ground meat, cooked with sautéed vegetables in a liquid.
THE SPACE: This place could’ve invented the word ‘cool’. A sister to Emporio in Nolita, these guys take Industrial Chic to the chicest level possible. Think exposed brick, wooden tables, green bottles adorning the walls. Waiters wear skinny suspenders to hold up their skinny jeans topped with striped shirts. At dinnertime, a candle in placed on your table . . . in a small brown paper bag. Ambience in a subtle way. A beautiful little enclosed garden space is tucked at the back of the restaurant. A narrow entryway with a cute striped awning leads to a wonderland of cool design inside.