I am sure there will be no dissent when I say that New York City is a candy store when it comes to restaurants. And we, feel like kids let loose to explore this huge Wonkaland. The past week, we placed our trust in Urbanspoon and headed to Crispo in Chelsea to celebrate three years of marriage.
Crispo looks quiet and unassuming from the outside. The inside is anything but. More like a bustling trattoria than a restaurant. Definitely not the kind where you quietly sit at your table looking at a candle while the waiters go about their business silently. Not that it is a minus. I like places where I can drop my fork and not fear that the whole restaurant heard it. And for the size and how populated the restaurant was on a weekday, the service was very prompt and attentive.
Coming back to food, the cuisine is Northern Italian and Mediterranean with a selection of cheeses and salumi in addition to the usual courses. We started our meal with a glass of Chianti and Abruzzo each and some Crispo spiced olives that looked delicious on paper. However, the olives were the only disappointment of the meal. Tart to the point of overshadowing all the spices (cumin and thyme, among others). We also ordered some Insalata, something we don’t normally do. We believe in dashing straight to carb-rich main course. However, the unusual salads compelled us to try some. We got the “Panelle Crostata”, Chickpea and Ricotta Cake. Easily the most unique thing I have ever eaten in a restaurant. The chickpea cake was topped with soft ricotta cheese, some vegetables (peppers, arugula and squash) and finished off with fresh parmigiano reggiano. Airy, is the best description for this dish. What intrigued me most was the chickpea cake. So soft, I could swallow it as soon as I popped it in my mouth, had I tried. For main course, we shared the Ricotta Black Truffle Ravioli. Again, very light by ravioli standards but filling nonetheless and absolutely delicious.
We finished the meal with some Torta Cioccolata. While the cake was delicious, the texture confused me. Torta Cioccolatas are usually nut based cakes. This was more like a mousse with a cake-y base. Served with a dollop of, yet again, impossibly light and airy whipped cream.
The Verdict- You must eat at Crispo at least once, if you like Italian/Mediterranean food. I know I will be back for a second helping.
Price- A little on the higher side but totally worth it.