Mozzarella Heaven exists and it is called Mozzarella E Vino. This chic eatery is located at 33 West 54th Street, just a couple of doors down from the Manolo Blahnik boutique (and it often get hungry shoe shoppers as clients). This is one of those type of places that encompasses anything that you might want: it serves both “light” and “heavy” fare, the prices are reasonable, you get enough food to take some home, and they cater to customers that have special dietary need. They are said to have the best gluten free pasta in town. You will love the long, white airy space but the greenhouse style room in the very back is the most coveted spot in the restaurant–it has a summery feel, even in the dead of winter.
I started off on the light side with Mozzarella E Vino’s lovely fennel, orange and avocado salad topped with a citrus viniagrette which I would definitely go back for; it was so refreshing. The waitstaff then surprised me with a huge plate of fried zucchini sticks that were crispy and golden and perfectly seasoned with salt, peeper and oregano (I probably could have eaten the whole plate)! Next up, it was time for the resto’s “heavy hitters.” The mozzarella and cured Italian meats are legendary at Mozzarella E Vino, and rightly so. You can put together custom plates mixing regular Bufala Mozzarella, Smoked Bufala Mozzarella and Burrata with wonderfully tender prosciutto and numerous dried sausages. The mozzarella is made in Campagna and shipped over every two days to assure that it is fresh. The mixed plates of mozz ‘n meats is served with walnuts and blueberries and drizzled with beautiful raw honey.
I was told to try both the lasagna and cheese ravioli and I blew my low carb diet just for them (this is the only food that has tempted me enough to do so). The ravioli is homemade at the restaurant and the pasta is light and tender–the ricotta inside is made in Campagna just like the Bufala Mozz and Buratta, so you can imagine how cream and fresh tasting it is. The tomato sauce is a classic marinara recipe and gives any other Southern Italian eatery in NYC a run for its money.
The lasagna has light, tender layers, the same heavenly ricotta but it has the added zing that will knock your Manolos off–imported smoked sausage with fresh mozz inside. The mozz in the sausage melts even more than the mozz between the layers of pasta. This is honestly the best lasagna that I have ever had and I know that will upset my mom if she ever heard this. Despite the sausage, this is not a heavy dish–you will not be walking out of Mozzarella E Vino with a belly ache.
The roasted veal brisket served with spinach sauteed in EVOO is another special dish that would be hard to come by anyway else. The tenderest cut of veal is rolled with all sorts of fresh herbs including thyme and it is so tender that you can cut it without a knife. There is the perfect amount of fat in the meat to make it extra juicy. This is an unforgettable dish–it is so fragrant that the scent will stick in your mind long after you have gobbled down your meat.
For dessert, I strongly recommend the chocolate pistachio cake served warm with a scoop of homemade pistachio gelato. The cake has a fudge-like consistency but is not overly sweet–which tends to be the case with most chocolate cakes that are served warm. The portion is big enough for two people to share. I think nothing is more romantic than finishing off a dinner and a couple sharing this warm chocolatey delight! The pistachio gelato was insane–you cannot believe how creamy it is. I really appreciated it in a day and age when pistachio is no longer such a favored flavor in the ice cream and gelato world.
You will love the friendly staff who thoroughly cater to their clientele; they will make sure all food is cooked to your exact specs, even if it means changing their hallowed recipes a little bit. Even though it is long and not wide eatery, Mozzarella And Vino is equally good at serving a couple as it is serving a table of 16 people celebrating a special occasion. For more info (including to check out their spectacular menu), go to http://www.mozzarellaandvino.com. I consider it to be the ultimate in casual but chic dining and you will undoubtedly agree when you go for yourself! You will also be pleasantly surprised at the prices. It is very good bang for the buck! Reservations are recommended but not necessary