Oh Maialino! An Arterial Experience


The campy furniture and the waitress made me feel as though I walked into a local Chili's or maybe even a Crate and Barrel catalog, but the food was remarkable at Danny Meyer's Maialino and worthy of some blogging here.

I started off with the raviolo al ouvo (pictured)- which, by the way, I thought would be more than ONE stuffed pasta piece, but guess what? I'm not fluent in Italian.... otherwise, I would have known that the "o" instead of an "i" at the end of the raviolo meant UNO, or ONE piece. But it was a large raviolo - and "O" my gawd - it was so incredible. "Ouvo" means egg - and it was RIGHT in the middle of the pasta, inside and cooked. It was like this little magic dream of yummy. The ricotta and herbs were just right for this delicate "primi" dish.

Yes. I know. The Italian names and lack of explanations on the menu were beyond annoying. Especially with the overly positive, happy-go-lucky waitress... not that I don't like friendly - but again, I already felt like I was in a chain restaurant with the overall decor - now it was like I was experiencing a server that worked previously at the Disney Store as a flippin' cast member.

I also ordered a salad - yes, again with another egg. It was good, but not that it hadn't been done before. It just wasn't overly good, terribly bad or worthy of additional commentary.

But the "Maialino al Forno"- wow! We ordered this along with the salad and the raviolo thinking that this was a main course for one. However, this dish was, to my surprise, dinner for two. Oh. Ok. Why not? We weren't that hungry, so splitting a meal sounded like a good deal. (I was dining with my significant other, who was also put off with Miss Happypants and her oh-so-lovely day in the neighborhood attitude.) The Maialino al Forno is a roast suckling pig with roasted potatoes - if you've been to Porchetta in the East Village (7th St. between 1st Avenue and Ave A), then it's kind of like that, but in a HUGE portion. We ended up taking the bulk of it home -where it tastes even BETTER on day two. We'll have it for day three, too. It was reasonably priced and well worth the money - since it lasted so long. (Did I mention that it was HUGE? See above and repeat to self.)

The pork was so aesthetically pleasing and had such a tremendous, captivating aroma that the table next to us (a party of 4) ordered it because they couldn't resist. You could hear our arteries collectively screaming in our corner of the restaurant. The dish is really not for the weak at heart. No pun intended - I'm being serious. It's a bit on the fatty side - but it's certainly the freshest, most delicious pork rind I've ever had, too!

The wine list was mediocre and we really felt like we were being pressured into sampling a particular vintage. To be totally honest, after being to other establishments with fine wines and sommeliers, you kind of get to know when you're getting a sales pitch -and that the waitstaff is being pressured to get something out the door. Oh well. The food made up for it.

So if you want a heart-clogging, but amazing dinner direct from the pages of a furniture catalog- I wouldn't hesitate to go back here. I just would prefer less pressure from the Disney characters that are serving and a menu that is more descriptive in "inglese"!

1 comment:

  1. I’m writing from the Emmy-nominated production company, Magical Elves (Project Runway and Top Chef). We are casting a new show for NBC called America’s Next Great Restaurant (wt) - a competition show where the next great restaurant concept could make a big splash. We are seeking foodies, entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, those with a creative business sense but also people with no food biz experience who simply have a great idea. As someone whose content gets in front of a lot of these types, we are hoping you might find this interesting enough to let your readers know about.

    We will actually be holding an open casting call in New York! So we would love to meet everyone in person and hear their concept first hand. We will be at:
    NBC Experience Store
    Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20.
    30 Rockefeller Plaza
    10am - 2pm

    More information can be found at: www.NBC.com/casting , with a click through to our site with the application on it.

    Verbiage and language is below that can be used to pass along.


    Thank you for considering posting; it might be an exciting thing for someone who gets on the show to have heard it from you first...
    --
    Melanie Levine
    Casting Assistant
    Magical Elves, Inc.
    (P) 213.630.6530 x323
    (F) 213.624.9963
    melanie.levine@magicalelves.com


    Do you have an idea for America’s next great restaurant? Are you sitting on a billion dollar concept? If you think your restaurant idea has what it takes to go national and bring in millions of hungry Americans, read on...

    From NBC and Magical Elves, the Emmy Award-nominated producers of "Project Runway" and "Top Chef," comes a big-event competition that will award one contestant the opportunity to see their idea turned into reality with a new restaurant chain opened in three cities across America! The contestants' fate will be decided by a panel of some of the most important names in both the dining and business worlds that will invest their own money in the final restaurant chain and have a huge stake in the ongoing success of the game's winner.

    There are TWO options for you to apply:

    1. Attend an OPEN CALL, at one of the cities below
    2. Follow the directions on our website for SUBMIT BY MAIL instructions.

    (Hint: pitching in person is fun.)

    Please go to http://www.nbc.com/casting/ for all information, to download an application and pre-register for an open casting call at one of the eight stops on the nationwide casting bus tour. Along with a filled out and signed application and a photo-ID, we want you to bring anything you feel would help pitch your restaurant concept. Elements could be visual, edible, audible (jingle anyone?) or even wearable. . . Keep in mind you will have a limited time to pitch your idea, so make it count.

    You can also can follow the bus tour on Twitter @magicalelves, with photos and video available on nbc.com/america ’s-next-great-restaurant.

    Good luck and have fun with it,

    The Magical Elves Casting Team

    OPEN CASTING CALLS FOR UNITED PLATES OF AMERICA:
    NEW YORK
    Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20
    NBC Experience Store
    30 Rockefeller Plaza
    10am - 2pm

    RALEIGH
    Monday, March 22
    Chipotle
    6102 Falls of Neuse Rd
    Raleigh, NC 27609
    10am - 2pm

    NASHVILLE
    Wednesday, March 24
    Nashville Film Institute
    The Factory at Franklin
    230 Franklin Road
    Franklin, TN 37065
    10am – 2pm

    COLUMBUS
    Friday, March 26
    Chipotle
    4750 Morse Rd
    Columbus, OH 43230
    10sm - 2pm

    CHICAGO
    Sunday, March 28
    Chipotle
    28251 Diehl Road
    Warrenville, IL 60555
    10am - 2pm

    KANSAS CITY
    Tuesday, March 30
    Chipotle
    6864 Johnson Drive
    Mission, KS 66202
    10am - 2pm

    DENVER
    Thursday, April 1
    Chipotle
    2760 South Colorado Blvd
    Denver, CO 80222
    10am - 2pm

    LOS ANGELES
    Monday, April 5
    Chipotle
    135 E. Palm Avenue
    Burbank, CA 91502
    10am - 2pm


    --
    Melanie Levine
    Casting Assistant
    Magical Elves, Inc.
    (P) 213.630.6530 x323
    (F) 213.624.9963
    melanie.levine@magicalelves.com

    ReplyDelete

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