Even walking at an uncharacteristic for midtown Manhattan leisurely pace, it's easy to miss the small windowed street front to Mozzarella E Vino.
However-past the entrance -a big hearted casual eatery, and a welcoming staff- attributes for a fine dining experience for solo eaters-or a crowd-wonderfully exists...tempting enthusiasts of Italian food willing to forgo showier dining non-essentials in order to concentrate on the most delicious 'rustic' cuisine, delivered professionally.
Casual in the cozy leaning decor -with metal coat hooks on the wall-taken up the damp chilly we
went, wooden tables with basic white china place settings/metal cutlery-that would serve as everyday accoutrements anywhere... a few plants lining walls-in the bar/dining area-long and narrow in the front-leading to an airy-glass ceiling area- with tables for two-to family size.
Really though, all these people (a full house on a recent Thursday night)- clearly come for the eats....from the fragrant crispy breadsticks/chewy bread...to classic dessert options, appearing in a well paced manner by a staff that replace dishes and appropriate utensils with a practiced rhythm- as professional as any dining establishment we've been to-including the terrific Il Gattopardo (review) down the street -part of owners' Gianfranco & Paula Bolla-Sorrentino trilogy of restaurants.
The seasonal menu at M+V-lists everyday Italian favorites-if one's daily home cooked lunch or dinner was conjured up using the freshest ingredients prepared by a talented chef.
Divided into focused categories...diner delights include very shareable classic Italian antipasto...featuring à la carte salads (insulate), appetizers-small plates including of course-several options of the namesake Mozzarella di bufala Campana, fresh seafood options, arancini (fried rice balls-veal, peas, mozzarella), choices of Buffalo mozzarella rolls (including one filled with grilled eggplant, sun dried tomatoes/arugula $16)...
...as well as the restaurant's signature meatballs (polpette di carne $14 or as an entree) in a simmering tomato sauce, a selection of panini on ciabatti or baguette bread ($13-$15) a few fresh pastas (paste), soul- satisfying soups (zuppe $13-$14), a tantalizing curated cheese and/or dried/smoked/cured meats' plate -impressively selected from the dry-aging room (affettati and formaggi...salumi), and a few entrees and desserts-for those who want to eat in a traditional three course manner.
wine list-that featured unique small Italian wineries-including premium white or red selections-served by the glass - European style-in choices of 2, 4 or 6 oz size portions ($6-$45).
|Italian Processco...always a great way to start an evening|
|crisp bread sticks-with rosemary flecks-and chewy bread-to sop up the spaces|
In the mood to be part of the sharing economy, meal wise-our choice of dishes - focused on selections that would easily tantalize a variety of palates-including picky eaters of only "healthier" fare, the carb avoiders, etc.
Calamari, mussels and shrimp salad, over organic friseé, arugula and oven-dried cherry tomatoes, with extra virgin olive oil, lemon and parsley dressing $19. Mix of fresh seafood -succulent tender bits -seasoned and lightly moistened with dressing.
|Homemade Meatballs-in a fresh tomato sauce-one bite had our foodie friend impressed with this version-even stuffed from the above dishes...ended up taking home for lunch the next day...delicious re-heated!|
|Before...and after...maybe, five seconds...the four biscotti...got devoured with after -dinner espresso|
AN à La Carte Menu will be served on Easter .
33 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019