Chef Andrew Carmellini, an acolyte of Daniel Boulud, has definitely made a name for himself in New York City with this Robert De Niro–backed restaurant, and then with the Dutch in SoHo. The space at Locanda Verde is warm and welcoming, with accents of brick and wood and large windows that open to the street, weather permitting, while the menu is full of inspired Italian comfort food that hits the mark. Standouts include small plates like blue crab crostino with jalapeños and the pumpkin agnolotti in brown sage butter that diners reminisce about. Several draft beers, along with more than a dozen wines by the glass, make an already hopping bar scene even more of a draw.
Aug 9, 2013
I took my in-laws here while they were visiting and we had an incredible evening--every dish we tried was phenomenal, wine list is great, the interior is beautiful and the atmosphere lively. Don't miss the housemade ricotta! We didn't leave a drop left of the very generous portion... Do be sure to call ahead to get a good reservation--we ended up with quite early reservations only calling a two weeks ahead for a Saturday night.
Sep 17, 2012
My spouse and I ate Sunday brunch at Locanda Verde in mid-August 2012. It is one of the few New York restaurants that we have dined at that doesn’t accept online reservations; however, it was easy to make a reservation by telephone. The restaurant called 2 days prior to reconfirm. The dress code (for Sunday brunch anyway) is casual. The restaurant appealed to us because their brunch menu featured items other than eggs and waffles (although they
served those, too). We started with a complimentary sample of their house-made focaccia bread, which was delicious. We then shared two appetizers – a goat’s milk ricotta cheese topped with honey and served with super-thin slices of crusty bread which was one of the most unique dishes that we’ve eaten at a casual eatery (we would order that dish again as an appetizer; the portion size is large and can easily be shared by 3 to 4 people). Our other appetizer was steak tartare, which was traditionally presented for the most part, and served with toasted thin bread slices; the tartare was topped with an over-easy quail egg, which was a bit of a different element. We each ordered a pasta entrée – one beet raviolini (tiny ravioli in which the magenta of the beets showed through) served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar glaze (we didn’t care for the vinegar component) and one spaghetti with Bolognese sauce (a dish that we loved and would order again if we were to return). For dessert, we shared the corn panna cotta, served with fresh raspberries and raspberry sorbetto – very delicious and unique (and again, something we would order again). The atmosphere is loud and busy and bustling, with an open kitchen. The tables aren’t covered with tablecloths, so the noise is further magnified. We didn’t find the chairs to be particularly comfortable; they had a very tight and narrow fit, which is how the tables felt at this restaurant as well – get to know your neighbors, and don’t plan on having a conversation that you don’t want to be overheard. (This isn’t a romantic dinner spot in the least.) With a corner location, the restaurant has a good amount of outdoor sidewalk seating, although one side of the corner was under construction, so those sidewalk tables were shaded by scaffolding. We enjoyed our brunch here and might return again for a mid-day meal, but we don’t know that we would return for dinner with so many other choices in the area. Although we are clearly in the minority with that sentiment – when we walked by this restaurant on a Saturday evening, it was the only restaurant in the area that was still lively and packed with people after 9:00 pm, and we also understand that it is one of the 10 hardest reservations to get in the city.