>> Uvarara | Eat the World New York City

05 December 2010

Uvarara

ITALY [OVER $20]

It was not quite winter yet, but it was hovering around the freezing mark and blisteringly cold with the wind. In the heart of Middle Village, away from the reach of all train lines (alright, it was only a fifteen minute walk from the end of the M line), stood Uvarara, opened in 2007 but recently added to Michelin's list of cheap recommendations.


Simply put, this trip was worth the effort. Uvarara is a tiny bit (a lot) out of the range of this blog's usual price range, but sometimes we write about places worth the extra money, because they still feel transportive. In this case, a trip to a small town in southern Italy.

The wine list is probably changing constantly, but a glass of castelli romani ($8) and a plate of tagliere ($14.50, below) is a great way to start. You can choose a total of four items from five meats and five cheeses.


We chose a couple things piattini menu, which is described as "simple, rustic, and intensely flavored dishes." The gnocchi alla Romana ($9.50, below) were house-recommended and extremely wonderful. You felt your cholesterol rise with each bite of the buttery and parmigiano goodness, but we only live once.

The other dish was the fagottini ($8.50, below), which has a fancy description but is basically a calzone that is ten times better than anything you can get fast. This one is filled with mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, and the only regret was that it was heavy and we started to feel full without the mains on the table yet.

(It was so dark, sorry for some of the photos)

It was decided early on that our pasta would be the fettuccine alla Bolognese ($16.50, below) and this did not disappoint at all. The noodles were obviously made a couple hours ago, and very rigid, just how I like them. The sauce was spot on.


After an onslaught of fantastic dishes, it was unfortunate that we ended our meal on a low note, choosing the pork loin ($19.50, below) from the specials menu. It dumbfounded us how this one was so different and unspectacular, a profound deviation from the rest.. The thin slices were surprisingly dry, the sauce normal. The potatoes it was served with were well done, but because of our full stomachs, we did not even try to finish this one.


At the beginning of the meal I was commenting on how chefs usually stay away from other chef's specials menu, as it is a testing ground and not always a guarantee of excellence. Unfortunately I proved myself right.

But we did not let it affect our mood. Everything else was spot on. The food, the environment, the people. We'll be back when the occasion requires!

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