Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Mamma Mia

When my cousins invited me to join them for dinner, I was really excited to hear that we were going to Nero. I had always seen it when I've been out in the Meat Packing district, but had never been. At first glance, it was hard to tell if it was a trendy Meat Packing restaurant, or if it was an authentic Italian restaurant. Let's see which it turned out to be...

The atmosphere at Nero is very cool...feels like a dark wine cellar with exposed brick walls and most of the lighting coming from candles scattered around the restaurant. 1 point for "authentic Italian restaurant." The music got a little louder as the meal went on, which is when I noticed that all the sudden Kayne West was playing. 1 point "trendy Meat Packing restaurant."

Nero has a great list of Italian wines to choose from. Each glass comes with extra wine in one of those mini-carafes. Just like at Snack Taverna, I butchered the pronunciation of the wine I wanted to order, when the waiter corrected me with a heavy Italian accent. 1 point "authentic Italian restaurant."

The food itself was fantastic. The appetizers we shared were great...and the pasta dish I ordered was even better. 2 points "authentic Italian restaurant."

Turns out I shouldn't have questioned how good the food would be just because of the restaurant's location. "Authentic Italian restaurant" is the clear winner! We were 9 people, and they had our table ready and seated us immediately. Definitely a great restaurant pick for a big group. But because of the ambience, especially with the candle lighting, it would also be a great place for a date.

Some suggestions:
- Be sure to try (or ask for) the white bean salad that they bring out with the bread basket. Nice change of pace from the usual olive oil.
- Going back on what I said about the philosophy that everything fried is good not always holding true, the fritti mista (I think that's what it was called) appetizer was to die for. Fried artichokes, fried zucchini, and fried shrimp, and fried calamari. How can you go wrong?!

Nero
46 Gansevoort Street
@ Greenwich Street
website
Menu Pages listing

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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