West 10th Part I: Piadina
Evidently, my friends double heart West 10th Street, particularly between 5th and 6th, because I’ve dined there twice in the past two weeks. And, yeah, I get it. The tree lined street could charm a crackhead. The brownstones decorated with pine roping and Christmas lights exude enchanment of another era, a different New York. And if that wasn’t enough, a stroll headed West will conclude with two remarkable restaurants: Piadina (Italian) to your right and Alta (Tapas) to your left. Piadina, named after a thin Italian bread, has a loyal following that transcends the Village. Unprovoked, my friend Julie described it as “…the best Italian in New York for a great price.” Descend the unassuming ivy-covered staircase and you’re greeted by a quiant, dimly lit, savory smelling eatery. The brick walls and wooden chairs give an Old Worldy Italian vibe, while the artwork and quirky white kitchen tools hanging from ceiling (see below) nonchalantly serve as reminders that you actually are still in New York.
The waitstaff is excellent. (The poor guy patiently took our picture like ten times.) I’m notorious for having others order for me (um, no pressure) and was pleasantly satisfied with my waiter’s choices: steamed clams and gorgonzola polenta. The somewhat spicy calamari pasta draws a following and had three fans at our table of seven. We all loved the side of spinach and devoured it in oh so Popeyesque fashion, along with pea and prociutto pasta and plates of tomato and mozerella.
When I finally took a break from my group’s incessant remeber when-ing and adoring praise of
Robert Pattinson Edward Cullen, I realized that like us, other patrons were engrossed in their own reminiscent convos. Because Paidina is best enjoyed with people you know: good friends, old friends, family and neighbors. While it produces tasteful meals that leave you lifted from wine and lingering for coffee and Tiramisu, more importantly, Piadina creates new memories for times to come.
So this year, and by this year I mean next year because I’m writing this on December 30th, let us resolve to be thankful for the people we have to go to Piadina with. (It was a lousy nod to the New Year, but a nod nonetheless.) Happy 2009 Food Lovers.
Piadina 57 West 10th, between 5th and 6th; 212-460-8017 cash only
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