Cititour: The New York Guide to Events, Restaurants, Music, and Nightlife



Cuisine: Italian

Cititour Review: The Meatpacking District has become the restaurant world equivalent of Disneyland, with its polyglot of oversized ethnic-themed eateries satisfying the cravings and curiosities of tourists (well, mostly folks from New Jersey and Long Island). But Bivio, which sits on a corner of the District's northeastern edge, isn't really part of that scene. Yes, the clientele is mostly young and beautiful, but they're probably folks from the neighborhood who find reliability and friendliness (if not exactly peace and quiet) in this modestly-priced Italian restaurant. A perfect pairing for the house's specialty cocktails -- one of my dining companions was impressed with the chocolate martini -- or a well-priced glass of wine, is an antipasto plate. The house offers over two dozen choices of meats, cheese and vegetables to choose from; I'd heartily recommend the hearty wild boar prosciutto, while another tablemate raved about his first taste of robbiola, a wonderfully creamy Italian cheese. And the roasted vegetables we sampled were devoured on the spot. Even if you're not a fan of fried foods, you must sample the house's addictive fried calamari, perfectly greaseless, remarkably tender one of the city's best renditions of this often disastrous dish. And don't think twice if there's a special of fried zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella and anchovies to be had; they're so delicious you'll be ordering seconds before you've finished the first plate. Pastas are the most popular entrees here, including a firm spaghettini topped with a variety of seafood, homemade papardelle napped in a rich, creamy sauce with chunks of fresh lobster, or delicious potato-leek ravioli, topped with shavings of speck, that float in a sage-butter sauce. But there are more substantial choices -- such as steak, chicken and, on our visit, a nicely-done duck breast in a red wine reduction -- to satisfy protein-lovers. Desserts, like the specials, are written on the blackboard, although the amiable staff will certainly give you an explanation. We just went on an instinct and were duly rewarded with an excellent peach tart (served with lots of yummy whipped cream) and an intensely decadent chocolate roulade.
Review By: Brian Scott Lipton

Neighborhood: Meatpacking District

637 Hudson Street
New York, NY

Entree Price: $20-25
Payment: Amex Visa Mastercard