I was recently invited to a press tasting by Ristorante Aglio in Tribeca. It is a brand new restaurant on Church street, just steps away from White and Church. I arrived a bit early, sat at the bar and ordered a Gavi. My bartender was nice, but when the wine arrived I was not offered a taste before she poured the glass. A small gaffe, but really not a big deal since the wine was perfectly delicious.
The touch of sophistication that was missing at the service at the bar was more than made up for at the table. The young man that took care of us was knowledgeable, funny without being overbearing and a complete pleasure. He walked us through the menu and assisted with our orders. I wish I had written down his name because he was simply outstanding.
We started off with some of Aglio’s signature cocktails. I opted for the Basilico Fizz, garlic infused vodka, dry vermouth, and fresh organic basil over olive juice ($13). This was a very sophisticated cocktail and one that went perfectly with my meal. The culinary quality of it allowed it to pair well with the dishes served later.
I also tasted the Monnalisa ($13). It is made with Belvedere, ginger vodka, St. Germain, fresh mint, cucumber, ginger, ginger ale and agave. The cocktail was fruity without being sweet and quite refreshing. If you are a fan of cocktails, do not hesitate to head to this spot.
We started off with two appetizers. I chose the crudo di pesce ($18). It was not quite a carpaccio; the slices were much thicker than expected. It was made of Kanpachi (amberjack). The fish was impeccable. It was drizzled with olive oil, lemon vinaigrette and sprinkled with chive, black olive and a slice of endive. The flavors played with each other beautifully. This was my second favorite dish of the evening.
My favorite dish was the carpaccio di manzo ($21). I am salivating as I type. The carpaccio is made of delicately sliced US Kobe beef that is topped with black truffles and a truffle vinaigrette. The freshness and lightness of the meat was a lovely match to the umami of the truffles. I’d go back to the restaurant for this dish alone.
For the primi, we selected the housemade fettuccine ai funghi ($18). Within seconds of biting into the pasta one could tell that it was freshly made. The texture is delightful. The pasta was tossed with a mushroom cream sauce full of different types of mushrooms.
The pesce del giorno alla griglia was our choice for secondi ($23). This was the one dish that left a little to be desired. The skin of the fish was crispy, very nice. The fish was flavored properly; but ever so slightly over done for my preference.
I think Ristorante Aglio is a nice addition to the neighborhood. The ambiance in the restaurant was quite pleasant. Nina Simone resonated through the space. The lighting was dim, but not too dim. The table service was flawless, and most dishes were on point.
Aglio is located at 277 Church Street (between White & Franklin) Tribeca, NY 10013