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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Culinaria

202 W. 40th St. (Seventh & Eighth Aves.) Send to Phone
212-869-0725
Culinaria ups the number of stylish Garment District options with its bi-level dining room and innovative Italian cooking. Chef-owner Vincenzo Pezzilli, who has worked at Comme Chez Soi in Brussels and Mad 28 and Coco Pazzo in New York, draws on his Roman background to create a solid Italian menu. Most interesting are his interpretations of ancient Roman recipes, some by Apicius, author of the world’s first cookbook. Shredded stewed lamb and eggs is pungent with Roman spices. And Pezzilli’s way with fish is evident in outstanding swordfish enveloped in slivers of potato; the scale-like spuds seal in the fish’s moistness and flavor, which is brought out with simple seasoning of fennel seed and rosemary. House-made pastas run from hearty (spaghetti alla chitarra topped by duck ragu) to light (ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta accompanied by fresh tomato and basil sauce). The Craft-like pre-theater menu lets you choose your naked main dish and add sides as you like. For instance, get an order of sunchokes to go with that grilled monkfish and perhaps split an order of melt-in-your-mouth semolina gnocchi with butter and sage. Everything is "cooked on the spot" as in Rome, says Pezzilli, so your food is not only beautifully fresh, but you’ll have time to make the curtain. The sleek room of contrasting white walls and dark woodwork spiced with bare-bulb lighting fixtures (the West Elm catalog comes to mind) and long, inviting bar makes the place an equally good rendezvous spot for a glass of wine from the concise Italian list.

Cuisine
Open
Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner Mon.-Sat.
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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Culinaria Restaurant Review

: Culinaria ups the number of stylish Garment District options with its bi-level dining room and innovative Italian cooking. Chef-owner Vincenzo Pezzilli, who has worked at Comme Chez Soi in Brussels and Mad 28 and Coco Pazzo in New York, draws on his Roman background to create a solid Italian menu. Most interesting are his interpretations of ancient Roman recipes, some by Apicius, author of the world’s first cookbook. Shredded stewed lamb and eggs is pungent with Roman spices. And Pezzilli’s way with fish is evident in outstanding swordfish enveloped in slivers of potato; the scale-like spuds seal in the fish’s moistness and flavor, which is brought out with simple seasoning of fennel seed and rosemary. House-made pastas run from hearty (spaghetti alla chitarra topped by duck ragu) to light (ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta accompanied by fresh tomato and basil sauce). The Craft-like pre-theater menu lets you choose your naked main dish and add sides as you like. For instance, get an order of sunchokes to go with that grilled monkfish and perhaps split an order of melt-in-your-mouth semolina gnocchi with butter and sage. Everything is cooked on the spot as in Rome, says Pezzilli, so your food is not only beautifully fresh, but you’ll have time to make the curtain. The sleek room of contrasting white walls and dark woodwork spiced with bare-bulb lighting fixtures (the West Elm catalog comes to mind) and long, inviting bar makes the place an equally good rendezvous spot for a glass of wine from the concise Italian list.
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