Rezdora in NYC is getting loads of buzz from press and foodies alike. The reviews have been nothing short of raves. There is good reason for this, the chef Stefano Secchi trained under Massimo Bottura at Osteria Francescana in Modena as well as one of my all time favorite restaurants in the world- the tiny Hosteria Giusti (in Modena as well).
Stefano Secchi supposedly makes pasta better than any one else in NY right now, so we needed to check it out. Getting a reservation is not easy. You need to log on to Resy at exactly midnight one month to the day that you would like to dine. My son and I were on phones simultaneously at the stroke of midnight, and while I was boxed out, he scored with a 5:30 reservation for 4 on a Saturday night. Sometimes you have to embrace dining with the early-birds. For those who can’t plan ahead- there is a fabulous and inviting bar that accommodates walk-ins.
Pete Wells of the New York times recently reviewed Rezdora and gave it three stars, In his review he deemed the Pasta Tasting menu a “straight flush”- pretty much perfect. My son had hoped to try it, but alas the requirement is that the whole table participate, and being gluten free, it wouldn’t work for me. He was disappointed, but our very wonderful waiter consoled him, and let us know we could try far more things if we ordered off the regular menu. Aside from our waiter, the servers were excellent to a person. Friendly, helpful, welcoming, professional.
The restaurant is small and simple, but the atmosphere is warm and pleasant. Everyone there was excited to be there, you could feel the energy and anticipation. We settled in to peruse the menu. We decided to bring a couple of special bottles of wine. The restaurant allows you to bring wine as long as they don’t offer it themselves on the menu. Their corkage is $65, which is steep, but worked for us.
Since we weren’t having the tasting menu we decided to order all of the pastas on the menu to share. Actually. It was a great plan! They were able to replace the traditional wheat pasta in the spaghettoni con vongole with a gluten free pasta, so I was happy.
We decided to try an assortment of starters that looked delicious, but first came an amuse buche- some homemade ricotta drizzled with 25 year old Balsamic (mine was served on a spoon rather than crostini).
A perfect globe of Burrata was brought out with sensational tomatoes and olive oil. It was just right.
The next appetizer was one I had read about and was anticipating. Cherry season in Vignola, strachiatella cheese, cherries, and almonds. It was almost too lovely to eat, but we made it disappear pretty quickly. It was delicate and delicious.
The Gnocco Fritto were devoured quickly as well, with just a hesitation for my three dining companions to negotiate who got what topping. There were light and satisfying.
The cacio e pepe in emilia were adorable little lettuces topped with cacio e pepe and a sheet of parmigiana. Irresistible.
Finally there was fett’unta, toasted bread doused with olive oil. My group was happy they didn’t have to share with me.
The pacing of the meal was just right. Our appetites were whetted and we were ready for the parade of pastas to make their way to the table. Honestly, I almost couldn’t keep them straight (aside from mine), but they were all beautifully presented and smelled delicious. They were also consumed very enthusiastically by the group. My spaghettoni was scrumptious. There was a tiny bit of grit in the clams, but that is my only quibble.
In the foreground of the photo below is the often written about “grandma walking through the forrest in emilia”. The consensus- three thumbs up.
The taglioni al ragu was a winner as well.
Everyone loved the maccheroni al pettine (duck ragu).
These green and white beauties were the aperitivo in reggio-emilia, filled with prosciutto, parmigiana and greens. Almost too lovely to eat, but fear not, they were gobbled right up.
I believe the pasta in the background here was the strozzapreti with the rock shrimp and the basil. There was not a drop left.
The anolini di parma filled with meat and topped with parmigiano sauce were sublime.
The show stopper was the uovo raviolo di nino bergese, a big raviolo filled with ricotta, egg yolk, corn and chanterelles and topped with shaved truffles. The waiter came to slice into it and the yolk oozed out just as it was supposed to.
One of the highlights for me were the simple warm seasonal greens with garlic and olive oil. They were outstanding. I could have happily eaten many more servings.
One of my favorite features was the restroom! it was not only aesthetically pleasing, but rather than music, there was a continuous loop of Italian lessons being played. It was very clever.
Only my son and I had room for dessert. In the foreground is his gelato- pistachio and honeycomb. My chocolate sorbet is in the background. It was so satisfying- super dark and bitter.
Overall the meal was excellent. The food was perfectly executed, the serving sizes were just right, the waitstaff was terrific, the prices reasonable, the atmosphere pleasant, the energy good- no faults to be found. We can’t wait to return. Try and go, and report back!