There’s a special comfort in eating Italian food. Maybe it’s the feeling of having a tummy happily full of pasta or the idea of family that’s associated with Italian food and culture. Whatever it is, it works. I’m left in a state of serenity after I consume a hearty plate of pasta and warm buttered bread.
It was one of the first colder days in September. It was the kind of day that brought the promise of fall – the air was crisp, everybody seemed happier, and you could be content wearing shorts or wearing jeans. Yes, it was that kind of perfect.
I was “forced” to put my studies aside for the day so I could go outside and take advantage of the lovely weather. I ended up venturing to the Whitney Museum with my friend Phuong. I happily stumbled upon a great deal while there: if you attend the Whitney on the first weekend of the month and have a Bank of America card, you won’t have to pay the entrance fee.
Phuong and I found ourselves ravished and ready for dinner after we explored the museum. The two of us aren’t overly familiar with restaurants in Chelsea, so we decided to wander the area until something caught our eye. That’s how we stumbled upon Malaparte, an Italian restaurant not far from the Whitney Museum.
We sat outside so we could further enjoy the weather. But as the sun started to set, the air increasingly grew chillier. Since I had forgotten a sweater, I knew there were only two things I could do to warm me up – order a glass of wine and some pasta.
I chose the Corte Moschina cabernet sauvignon from Veneto. I’m not a wine expert so I will save you my failed attempt at explaining it. But I will tell you it was good.
To begin our meal, we ordered the dadi di tonno scottato as an appetizer. This was a seared tuna fillet salad tossed in avocado sesame dressing. The avocado added a creamy element that contrasted well against the freshness and crispiness of the frisee. I squeezed some lemon on top to play up the freshness of the frisee and add some bright citrus flavor.
Spaghetti alla carbonara followed the tuna salad appetizer. Carbonara is a typical Italian dish with guanciale or pancetta, eggs and black pepper. Guanciale was the choice of pork at Malaparte. I’ve recently fallen in love with carbonara because it’s creamy, savory and has the perfect touch of meaty flavor – the guanciale and pancetta taste similar to bacon, and who doesn’t enjoy bacon? My experience at Malaparte was not short of my expectations. All of these flavors were met.
And once again, Italian food transported me to a happy place. Between the divine weather, the robust wine and the hearty pasta, it was hard not to be content. And to make it all better, I had a great friend with me to share it all with.
Address: 753 Washington St, New York, NY 10014
Phone number: 212-255-2122
Price: Expensive but reasonable. Entrees range from $16-$26. It is cash only, but they have an ATM inside.
Hours: Mon-Fri 8 AM-11:30 PM, Sat-Sun 11:30 AM-11:30 PM
Service: Our waiter was rude and not helpful.
Atmosphere: Cozy, dark and rustic.