The restaurant, Gnocco, which specializes in northern italian fare, is named after its signature dish, fried gnocco served with northern italian cold cuts. Gnoccos are generally made with lard, but not here! Sensitive to vegetarians the gnocco are made with just flour and water, yet are so delicious!
Stefano, the general manager, brings old world charm and hospitality to the table, generously offering guests food selections as well as wine pairing suggestions. Gnocco has an extensive by the glass wine list that affords guests the luxury of pairing each course with a different wine.
We started our meal with a plate of gnocco and a selection of typical northern Italian cold cuts, including speck. It was paired with a nice Lambrusco - Zini, a sparkling red wine made of Primitivo grapes. It was a light introduction to a meal that had much promise in its ability to delight.
Half of Gnocco resides under a greenhouse in the garden. Simply appointed it opens up to the New York City night sky high up above the brownstones. The effect is that of a bohemian enclave from which to delight upon northern Italy's rustic and simple menus - which as Stefano, the general manager points out - is the basis for some of the finest meals from Italy. As you enter the main restaurant you pass alongside a semi-open kitchen which gives you a visual as well as an odoriferous preview of things to come. The main restaurant is close-knit with a small bar and windows at both ends opening either to the street or to the open garden.
The most desired dishes at Gnocco are its pizzas. Made of a dough that is prepared 48 hours in advance, its yeast depleted, it is light and easy to digest. I had a Tartufata, pizza with fresh mozzarella, truffle sauce, mushrooms and speck. The combination was spectacular, each flavor remaining distinct as they mingled in the mouth.
Gnocco is at 337 East 10th Street, New York NY. 212-677-1913. www.gnocco.com.