Blog Becoming a Chef, personal journal of food writers Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, has the early early word on Carmellini's week-old A Voce. While the venue hasn't gotten the attention it probably deserves here, there has been plenty of anticipation elsewhere for the return of the Cafe Boulud alum and Food & Wine Best New Chef '00 honoree.
Encouragingly, the early word is quite good. Whereas it takes most new places weeks and months to get it right, it seems Carmellini is already living up to expectations.
Carmellini is having fun in the kitchen. The menu features everything from his "Grandmother's Meat Ravioli" to La Quercia Prosciutto that is imported from a friend living that well-known prosciutto heaven beginning with an "I": Yes, Iowa.There are also claims of exceptional pastas, such as the Lamb Shank Tortellini with escarole, lemon, and piave cheese (above right). Frontman Dante said to us this AM that there were still prime reservations available for this week (212-545-8555), one of which you'd be well-served to snag now unless you want to wait until late May to have a taste for yourself.
Having been blown away just last week over a stellar dinner at The Modern featuring one of the best, classic versions of steak tartare we've ever tasted, we were not prepared to love Carmellini's version -- called Carne Cruda [above left], with walnuts, celery and truffles accenting Wagu beef -- even more.
· Saturday, March 11, 2006: A Voce [Karen & Andrew's Blog]
· Sotto Voce [DailyCandy]