clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Good News/Bad News: Morandi Fever Edition

Everyone and their mothers have been through Morandi in the mere two weeks since it threw open its doors to the public. Here now, from Reichl to Restaurant Girl, the good news and the bad news on weeks one and two at Keith McNally's new West Village Ital.

1) Bad News/Reichl: It is all pleasant and lovely and lively. But also a little odd. Balthazar is a great restaurant because it looks and feels so much like Paris that you're always surprised to find yourself on Prince Street. But Morandi doesn't feel remotely like Italy. It feels like just exactly what it is--hip New York indulging in yet another feeding frenzy. [Chop Talk]

2) Good News/Mouthfuls: This is a restaurant for the ages - it will be around for the next 30-40 years. And if I can secure the reservations I will be there next week with some friends and on April 13th with my brothers for our mom's 79th birthday - she'll think her mother was cooking. [Mouthfuls]

3) Bad News/Bloomberg: At Morandi, expect typical McNally crowds in a typical McNally space. The low-ceilinged venue sports wooden floors, tables and chairs, a copper bar and lots of brick. It's all but a few matches short of becoming the world's largest pizza oven...Here, chef Jody Williams serves a quirky menu that feels part regional Italian, part red-sauce joint. [Bloomberg]

4) Good News/Chowhound: Very nice looking place with competent, enjoyable food, warm service. We liked the atmosphere a lot and will return. There are lots of wooden beams, rough wooden tables and cabinets, and exposed brick, with great lighting, a warm glow from many indirect sources. I speculated on what parts of the decor were original until my wife pointed out that it's the (transformed) ground floor of a totally nondescript, multistorey 1950's brick apartment building. As it was the first weekend, many people knew the staff, and there were a surprising number of Italians around. [Chowhound]

5) Bad News/Augieland: As a New York diner with many “authentic” Italian places to choose from, I was turned off by Morandi’s heavy-handed contrivance. Maybe Morandi would have blown me away years before Po. But this meal tasted and seemed like Italian heavily cleansed to play to an American palate of twenty years ago in a room for the same crowd, at today’s prices. [Augieland]

6 Good News/Gridskipper: In any city on any night at any restaurant, the food we ate would be delicious. That it was served so adeptly on the opening night is testament to McNally's managerial skill. He had, of course, help. We spotted the manager from Pastis managing the floor and that mustachioed guy who looks like a young Bob Dylan from, until recently, Max's...The Burrata Test, whereby a restaurant is judged on the quality of its burrata, is quickly surpassing the Bread/Olive Oil Test and McNally passed with flying colors. [G'skip]

7) Bad News/Gothamist: Taking into consideration that the restaurant was only a few days old, it’s too early to make a judgment on the overall quality of the food at Morandi. The chefs are still finding their stride and the back and front of the house are still learning how to communicate with each other. However, with as many veterans as there are involved in this project we surprised by how many misses there were...Overall the food was average. [Gothamist]

8) Good News/Restaurant Girl: Restaurant Girl Rates: 8 on food, 8.5 on scene; Final Word: Who would've thought French-fixated McNally could nail rustic Italian? He does and the West Village landscape - a sceney bonus. [RG]

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater New York newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world