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Good News/Bad News: L'Artusi

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Horine, 12/01/08

L’Artusi, Gabe Thompson and Joe Campanale’s much roomier follow-up to Dell’anima, has been open for about two weeks now and the reviews are piling in. As is the case with any hit restaurant, bad news is a rarity thus far, and for the most part it looks like the dynamic duo has pulled off their remake of the flailing Maremma. But, of course there are indeed some dissenters out there. Ahead, we present the good, the great, the bad news, and everything in between, as it stands today:

1) The Good News: Gourmet checks in with a early but positive review: “While it’s not exactly sedate—on the night I visited it was rocking, with plenty of loud music and thunderous conversation from the mostly young crowd—it is possible to hear yourself as well as your tablemates speak without actually screaming. And the food is definitely on, with all the dishes you would expect (fluke crudo, delicata squash with sage butter, a particularly tasty version of orecchiette with sausage and radicchio) and some that are more surprising (a super-rich Wagyu tongue with cabbage mostarda, lovely braised calf’s belly with polenta), all deftly executed and just what you want on a cold winter’s evening.” [Gourmet]

2) The Good News: Blogger AlwaysEating is very impressed by the food: “While the space is quite welcoming it is the sight and aroma of the food that is what I gravitate towards most....While there are a few tweaks to be made to the menu and its layout, I expect the offerings to be a hit. The dishes all range between $7 and $20 so far with the average plate running around $14. Portion size, is for the most part, generous. Of the dishes I tasted I would recommend almost all of them.” [Always Eating]

3) The Great News: An Eater commenter shares this early rave: “Went to L'Artusi's first night, for Friends and Family--first seating. The space is a bit unusual but it works...the (tasting) menu was fabulous. Four of us had different items from each category (5)and enjoyed them ALL. The prices are more than fair for delicious, well-prepared, well-presented food. You can eat good food in a dungeon..and it's still good food. Kudos on the Crudos!” [Eater Comments]

4) The Bad News: Another Eater Commenter was not a fan of the scene: "This place attracts some serious d-bags. Picture Christian Bale's friends in American Psycho. And I thought walking by Employees Only on certain nights made me cringe. Kind of miss Maremma now." [Eater Comments]

5) The Mostly Good News: This commenter checks in with some effusive comparisons: "Ate there tonight and liked it. Yes it feels a bit Ikea-esque and the bathrooms are strangely situated right at the front door area, but the food and cocktails were excellent. Spaghetti and meatballs rivaled Babbo and was better than Scarpetta. Had several cocktails from Tommy the bartender and all were good, including one that had an egg and nutmeg in it (he had to use a strainer...don't ask, it was good). I would recommend it." [Eater Comments]

6) The Mostly Bad News: A Chowhounder shares his mostly good experience, with some knocks on the service: “Overall, our meal was enjoyable, though not without its kinks. Things did not get off to a good start when we waited 15 minutes at our table for any contact with the wait staff. I was ready to walk at this point, but my boyfriend, who is generally less tolerant than I am when it comes to poor service, wanted to wait it out. At the 25 minute mark, we still did not have the bottle of sparkling water we requested. Luckily the service improved (or, I should say, the place emptied out, placing fewer demands on our server), and the rest of our meal proceeding with much better pacing." [CH]

L'Artusi

228 West 10th Street, Manhattan, NY 10014 (212) 255-5757 Visit Website

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