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The Early Word on Danny Meyer's Maialino

New, 6 comments
Krieger, 11/10/09

These days bloggers, Yelpers, Twitter-obsessives, and even serious food journalists make it a priority to visit a restaurant within its first two weeks. If it's a big opening, make it the first five days. A Danny Meyer restaurant? Forget about it. Ruth Reichl, Anna Wintour, Dana Cowin, Kate Krader, food writers Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, and plenty of commenters and bloggers converged on night one and some have already filed first impressions. Unsurprisingly, it's hard not to find a rave:

The Ecstatic News: An Eater commenter goes on night one: "From the Salumi- Grande Selezione to the Carpaccio di Polpo, Spaghetti alla Carbonara and the MUST Maialino Al Forno ( 2 orders ), a couple of bottles of terrific and very reasonably priced wines and expresso as good or better than you can get in Italy the evening was as close to perfect as one could expect for an opening. Service was excellent (not surprising). Can't wait to go back..." [Eater Comments]

The Mostly Fantastic News: The Food Doc has a lengthy report on the first night: "The one-page menu is divided into salumi, appetizers, pasta, and main dishes. The wine list is all Italian, with most vintages costing less than $100, and a few priced at below $50. A good deal, indeed...The octopus was tender and had a meaty flavor...The veal sweetbreads were surprisingly light and creamy...spaghetti alla carbonara. Six ounces of perfectly cooked pasta was topped with a sharp, creamy and peppery sauce and bits of crispy guanciale; it was just heaven on a plate...The staff was friendly and extremely attentive...Even Danny Meyer came by my table to personally thank me for coming on opening night...There were some missteps: the bread was served cold, and a server mistakenly brought me a dish which belonged to another table." [The Food Doc]

The Not so Hot News: One twitterer isn't won over: "Maialino Nu Danny Meyer US Group Rest. Walk in bar area so noisey & such loud music! Is DM having mid life crisis? Bar menu limited." [Twitter]

The Good News: Another Eater commenter weighs in: "I had dinner at Maialino last night, and I did see Ms. Reichl, Ms. Cowin and Ms. Wintour. Actually surprised to see Ms. Wintour having dinner. Considering it was a Danny Meyer restaurant, everything was running perfectly, and the food was good. Nick Anderer is quite cute in person, and Mr. Meyer was gladhanding the crowd." [Eater Comments]

The Early Reichl Seal of Approval: Of course, the restaurant was packed with current and former food world editors on night one. Ruth Reichl's take: "First night at Maialino, Danny Meyer's new place.Hard to believe it was Wakiya. Comfortable, casual, lusty Roman food, impressive wine list...Woke up thinking about Maialino rolls: rich little puffs of guanciale and pecorino. Utterly irresistible. Why didn't I bring some home?" [Twitter]

The Great News: Jazz in Strange places spots Dana Cowin, Ruth Reichl, and Anna Wintour, and has a rave for her meal: "...the space is warm without seeming cramped. crisp without seeming sterile. ruth reichl at the next table...we started with the prosciutto di parma (delicate and salty) and a spicy/unusually tender sopressata, accompanied by a basket with a variety of breads (a foccacia, cheddar sticks, a semolina). antipasti was the octopus, served in impossibly thin little slices with a sea salty purple potato salad and arugula. anna wintour enters: gets a table in back. the carbonara was perfect. actually, it could have used a tad more pepper but otherwise, it was probably the best i've had this side of the atlantic...the veal arrives and it's just massive. at least two inches thick and the most flavorful veal i've ever had the pleasure of meeting." [Jazz in Strange Places]

Maialino

2 Lexington Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10010 (212) 777-2410 Visit Website

2 Lexington Ave., New York, NY

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