restaurants
Morandi
211 Waverly Place
212 627 7575

"When I pointed out [that the] bass was served with so many bones to the waiter, he simply shrugged, didnít even take it into the kitchen to de-bone!" and so rolls in most of the comments on Keith McNally (Pastis, Schiller's) and Jody Williams (Gusto)'s combined effort at Morandi. His crowd - her stuffed olives and bollito misto - in this spot that is named after the Bolognese painter is perhaps too commercial. McNally's most well known effort, Balthazar, even these many years later, still has a personality and the interesting crowd (at least in the mornings) that made it famous. Unfortunately it appear to have been watered down quite a bit by this his numberwhatever restaurant and detractors of Morandi complain that it's "like Grand Central station", "he couldn't be bothered with buying paintings so he used all his discarded glass bar bottles?" and perhaps the worst, "they decide whether you're worthy of getting food." That to eat here is to subject oneself to an up-down scrutiny and a wait that shows the McNally pecking order. Well, we're told the bar does also serve food. But it is cozier at the tables so if you can put up with all that, we liked the bucatini Amatriciana and the artichoke fredo salad, cold sliced and prepared with lemon juice. Pricewise, most appetizers, such as grilled octopus comes in at the mid teens, as does spaghetti with clams. Hangar steak and sauteed liver in the twenties.

$$$

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