Gramercy Park Hotel
2 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY 10010
+1 (212) 777-2410
Mixed Radicchio; Citrus, Pistachio
Trenette; Rapini Pesto, Pistachio,
Chili & Pecorino
Pound Cake; Orange Sherbet, Fresh
Citrus & Olio Nuovo
NV (2012) Jérôme Prévost - La
Closerie Rosé Fac-simile 94
Maialino is one of my favorite
spots in New York for delicious, simple Italian-inspired cooking. But don’t be
fooled by the informal ambience; the food and wine at Maialino are top-notch.
Danny Meyer’s ode to the Roman
trattoria, Maialino seems to hit all the right spots. While the menu does draw
on a number of classics, it’s more the spirit of the place that I have always
enjoyed most. Executive Chef Nick Anderer’s food is simple and bold, but never
overdone. Best of all, this is food that really comes alive with a great bottle or two. The mixed radicchio salad is light and flavorful, while the trenette
is a delicious take on a classic.
Radicchio; Citrus, Pistachio & Pecorino
Wine Director Jeff Kellogg has put
together a fascinating list with something for every palate and budget. A
collection of Vallana Gattinaras back to the 1950s is not exactly something
you see every day. I am also tempted by the various Brovia Barolos. The
selection of Cappellano Barolos is even more enticing for many reasons,
including the sheer rarity of these wines. If money is no object, I might
choose the 1982 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo ($695), one of the bottles that first
led me down the path of total infatuation with Nebbiolo and Barolo many years
ago. Or maybe Quintarelli’s 1997 Alzero ($575), one of the most exotic, intense Italian wines I have ever tasted. A handful of vintages of
Rampolla’s Sammarco demands serious consideration.
Rapini Pesto, Pistachio, Chili & Pecorino
But wine does not have to be
expensive at Maialino, which is one of the things I love here most. The ‘Vini
di Trattoria’ section of the list highlights a number of gems, including Manni Nössing’s 2013
Kerner ($48), Ciro Picariello’s 2013 Fiano di Avellino ($59) and 2010 Socré’s
2010 Barbaresco ($76).
Ultimately we settle on bubbles. It
is lunch, after all. Jérôme Prévost’s NV
(2012) Rosé Fac-simile is flat-out delicious. In this vintage, the Fac-simile
is decidedly lifted and understated in style, with gorgeous aromatics and
lovely overall balance. The Pinot fruit is incredibly expressive, but the 2012
is not a wine of impact, rather it is a Champagne that draws the taster in with
its total allure. Prévost only makes his 100% Pinot Meunier Rosé Fac-simile in top
vintages, which makes it one of Champagne’s rare birds. After the disappointing
2011, the 2012 put things back on track.
Cake; Orange Sherbet, Fresh Citrus & Olio Nuovo
I am not a big dessert fan, but I
can’t resist a good Affogato, another staple of the Italian
kitchen. The pound cake is equally delicious, with striking contrast
between the bright citrus flavors and the richness of the cake.
With that, it’s time to venture
back into the harsh New York City winter, refreshed and ready for whatever the
-- Antonio Galloni