Was torn last night as to where to go with spouse for dinner. Really wanted the spaghetti and meatballs with chili oil, at Justa Pasta, but emailed Chef Roland and he said it would not be on the menu that night (very cool of the Chef to email-chat with a peasant such as myself). So, we ended up going to Pazzo, downtown on Broadway. Had read how Chef John Eisenhart had been sous chef at Mario Batali’s Babbo, in Manhattan’s West Village, and the NYC connection seemed timely for us. Slipped a note into our online reservation, and sure enough the maître d’ gave us a cozy and romantic booth where we could see the kitchen action but still be alone. Our waitress was attentive, and helped me order a split-plate of two full course items I was stuck on.
Spouse had the Macedonia salad (northwest berries, aged goat cheese, local greens in white balsamic vinaigrette) which she liked. I had the Natalino (hearts of romaine, escarole, anchovy dressing, parmesan reggiano, focaccia toasts) which I enjoyed early on, but then the dressing became way too thick and heavy. I left some salad on the plate. My entrée was the split of Capellini with Clams (thin string pasta primavera style- with market vegetables, garlic, Sicilian olive oil), and the Gnocchi (handmade potato pillows, cattail creek lamb ragú, garlic chives, sole di sardegna). Spouse had the full plate of Gnocchi. The Capellini was adorned with a generous portion of clams which were delicious, but I am here to tell you the Gnocchi with lamb ragú is the real crowd pleaser. Rich, flavorful, and delicate. We both loved it. Good meal, good drinks, good time. Thank you Pazzo.