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Monday, April 2, 2012

Peachy Picks Il Punto Our Coverage Sponsored by Cosmopolitan Dental, Official Dentist of Whom You Know

Insalata Greca Il Punto

The Best Dentist in Manhattan 
 Official Dentist of Whom You Know:
30 E. 40th Suite 1001
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All Italian places are not created equally, and if you think it is easy to find a fantastic restaurant near the Javits Center, think again!
Il Punto first impressed us in Terrific Takeout:
And so it graduated to Tasty Tidbits:
We are pleased to announce it has joined the ranks of Peachy's Picks, and owner Tony Pecora is a total peach-we met him at dessert which was an absolute dream.

Peachy Deegan began with the Insalata Greca Il Punto, because when in Rome you should do as the Romans do!  A delightful combination of grilled chicken, shrimp, cucumbers with the middles smartly cut out, peppers, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese and lemon dressing, this is a refreshing way to start off your Il Punto experience as we head into the warmer months.

Dora was a lovely manager and suggested we begin with this Barbaresco, which was fantastic.  We tried a few robust reds from Italy and this was a 2003 from Rocche Meruzzzano.  Each one we tried during the evening was standout and reaffirmed our tremendous love for Italian reds.
Fabio Barbarino, even better than Vinnie that John Travolta did, suggested a tremendous Montepulciano which was Peachy's favorite of the evening that we tried next.
Fabio has excellent taste in wine and you absolutely should consult him if he is available during your visit to Il Punto.  The atmosphere at Il Punto is warm and welcoming and is suitable from anything from a family gathering to a romantic evening.
Dora told us the two most popular dishes at Il Punto for Primi are the Timballo:
and the Pappardelle Della Selva Nera:

The Timballo consists of layers of wide ribbon pasta, bechamel, meat ragu and parmigiano reggiano and the total quality of each ingredient was evident from first bite.  The consistency and creativity was phenomenal and this put any lasagna we've ever had to shame.
The Pappardelle Della Selva Nera is one of the most creative dishes we've ever had-raspberry vodka and blueberry grappa in pasta?!!?!?!  Yes, and they successfully do it with wide ribbons of pasta, more di gelsi, pinoli nuts, amarena, asiago cheese and fresh mint leaf.  We venture to say you will not find this anywhere else!  In our tens of Italian places we have reviewed we do not believe we've ever seen it elsewhere.
Finally, it was time for entrees.  There is a convincing list of choices that makes the final decision difficult, but Peachy does like seafood so she opted for the Dentice al Cartoccio: Red Snapper Filet in parchment paper with fresh herbs, snow peas, zucchini, rosemary, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.  It was like opening a fantastic package and again, really unique!  For all of the Italian places we've tried, Il Punto scores high on creativity and setting themselves apart.
The fish was fresh, the vegetables were complimentary and the entire experience was a work of art!  Every component was sliced perfectly and in ideal proportion to the others.
You'll remember from the takeout review how impressive the fruits are from the salad Peachy ordered then and this expertise successfully translated to the desserts.
We were absolutely in love with the poached pear:
Our esteemed panelist adds:
When I travel to New York City for business, I often find myself stuck in the midtown tourist trap. And it is places like Il Punto that make me remember why this city is so incredibly unique. Walking into Il Punto I notice nothing extravagant or over the top, but instead, great warmth of personality and comfort. The bar tender, and I feel horrible for forgetting his name, could not have been more welcoming or generous. He saw to it that I immediately had a tasty glass of red wine, which was consistently refilled, and a plate of olives and cheese. It was a kind gesture and made me feel relaxed as I waited for my friend. 
When my date arrived we were brought to a table in the back that would be our home for the next couple hours. And it was a couple hours I will remember for a long time. A mixture of incredible food and attentive waiters is a pairing necessary for any successful restaurant. Fabio, Dora and Eros were all stars. So, with Dora’s lead, I dived into the menu and ordered the Carciofini Ripeni to begin the evening of culinary delight. 
Four perfectly sized, small stuffed artichokes were placed in front of me, resting on a plate covered with a bit of tomato sauce. Stuffed with a breadcrumb mixture and topped with cheese per my request, I felt instantly starved! Very soft and delectable, I could not get enough of these little bites. However, it was a perfect beginning with all the food to come.
I started my evening drinking a 2003 Rocche Meruzzanoo Barbaresco, however, switched to a lush Barolo after my appetizer. Both wines were quintessentially Italian in taste and body. Very good selections from the Wait staff. For dinner we were invited to try the Timballo and the Pappardelle Della Selva Nera. In addition to these two dishes, I was also given a portion of the Costolette Di Agnello Ai Ferri. I am normally not one to order lamb chops, however, I will thoroughly enjoy a fabulous piece of lamb if tasty.
The first dishes that arrived to the table were the pasta dishes. Beautifully presented, I was curious to see if the taste would match. And this little gem of a restaurant could not disappoint. Taking bites from the Timballo was like eating little pieces of heaven. I am not sure if I have tasted a b├ęchamel sauce so smooth in my life. I do not think I can say anything to give adequate justice to the Timballo. I would return to get this dish every time in New York. It was perfect.
The Pappardelle was an interesting mixture of flavors. With berry flavors from raspberry infused vodka, blueberry grappa and cherries combined with pignoli nuts and asagio cheese, this dish was for the adventurous at heart. The taste was light and pappardelle was supple. A treat to taste, the dish was a first for me, and I am delighted Dora recommended this to try.
After another glass of Barolo, my grilled lamb chopped arrived propped up on a bed of grilled scallions and smooth mashed potatoes. The presentation was beautiful. The lamb chop was rightfully tender and was cooked to medium rare perfection that I was instantly in love. The lamb melted in my mouth with a mellow taste. I could not have been more pleased, or more full, when eating this amazing dish. I am not one to like over flavored Italian food. For me, all flavors should come together in a sense of harmony, and the food at Il Punto was essentially the best Italian food I have tasted in New York. Of course, I do not have the opportunity to try all the restaurants because of my two thousand mile demographic issue. However, there was nothing I did not taste or experience that turned me off. With a sharp waiter like Dora or Fabio, nothing could go wrong with service or food. I was thoroughly impressed.
But, we were not done. While sipping on an espresso, Dora suggested a few desserts. So, she brought us baked pera, cheesecake and tiramisu. Once again, culinary delight! The baked pear was succulent, as it is soaked and baked in Barolo wine, only to be sprinkled with chocolate. And for the cheesecake and tiramisu, order both if you come. I cannot remember having superior examples of Italian desserts such as these. In fact order all three desserts and sit for another hour to enjoy with espresso or even a limoncello. Because the extra time you spend in sitting and eating and conversing will be part of an experience at Il Punto. And when I return to New York, I will walking into Il Punto, find myself a space at the bar and be treated again like a local who has been coming for years. 
I simply cannot say enough about this jewel of a restaurant. Not only did I enjoy every bite, I was treated so well by the bartender and wait staff. In all sincerity, Il Punto is exactly why I adore New York City. All I know is I want to go back soon. 

Eros the waiter

Peachy Picks Il Punto!
Il Punto is Highly Recommended by Whom You Know.

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