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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

MA&GIA, a Peachy's Pick and Highly Recommended by Whom You Know, Enhances their Menu-Do Stop In and Try It! You Know MAGIA Must Be THAT FANTASTIC If We Are Back!!! Our Coverage Sponsored by Fresh Origins

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Previously, Peachy Picked MA&GIA:
We haven't stopped to count, but off the top of her head, Peachy would venture to guess she gets a chance to go back a second time to any of them rarely, rarely as in less than 5% of the time- as we haven't reached the end of our waiting list and Peachy would still like to start the day with a waistline, and there is a lot to see and do in Manhattan.  We do not stop as you can tell.  However, MA&GIA is truly in a class by itself and if we had to pick ONE BEST KEPT SECRET in Manhattan right now, this would be it. When something is truly fantastic, we can be persuaded, and we can never be bought.  If they put Downton Abbey on a tv there and had wireless Peachy would probably move in with her laptop if they were on the Upper East side.  We are certain they'd have about ten of these in five years in Manhattan if they all were of the caliber of this specific one now.
Why do we love you MA&GIA? 
Let us count the ways.
First of all, right now you have a new menu composed of even more complex outstanding Italian entrees, and they are fresher than fresh as they go to the market every day and their concept is brilliant: 
MA&GIA is the brainchild of a wine brand and a meat brand that put their heads together and started their own restaurant. You need to know that most restaurants are in the middle of the originator of the food brand and you but that is not the case here, so it's unique.  We are all about reaching the origin of greatness which is of course in most cases the person and their brand (and absolutely not their outside agency or PR firm), and here are two brands with their own restaurant.
We were immediately greeted with bruschetta which was crisp and delicious.  Drizzling in a lovely ribbon of balsamic, this welcomed Peachy back, and she brought a panelist who was just in Italy last week, and he had not been to MA&GIA before. So wait until you hear what he has to say as he is quite the judge after his culinary pursuits touring Italy.

There are two more reasons why we love MA&GIA: John and Isabella.  They are extremely modest but these two managers totally have their act together in one big way so we are going to let you know that, and management should be thankful for it.  You know from all the pictures of Peachy with owners that it is not uncommon for restaurant owners to greet Peachy with kisses on both cheeks and something peachy for her to drink.  Never do we work with managers, but you should know these are not ordinary managers: they essentially run the show, and it is a show you want tickets for.  We have yet to meet the owner of MA&GIA but we look forward to it, Vladimir!
The wine list at MA&GIA is absolutely killer and since John and Isabella totally know what they are doing and have proven twice now that their taste is excellent (especially Isabella since she is from Italy), we suggest you let them pick for you.  But if you are the kind of person like Peachy usually is and want to pick for yourself, you can be assured your choices are plentiful as they bring the wine bible over to you.  Remember one of the brands behind this is a wine brand.  Peachy's first glass was of the above Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2010, Zonin.  A splendid start, this had the body and depth in a red that Peachy seeks.  
Their olive oil is absolutely terrific, and it was immediately brought to the table with fresh bread and we felt like we were floating in the back of a gondola in Venice, except for Peachy hasn't done that yet.  But if she did, she'd want to have the food from MA&GIA with her.
As we write this post in dedication to the menu enhancement, you should know that among the stars of the new menu is the:
Mix of salumi e formaggi, pickled vegetables and jams
If you are cringing at the thought of pickled vegetables, you are not thinking of THESE pickled vegetables, which were crisp and fresh and bursting with color and flavor.  Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and beets were tremendously flavorful and wowed us.  Yes, you heard us being wowed by vegetables.
For over 60 years (think Queen Elizabeth and her Diamond Jubilee as a timeline) Principe di San Daniele has been devoted to deli meats production combining traditional recipes with innovative methods, and the above is the result of getting it right!  Starting from the bottom right and going counter clockwise, we have the Principe Prosciutto di Parma black label 18 months, Principe Prosciutto di S. Daniele black label 18 months (delectable and so thin!), smoked prosciutto, blackberry jam, bella pro lode, fontina, honey, and rachera-so creamy and smooth.  You could make a night of all of this, or it could be terrific for after work drinks or the long 20 minute lunches that those in finance get (Peachy is allowed to joke at that as she did work in finance for a decade and sometimes didn't even take 20 minutes).  When you realize how unsurpassed the quality of these plates are you're going to start ordering more than one-remember how heavenly the burrata was the last time!  You should know the service is tops at MA&GIA and Manek was quite cordial and up to speed.
The deli meats are the best we've ever had.  
Salads are also new to the menu, and we'd encourage you to try them because every salad is better with deli meats!  We know you agree.
Here is the Caesar salad with Bresaola and shaved Parmesan!  Fantastic.  Also did you know that Bresaola is cured meat from beef (rather than from pork), so if you are not a pork eater, please become acquainted with your new go-to deli meat! You're going to love it.
If you thought crepes were only for the French, put that thought out of your mind because we discovered savory crepes that are Italian are EVEN BETTER.  Introducing the Crepes with asparagus, ricotta and asiago cheese which were absolutely heavenly in texture, flavor and every other sensory experience you can imagine.   Do not pass go and collect $200 or even think of leaving MA&GIA without trying these beauties.
They are our new latest Magia weakness!
We don't have just one though.  Please meet another new entree, which was a special of the night.
As you can see, everything is presented with beauty and grace.  Saltimbocca di Pollo and Praga is a chicken topped with Raschera cheese and Principe Praga ham served with herbs and mashed potatoes.  The portion size was generous and every bite was fresh and delicious and if this is a special the night you frequent Magia, you should capitalize on your opportunity.
Isabella expertly paired this with a premier Sicilian white which was soft, rich, and creamy with notes of citrus: Insolia 2010 IGT Sicilia Feudo Principi di Butera.  Terrific for summer as well!
Finally, we tried another new pasta dish which is a classic:
Tagliatelle with bolognese ragu!
We believed it was even better with cheese!  It is the combination of extraordinary pasta, carrots, celery, tomatoes and meat and it is the Ferrari of spaghetti with meat sauce, if that is what you are thinking.  It also goes from zero to delicious in less than five seconds.
The perfect finishing touch was Affogato with espresso, and if you have not had this staple of Italian desserts, this sets the standard for what it should be.
Our esteemed panelist raves:
After just returning from a trip to Italy, I was going through a bit of withdrawal. The food there was so delicious and the people so warm and friendly. I needed a way to get back, without spending all that money on another plane ticket. Thankfully, I found the solution to this problem. I found Ma & Gia! This new, and quite unique, Italian restaurant opened less than a year ago on 23rd Street around the corner from Madison Square Park. Ma & Gia is a true Italian osteria. It combines authentic Italian deli meats and cheeses with fantastic wines, and it also serves up delicious, freshly made pastas and other delightful main dishes. All of this is presented in a chic, yet comfortable, atmosphere by a warm and welcoming staff. The meal started off with a plate of mixed salumi e formaggi, with pickled vegetables, blackberry jam, honey, and toasted almonds. The selection of meats included Prosciutto di Parma, Principe Prosciutto di San Daniele Black Label, and Speck. The cheeses included Raschera, Bello Di, and Fontina. The meats and cheeses were so delicious and complemented each other perfectly, and I loved the accents of jam and honey. The pickled vegetables were surprisingly crisp and fresh. 
All of this great food was rounded out by a refreshing rosato - Rosato Allemura 2011, Puglia, Masseria Allemura. It was the perfect wine pairing suggestion. After the meats and cheeses came, I had the chance to experience an interesting take on a classic favorite. The dish was a Caesar salad with Bresaola instead of chicken. The meat was absolutely mouthwatering, and I think a welcome change to the traditional Caesar salad. The sweet and tangy dried cranberries also put this salad over the top! 
Next up, was a dish of crepes topped with ricotta and asiago cheese and asparagus. These crepes would put the French to shame! The crepes were so light and the cheese so rich, I could have ordered another plate! But I needed to save room for what was to come! I cannot stop thinking about the next course, which was the Saltimbocca di Pollo & Praga. Again, Ma & Gia put their own spin on this special with great success. The chicken is topped with Praga ham instead of prosciutto, and Raschera cheese is used. The flavors were phenomenal! The dish was served with a side of spinach and mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes were amazing! I may ask for a double serving the next time I come back!   I sipped on a tremendous Negroamaro 2009 Salento.
At this point I was so full, but I just had to try some homemade pasta. And I'm glad I did. The homemade Tagliatelle with bolognese ragu is a classic Italian dish that Ma & Gia has perfected! It literally put a smile on my face after the first bite. 
After all of this wonderful food, it only seemed fitting to finish it off with a great dessert. The Panna Cotta was creamy and the wild berry coulis topping was sweet and refreshing. Ma & Gia created a truly memorable experience both in the quality of the food and in the quality of the friendly service.
It is the perfect place to go out on a date, or to enjoy the best food and wine with a good group of friends. I hope to make Ma & Gia a regular dinner spot, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a delicious meal and a perfect night out! 
Check out the new menu at MA&GIA!
We Highly Recommend MA&GIA.

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