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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Il Gattopardo Fall 2016 Our Coverage Sponsored by Fresh Origins

"In the last fifteen years, we at Il Gattopardo have celebrated the success of our authentic classic Italian cuisine on midtown Manhattan's 54th street.  As we opened in the wake of tragedy in September 2001, we have always aspired to enhance the lives of our guests with quality ingredients crafted into sublime creations of simplicity."
-Owner and Executive Chef Vito Gnazzo, and Peachy Deegan
The new star sensation of Il Gattopardo: Legume Cavatelli

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There's a lot of Italian restaurants in New York, but there is only one Il Gattopardo.
On Whom You Know, Il Gattopardo was most recently featured a year ago:
and it was first featured in 2011:
Owners Gianfranco Sorrentino and Vito Gnazzo own three of the very best restaurants in Manhattan, and we aspire to review all of them every season.  We were delighted to recently return to Il Gattopardo!  From the opening bread basket, quality is announced.

Would we like water?  Our answer is always yes please, no ice thank you.
And lemon please if you have it!
You can have your cake and eat it too because Il Gattopardo will bring you both lemons and limes to have a citrus party in your water.

A lovely amuse-bouche of arancini risotto with green peas, mozzarella and veal ragu and pizzette with escarole ignited our appetite.

Classic perfection awaited us from the opening dish of Crispy Green Salad!
We always order green salad with every review and at Il Gattopardo you can be confident your expectations will not only be met but also be exceeded.  Fresh, gorgeous radicchio, frisee, fennel, carrots, and young red wine vinaigrette await you.

You cannot miss the wonderfully classic Parmigiana of zucchini that is a star of the antipasti.  Presented to you in a piping hot fashion, this delicate, fragrant zucchini will make you ecstatic!  Beautiful layers of smoked mozzarella combined with fresh tomato sauce and basil will simply wow you.  By the way, remember we reviewed and Highly Recommended the movie Allied?  Robert Zemeckis and Marion Cotillard had a cocktail party at Il Gattopardo to celebrate the opening a couple of days before we visited.  And you know this restaurant is named after the Italian classic movie!  Listen to Vito talk to you about movies:

You absolutely cannot miss the stellar Italian wine selection of Il Gattopardo and it is among our favorites. 

Everything we've tried there we have just adored and since we have worked with these talented guys for six years now, they are pretty familiar with how fascinated someone here is with strong Italian red.

Next, Vito introduced us to the new singular sensation: Legume cavatelli in a rapini sauce wonderfully scented with anchovy and garlic.  There is no gluten and no cheese in this and believe it or not you will not miss them!  The gorgeous flavor is elegant and refined presented in this glorious artisan style; this is new on the menu.  The flour is imported from Italy and derived from chic peas and fava beans, 40% each and 20% spelt wheat.  The anchovy and garlic is a simple highlight and does not at all overwhelm the dish.  Finally, the rapini sauce is a creation of a broccoli variety: broccoli rabe and broccoli itself.

In case you have separation anxiety from cheese, we suggest the cheese extravaganza that you will love locking lips with: Lasagna "di Carnevale"which would impress even the most discriminating Garfields.  (Everyone knows that Garfield's favorite food is lasagna!)  This is elegantly dotted with mini meatballs, ricotta and divine smoked mozzarella.  Peachy never smokes anything but if she did, it would be mozzarella.

When they ask you at Il Gattopardo if you want cheese, you say yes please and realize how serious they are and how unserious anyone is that would ever walk up to you with a dish of grated cheese and a spoon.  This is how it's done!

We have a special relationship with cheese and there is no such thing as too much Italian cheese.  We dream about it and we think they do too with another place named after mozzarella.

By the way there was not an empty table when we left!  Make your reservation.  From Andrea Pirlo to priests to businesspeople to the aforementioned moviemakers, everyone loves this place.  For our fish course we tried The Leopard's classic Sicilian couscous presented in a gorgeous cast iron pan filled with shellfish ragout: striped bass, scallops, shrimps, manilla clams from the West Coast, mussels from Prince Edward Island and lobster from Maine.  Every day Pierless makes a delivery here and you'd better believe it is super fresh!

Well we did mention that she likes red wine from Italy.
Here's another aspect of what sets Il Gattopardo apart.  Would we like to try this one with Vito?  Il Gattopardo does not fool around with wine one bit:

We loved this rich Barolo bursting with depths of flavor rarely found in common wines.

A carnivorous endeavor not to be ignored is the superlative Grilled Berkshire pork chop sourced from the Hudson Valley (you know Berkshire is the breed of pork.)  Scented with thyme and dancing in a divine decadent sauce of apple and dry plum, this juicy creation is simply sublime. Its amazing texture and flavor will win you over as well as the sauteed Brussel sprouts which have a party with pancetta.

Il Gattopardo continues to be Highly Recommended and it is one of our favorites!

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