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Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Peachy's Pick Since 2011, Il Gattopardo Winter 2018 Our Coverage Sponsored by Fresh Origins

Wild Halibut

Artisanal Ravioli with wild pheasant

New Organic Farro Salad!

Fresh Origins is America’s leading producer of Microgreens and Edible Flowers. Combining the benefits of an ideal climate with a deep passion for quality and innovation, Fresh Origins products are sought after by the finest restaurants and top chefs. The farm is located in the picturesque rolling hills of San Diego County, where the near perfect weather allows for production and harvest all year. Fresh Origins produces almost 400 Microgreens, Petitegreens, Edible Flowers, Shoots, Tiny Veggies™ and related items. Many are not available anywhere else, with new introductions nearly every month. Fresh Origins products are on top of the finest cuisine in the world! Fresh Origins supplies distributors of specialty produce who serve fine dining restaurants and resorts nationwide. There are also a few online sources of their products available to private chefs and home cooks. Read our first Culinary Queen interview with Kelly Sasuga:

For more information about Fresh Origins, visit their website at 

A lot of "trendy" and "hip" places say they are all the rage and pay PR firms to get the word out regardless of their quality, with food bloggers and people that take pictures and say nothing spreading their ephemeral clout and supposed benefits, but when a regular person actually goes there, they are treated as a number at the restaurant factory and can be waiting forever for a dinner that is not worth it. We're going to tell you something today that we have never published before: we have people that dine regularly and tell us when they have a great experience somewhere, and they do not let the restaurant know that they tell us or know us, and they also tell us when they have a bad experience.  We prohibit PR firms and even internal marketing people, and think for ourselves completely based on our direct interaction with an owner and what they profess to be excellent at.  We are writing for the regular person that wants to experience unparalleled quality.  If you want your business meeting or date to go well, you go to Il Gattopardo.

We only publish on a place when we have a positive experience, and every interaction at Il Gattopardo has been an absolute pleasure. You are positively guaranteed a fabulous dinner, and other people tell us this too. It is of crucial importance to note how long we have published about a place because so many have come and gone in the nine years we've done this: some go because of their lease situation, but note some are in business still and we choose not to feature them.

We do not assign number ratings. We speak only in terms of quality in writing, with pictures that support what we say that are never, ever edited. Note that on Instagram, people can edit the pictures they post so at the end of the day, there could be a lot of untruths on there. We tell the truth on what we have experienced, always. Or if we say nothing and if we are not talking about a venue you have heard about, it's because we have nothing nice to say.
Il Gattopardo is gorgeous:
The Leopard at des Artistes made our Top Ten List for Valentine's day, and Il Gattopardo is absolutely on par with it, because it started first among other reasons.
 They are both owned by the illustriously talented Executive Chef Vito Gnazzo, on the left above and Gianfranco Sorrentino, on the right. You are going to have a great experience at either, as well as their baby, Mozzarella e Vino. The longer we do this, the less patience we have for lesser venues and owners that will never live up to this kind of quality that we look for and that we consistently see here, whether Gianfranco and Vito are personally there or not.  We love them, and they have earned it.  If you are a new restaurant and want an example to follow, dine here and watch the magic happen and try to imitate it.  They constantly innovate to become greater and greater-they do not pay us to say this-we either feel this way about you or not-, and their menu says so:
If you put thought and effort into your menu itself, we notice. We like these literary menus obviously. Il Gattopardo was last featured last summer:
Il Gattopardo earned a spot in Peachy's Picks in
2011, so long ago that then it was in the current space of Mozzarella e Vino:
We always want water with no ice and lemon vertically sliced.   If you don't slice the lemon this way you can't properly squeeze it into the water. We hate wimpy anything (remember there is an NHL Peachy), including wimpy slices.   Il Gattopardo remembers this and they go above and beyond and put lime on too so we can have a total citrus party.

Our edible experience commenced with an antipasti, Crispy Salad with winter radicchio, frisee, fennel, carrots and young red wine vinaigrette, which they thoughtfully put on the side.  It's a beautiful arrangement and you can count on the stunning bed of greens being fresh in the winter.

We are seafood enthusiasts and if you are too, you will also be thrilled to know that back by popular demand on the winter menu is the Crudo di branzino from Orbetello!  We totally loved it and can't wait to eat it again next winter.

We reveled in the superb freshness of the branzino and the diced cucumber and celery, which lent a satisfying crunch.  Arranged in a circle, this culinary sphere of excellence is further highlighted by the pure simplicity of lemon and evoo dressing.
Another aspect of Il Gattopardo that we love is that Vito is committed to keeping everyone healthy.  We are not going to be able to do this forever if Peachy dies of a heart attack at a young age!  Meet another winner, the brand new Organic Farro Salad!
This salad boasts a lovely texture, and the poached fresh tuna is the best we have ever had.  Sauteed artichokes and baby kale waltz with the tuna to make this a wonderfully festive and wintery healthy start.
We love meatballs, especially the ones here!  Crafted with beef and veal, they are originally wrapped in savoy cabbage (why do we not see more cabbage on menus?!  Do you know who is Irish American and loves it?) leaves with thyme sauce, and served over mixed greens.  Note here is more green enthusiasm too!  They are simply delectable and here, you will find elements of elegance even in meatballs.

Another new item is the Artisinal ravioli, which are gloriously al dente and filled with wild pheasant, partridge and robiola cheese.  The flavor is off-the-charts amazing and you will find something new to adore here.
You will shed tears of true sadness when this dish is gone.  So, order another to take home.

This is the best lasagna you can have in Manhattan.  A lot of tourists order it because isn't everyone familiar with lasagna, but we would encourage them to try other dishes here too.  Lasagna "di Carnevale" arrives in style with mini meatballs, ricotta with cheesy goodness and fabulous smoked mozzarella (remember they own a Mozzarella company in Italy which we go on and on about in the Mozzarella e Vino reviews.  It does not get any better in vendors than BEING the vendor too.)   The crisp crust is perfect.  Beautiful little meatballs tumble out and you have yourself a party on a plate.  Again, you find elevated tradition and this dish is most popular.

Does your lasagna smile at you?  

If you are in search of healthy pasta, you will find Homemade buckwheat fettuccine with grilled eggplant and roasted plum tomatoes, another new dish.  It's vegetarian and most popular among this set.  We are not vegetarian but are pro-excellent food in every aspect.
There is no such thing as boring vegetables here.  Scented with fresh basil, this fettuccine is also fantastically fun to wind around your fork.  We are always looking for fun.

The fish entree we ordered was the Wild Halibut, which is superlative.  Perfectly poached in white wine and evoo, this poisson is joined by rainbow carrots that rabbits adore too, and cherry tomatoes.  We love this colorful aspect that also is indicative of nutritional pluses.  The arrangement was simply lovely.

A splendid winter side that you must try is the Buckwheat and winter vegetables ragout.  Again, the color is evocative and indicative of the nutritional benefits and the tomato, peppers and squash are hearty and delicious.

A newcomer to the entree world is Porchetta!  Slow-roasted pork shoulder scented with Felitto's wild fennel pollen and served with sauteed broccoli rabe is terrifically tender and and a total festival of fragrant on your plate.  

Pancetta also comes to the party of brussels sprouts, another contorni you should order.  These delicate petite wonders are partly halved and a total must to join your meal.

A favorite standard entree is the Pan-Seared veal loin which you absolutely cannot ignore.  Scented with fresh thyme, served with fingerling potatoes and porcini mushrooms, it hits the spot on a cold dark day.  

Manhattan desserts do not get any better than the new Golden Apple and walnut tart served with artisanal vanilla gelato.  It was the epitome of an ideal dessert.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen. This is what dinner should be.
Il Gattopardo continues to be Highly Recommended and it is STILL one of our favorites!

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