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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Sam's Place by Massimo Bolloni Since 1984 Inaugural Review #TerrificTakeout @ManhattanPeachy #WhomYouKnow

 Owner and Founder of Sam's Place, Massimo Bolloni, a native of Rome who came to America in 1978
 It's not who you know, it's WHOM YOU KNOW and we believe we know every great Italian restaurant owner in Manhattan after nine and a half years!
But we were wrong.
We didn't know Massimo Bollini, owner and founder of Sam's Place, open since 1984 always on 132 East 39th Street.  Now we know Sam!  Italians of his generation have a demonstrated mastery of hospitality that no one else seems to measure up to.  You have to go to these places and experience them to know what we mean as it cannot be verbalized. We were welcomed immediately and were honored to have one of the coveted 64 seats.  The wine is spectacular and so is the bread, two essential components of a standout review.  But everyone Italian knows that already.  Sam's Place is open six days a week, not Sunday.
 Sometimes we order mussels and they are wimpy and small but possibly delicious.
Sometimes when we order mussels they are big but not succulent or tender.
When we got them here this first visit, Mussels Posillipo, they were enormous and delicious both.  Sourced form PEI (obviously Canada!) these mussels had delicate qualities in their size.  The garlic Pinot Grigio wine sauce wowed us and Peachy absolutely loves loves loves garlic.   They also gave us the appropriate fork to eat these, and believe it or not, not everyone has the sense to do this.  We loved these and you want to dip your bread in every last drop of the sauce.  The mussels were totally fresh. 
 There are five salad choices, and we began with the Insalata Tre Colori.  Endive, Arugula and Radicchio teamed up for a healthy classic winner with dressing on the side for Ms. Pretty Picky.  Vegetables are organic and sourced from Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.
 We chose to have the Caesar Salad dressed, and it is another winner.  With just a hint of red pepper, this salad is superbly crunchy and dressed just right, not too much and not too little for Goldilocks Peachy. 
 Peachy is a devoted connoisseur of Fettuccine Alfredo, and this was probably her favorite part of the dinner in retrospect. It is absolute perfection: homemade noodles with cream and butter cream sauce.  The gorgeous consistency was rivaled only by the creamy decadence of flavor.  Do not be a gauche American and ask for more cheese on top as it is perfect the way it is.  Forget the fact that it is bathing suit season: indulge.  And then swim a mile.  This is the epitome of Classic Italian Elegance in Culinary Form.  We can't wait to eat this again and check for consistency.
 Meet Angel Hair Cappeli, suggested by Massimo for our red pasta.  #AllCaps here is how you can eat red...and if you are lacking hockey in your diet, you should know that the Capitals just won the cup for the first time in their 44 year history.  And they are red.  Simplicity elevated, Angel Hair Capelli is more classic Italian celebrated on a plate from the perfectly al dente Angel Hair to the phenomenal flavor of the tomato basil sauce.   
 We love love love Chicken Parm as a vocation.  Perfectly pounded chicken joins asparagus and carrots that add nutrition and color.  The cheese and sauce, amazing in themselves, are in perfect proportion to the chicken.  Go ahead and add cheese it makes it even better.  You know this is really an American dish.
 Finally, Massimo suggested we also try the Chicken Martini.
You don't drink it, silly.
You eat it.
Breast of chicken is encrusted with Parmigiano-Reggiano from Italy and Pinot Grigio, and we must admit it might have been even better than the Chicken Parm we previously fell in love with.  Green beans successfully round out the dish.  You absolutely must try it.
We cannot wait to see what Sam's Place does next.

Massimo where are you on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram?

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