In the past 5 years, the Upper West Side has become a real treasure trove of new restaurants. Up-and-coming and established chefs and restaurateur pick the Upper West Side to develop restaurants for many reasons: the Upper West Siders are foodies and they really enjoy trying something new but stay faithful to the restaurants they know and love.
We visited Corvo Bianco twice already and there is plenty to be faithful for. The space, once occupied by Calle Ocho (which moved just around the corner) has been completely renovated. The ambiance is Urban Mediterranean, with iron details, exposed brick and wood walls, driftwood accents and candles. It’s cozy but not totally informal, a great place for a second date. And if the date doesn’t go as planned you can still fall in love with the food.
Chef Elisabeth Falkner, a very well known face for those who watch Food Network and Cooking Channel (I was rooting for her in Next Iron Chef – TWICE), created a coastal Italian experience… I come from coastal Italy (the Amalfi Coast) so I should know! Mixing inspiration from Coastal Tuscany, all the way down to Sicily, the food is tasty, nicely cooked and ever so flavorful. we were a big group so we may have tried most of the appetizers, but you can’t miss the (very neapolitan with a twist) meatballs and (perfectly golden) arancini, along with the bruschette. Check for Specials when you order your entree, I had a phenomenal halibut, inspired to neapolital “acqua pazza” (cooked in a wine fennel and tomato broth), and shared also some pappardelle with a meaty ragu’, that were as decadent as you can imagine.
The restaurant relies heavily on seasonal produce so the menu changes often but one thing you shouldn’t miss (and I should thank my Canadian Friends for ordering because I had completely overlooked the side dishes): the mashed potatoes. You may think me insane for suggesting you to order mashed potatoes but believe me I have never had anything so decadent. Creamy smooth mashed potatoes that look like a crema catalana to the point that you’ll think they brought you dessert, only to discover that the crust is caramelized parmigiano! I have been craving those mashed potatoes so much I may have to steal the recipe from Chef Falkner very soon.
Make sure that you save some room for dessert. After all Chef Falkner’s passion for food started with dessert and she won’t disappoint you. The Meringata and the Tartufo are amazing to the point that you will fight over the last bite!
Corvo Bianco is a great addition to my favorite restaurants on the upper west side and I strongly recommend you visit and enjoy the gorgeous ambiance and delicious food.