Vento Trattoria NYC - Pizza for Business Travel
For those of you who do not have the wonderful opportunity to visit New York City often, let me fill you in on a secret. There really is no “best” restaurant. There really is no “best pizza”. The city is full of wonderful places to snack, dine, eat, mingle and be a New Yorker for the day as a business traveler. However, with Vento coming highly recommended from the concierge at the Sofitel (advice that can be trusted implicitly), there was no avoiding a visit, and for one evening amongst colleagues, it was the best meal in New York.
Vento is located in the meat packing district downtown. Request a table on the sidewalk if your visit greets you with nice weather. The opportunity to people watch is delightful. Once you draw your eyes away from the goings-on out on the street, focus on the menu and feast your eyes before you feast your appetite. Both provide for great conversation while having a business dinner and before you start to talk “shop”, that is if you find yourself with a moment without a mouthful of goodness.
Of course, the first course is always the wine. The selection is more than ample and offers by the glass some refreshing alternatives. Of course, when in Rome, drink Prosecco. Or, a lovely chardonnay from Umbria that doesn’t make it onto most menus in Italian restaurants (because in standardized test lingo, Umbria is to Tuscany, as Sonoma is to Napa – one is more popular, but arguments arise as to which is better).
The next course, well, sliced cheese, meats and olives of course. Hey, that wine was born unto this earth to wash down such food of the Roman gods, right? Vento’s menu features a choice of delicious rich cheeses (sheep, cow, and goat), meats (if its cured and sliceable, its on the menu), and an interesting selection of olives (green, black and briney black).
Of course if you choose to skip the charcuterie (sorry to use French in the midst of this Italian fantasy), you could of course go right to the small plates and have polenta fries with a gorgonzola fondue. Or, try a simple mista salad which is small meal in its own right, not due to portion, but to flavor.
On one particular evening, the two meals that stood out were a simple margherita pizza with many toppings most memorable of which was salami. Not pepperoni, but salami. There was no way to refuse an offered slice.
The second dish was the Fettucini Ai Carciofi with shrimp, artichokes, spicy oil, garlic, and pecorino. It’s plausible that plates of this were likely offered to the gods on a nightly basis. It was so amazing that silence fell over the table. Well, unless you include the unabashed slurping of pasta amongst colleagues. There is no shame amongst even the stiffest of folks when good food and wine is shared. It’s like magic.
Practically speaking, for such an incredible meal, location and atmosphere, the prices at Vento are very reasonable. Also, there is a prixe fixed dinner that offers lovely options and tastes. This is highly recommended if you are traveling alone, however, if in a group of colleagues with whom you are comfortable, it may be worthwhile to order several dishes and pizza and eat family style.
Any description of the desserts might cause your computer to implode with pleasurable culinary fantasies, so, just visit the menu online, or visit Vento in person. Go. Go now.
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