If you want quality, Northern Italian cuisine in NYC, I highly suggest the Osteria Morini in SOHO, under the Altamarea Group. With an evening already filled with loads of surprises, this Osteria was a pleasant addition to both my day and evening. My boyfriend surprised me with a dinner here the other night for my birthday and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Due to traffic and ill-timing on our part, we were late for our reservation. Of course, calling ahead of our arrival to let them know we were still coming. When we arrived, our reservation was moved to 1.5 hours after the current time; however, they held two chairs reserved at the chef’s table/bar for us. I thought this was a clever move on their part. We ended up never going to our table and stayed at the chef’s station (next to the bar) until the very end. It worked out better for us, as we received quick service as a constant… And I could be closer to my man during our meal.
Our waiter, Jorge, was extremely pleasant; always laughing at our jokes (as we both can be silly sometimes) and was always prompt to attend to our needs. The hostess and waitstaff definitely have a good sense of humour and service was impeccable. Kudos also to the General Manager. We thoroughly enjoyed our conversations with this gentleman and can tell he runs a tight ship.
The only negative thing I have to say about this place is that during the beginning of our meal, the bust-boy was way too eager to take our plates away before even finishing them. I had to tell ours to back-off a bit, asking him “are you in a rush?”, as he would grab our not-quite-finished plates every 2-5 minutes and I would keep having to tell him to put them back down, as we were talking more than eating at that moment. During later courses, I think he finally understood that I was annoyed and backed off quite a bit; only taking our plates when either nothing was left on them or when our silverware was placed on them in the way one would indicate they are finished with a plate.
Now for the food:
Absolutely delicious. The chef, Michael White, creates meals that are stellar all the way. The restaurant is actually named after White’s mentor, Gianluigi Morini, from Imola. However, due to the tutorage of Chef Valentino Marcattilii in Emilia-Romagna (principle city being Bologna), this restaurant draws most strongly from this experience.
The Bisteca al Morini (for two) was cooked just the way we asked, rare, and the meat was so succulent and juicy that the sheer smell took you away from your conversation. I was also happy at the meat to fat ratio, as we received a prime quality cut and it showed.
I will definitely visit the next time I’m in Manhattan again. Delicious!
For more information or reservations, visit their website:
Osteria Morini – SOHO NYC