Spasso is the newly opened restaurant by Craig Wallen, who has cooked at Lupa and Convivio, and Bobby Wehane of Choptank. Urban Daddy’s feature on Spasso caught my eye:
“Inside, you’ll find all the required trappings of a proper dinner for two. A table lit with candles. A menu full of homemade pastas. And a marble-topped bar stocked with the city’s most formidable sparkling wine collection.”
It definitely sounded like a place to try out, perhaps for future date recommendations (oh yes I am making a list). As a start of the new year, I have started a foodie group and this was the first restaurant outing. Being that we’re all easy-going and curious foodies, many appetizers were ordered to share.
This picture is the eggplant arancini with whipped housemade ricotta and roasted tomato. The inside eggplant with ricotta provided the creaminess which worked well with crispy exterior. Plus this wasn’t oily at all and that made it easy to pop these beauties into your mouth.
Charred octopus with cucumbers, yogurt, mint is shown above. They did a good job cooking the octopus; it was not too soft and not too hard. The cucumbers, yogurt, and mint provided refreshing flavors which created a light appetizer to start off the meal.
This is their housemade Stracciatella cheese served with olio nuovo and grilled bread. I would have to say this dish was the highlight of all the appetizers. The cheese was very light and perfectly stretched out, separated into strands so you can spread it onto the grilled bread. DELICIOUS. I couldn’t get enough and even grabbed the table bread to eat more of this cheese.
Above is the Orecchiette with rock shrimp, crab, and breadcrumbs. The texture of the pasta was very interesting and well-done; the breadcrumbs gave the dish a nice crunch along with the al dente orecchiette. This pasta was also pretty light in comparison to what the my fellow foodies ordered, which helped in making it easier to finish eating all the orecchiette.
Their coconut panna cotta with pineapple and lychee was pretty average and a relatively safe dessert to create and serve. The selection of desserts wasn’t very extensive and seemed like an after-thought, but at least they were enjoyable.
Spasso is a solid Italian restaurant in the midst of a lot other comfort Italian restaurants. It is NOT a date restaurant nor a quiet place, rather it is a place for smaller parties and casual diners. They have a nice selection of starters and pastas cooked in an open kitchen that can be seen in the back. It is a place I would go to again and look to eating more of that delicious homemade Stracciatella cheese.
551 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014