Deciding on a new place to eat gives me serious anxiety. My passion for delicious, fresh quality food has only made this decision making process harder. With friends always asking for recommendations, I find myself doing the same as I try to find my bearings in the NYC resto scene. Time and time again I find that discovering the best places are by passing by. This is how I came upon Briciola, one of my new favorite hidden gems! With a precious ambiance, great service and fresh food offers rustic Italian fare with fantastic wines by the glass.
On a quiet street in Hell’s Kitchen near the Daily Show, Briciola is a quaint unassuming wine bar with dangly lights highlighting her entrance and a chalkboard of daily specials out front. An inviting scenario on a warm summer’s eve – with 1$ oysters and rosé, it was too charming to pass up!
There are two sides to the restaurant, the long narrow space has a bar on one side and a long community style table on the other. We opted to sit at the bar where wine racks hung above clinging to the walls with dozens of bottles resting within. We started with oysters, so fresh and so clean. Soooo good…
The menu is divided into 4 sections, Cicchetti (translates to small snacks in Italian), Pasta, salads and side dishes, aside from the meat and cheese board offerings, Salumi and Formaggi.
Based on the owner’s recommendation we tried the garlic sautéed green beans in addition to a meat and cheese board; which consisted of Prosciutto Di San Daniele, thinly sliced cured meat delectable with the Parmigiano Reggiano. We also sampled Robiolo, a very soft cream cheese like mild offering and ashed goat cheese – a must order for goat cheese lovers. The Salumi Formaggi board was served with a basket of warm thick cut brioche style bread, grill marks and all, the perfect accompaniment.
As pasta dishes came flying out of the small kitchen behind the bar, smells of decadence and memories of Italy danced around me. The space started to fill up.
This is the kind of place you will keep returning to and bring of all of your friends. Great for a date night, before/after show bite or just fantastic fresh oysters and a glass or two of vino as you remember why living in NYC is almost too good to be true. The chocolate lava cake served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream is a great way to end the night. Warm, decadent and devilishly chocolatey rich. I SERIOUSLY LOVE IT HERE!
If you go, let me know what you think!
Briciola, 370 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019