Earlier thisweek I had the pleasure of joining some other writers and media to have a taste of what Taverna Novo, the new restaurant at 62 Beekman Street, has to offer.
For starters, I have been pumped about this restaurant from day one. When I first heard that Patricia Novo (aka the Wine Chick) and her husband were opening a restaurant, I had really good feelings about it.
Then, when I walked in for the first time, I immediately felt at home.
You see, the vibe in this restaurant is home-y, almost like you’re having a meal in their personal dining room. And not-surprisingly, that was the goal with the layout and decor.
Before I talk about the food, it’s important to give a highlight of the chef.
Executive Chef Fabrizio Facchini came to the United States in 2015 from Italy. A member of the Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance, a network of chefs defending food biodiversity across the world, he has now joined the Taverna Novo team to put out authentic, rustic Italian cuisine.
As you can see, I have a smorgasbord of things on my plate, but this was just the beginning.
Can we talk for a moment about the Panino alla Porchetta (2nd picture above) which is house made focaccia, slow cooked and wood roasted porchetta with roasted tomatoes. I could have eaten that entire loaf of focaccia – it was so SO delicious. HIGHLY recommend.
Moving on, after the nibbles & apps, we switched over to some of the main courses, including pizzas and samples of their specialty items.
This pizza dough is made with charcoal, which is what gives it that blueish/black color. They have a long dough fermentation process, and I’ve been told they do it just like it’s done in Naples. (And I believe it.)
FYI – they also have dough without charcoal.
Also, you’ll only find DOP Certified San Marzano Tomatoes in this joint. They’re seriously not messing around.
With meatballs, it’s always a test for a me. Is the texture right? Is it salty enough? Is the meat flavorful?
For this, it was three hard yes’s. Plus the sauce, which was also dynamite, allowed the meatball to speak for itself and dressed it as a nice accompaniment.
Be still, my heart. Over the past 4 months, my obsession with Cacio e Pepe has grown from a crush to a full-blown love affair. If there’s one thing I want to eat at least once a week, it’s this.
Now up until this point, I’ve never enjoyed this dish out quite as much as I like my own, but this one blew mine away. So peppery and so creamy, it’s unfathomable how this is made without cream. But it is. And I dig it.
Alright well now that you’re up to date about my romantic feelings about the food, I want to finish with a little info about this here pizza oven.
Getting up to 900 degrees, this true wood-fired oven offers flavors to dishes that simply cannot be duplicated. And so that’s exactly why they’re using this oven not only for pizza, but also to finish a lot of dishes off in it.
Something I was interested in, especially with it being a new restaurant, is what the owners favorite dishes were, along with the chef.
-Cacio e Pepe (DUH)
There you have it! If you haven’t snuck over there yet, now is the time. For parties 6 or larger, they’re currently taking reservations. Otherwise for now, it’s first come first serve. Seating is limited, so consider an early bird dinner to ensure you’ll get in!
I hope everyone enjoys as much as I did, and make sure to check out their wine list while you’re there. Another home run! XOXO