Maialino at 2 Lexington (b/w 22nd and 21st st by the Rose Bar), another Danny Meyer venture that opened last wk. I think I'm still full from last night...no I'm...sure that's the case, but that suckling pig was a BEAST and for the first time I said "Nein! no more!...I can't finish" while hanging my head down in flabbergasted defeat. Anyhoodle, let's get to it:
Great bread bowl but it's of little significance compared to the rest of the dishes SO...for antipasti we got the sweetbreads w/purple and weirdly green broccoli, and...the Octopus Carpaccio w/ purple potato mash & arugula. Sweetbreads were abysmally ordinary and it only came with about 3 pieces! >:( Kefi's sweetbreads will always be my #1--that and I am really not digging breaded & fried sweetbreads. No...significant flavor. Carpaccio was nice but still not that oomph i was hoping for--a bit too much taters if u ask me!
K so this pic is, in all honesty a redo--but when the suckling pig just came back all chopped and ready to go, everyone literally jabbed in both knife and form simultaneously and let me tell ya...even in a little viewfinder tho super zoomed in, that freaked the *crap* outta me seeing this succession of metal...crazy jabby prison rail East Berlin/USSR iron curtain lockdown gauntlet bizness all come jamming down. BUT FUN! so I made them redo it so I could illustrate what ravenous piglets were were too :D This serious killed my stomach for the night BUT then we made room for...DESSERRRRT!!
Onto pasta dishes! Megan had been stalking Raviolo di Uvolo for a while so needless to say she was quite jazzed to order it--everyone thought it was too much cheese which overwhelmed the egg itself. I just wanted another raviolo on my dish! >:( Nice tho, rather rich, but tasty. Bit of spinach to balance it out. Buccatini all'amatriciana was QUITE GOOD imo. Had a nice heat (turned up a notch), great sauce--some people thought it was a smidge salty but tasty fine-ness to moi! Carbonara was a letdown. All the other reviews raved about it--I say hizzeck no, I can make better sauce and i *HAVE* so suck it. Pasta was a bit too al dente for my liking, as in I truly thought it was undercooked for an italian resto esp but...whatebbs, Amatriciana saved the day :D
But as u can tell below--we pretty much dug all three :) Really wanted to try the Cacio e Pepe but...another time! There was quite a lag b/w sitting down, getting the antipasti, and the paste--quiiiite a while. But then the porky pig came to us quickly...but in the meanwhile, a lampshade fell and freaked everybody out and we...stalked the cheese/meats/breads/dessert bar--kind of a fun addition to the corridor b/w the front dining area, and very nice to see all these things done right in front of u and everybody looking so chipper, eager, and...raring to go.
They had a pretty crazy wine list. Shanaz and I got a couple but...I dunno. whichebbers , food was the focus :) Also...Anita Lo was seated across the roooom!! WEEEEEEEE!!! I've met her before at James Beard but...I still like....to...run into...chefs I recognize and no say anything at all but giggle massively to myself. The embodiment of "tittering", really. :) TEEHEE!!
Anyway, really low key atmosphere and just a great space. We really oggled the room(s) for a bit while we waited...and then...was...the piggy!! Maialino = little pig in Italian, I'm told. I should know better, but...we didn't cover 'little piggy' in vocabulary back in college :) The entire staff was rather effervescent--they were really excited to bring out the and made it a point to notify us way early of the coming presentation of said piggy (and goading me to take pictures, almost giving me cues--like to get a picture of the raviolo midcut :P), and then...choppity chop the piggy returns w/ taters as u will see...
JUST LOOK AT THAT SKIN!! ees so bootiful and deleeshus. Taters really tempered the porky fatty savory gamey-ness but...jebus there was a lot of added oil which kind of...made me max out after 1/2 a strip and a quarter more. Marrow was also very very rich but awesomely tasty and 3 of us spent a good amt of time gnawing it to bits to get every morsel.
Yes yes...we liked it all sufficiently, but that Sformato was HEAVEN--not too rich, not too sweet, ephemeral, smooth...just...heavenly & with a bit of figs and complex flavors w/ the buckwheat honey that gave it a whiff of rum-myness! Olive oil cake was meh--tartufo was GREAT (b/c of the crunch slightly dark choco shavings imo) and the ice cream itself was tasty. We were told all their gelato is in house--the brandied cherries in the tartufo however,...kind of insane and made me want to (in the future) dig it out and smash it in spite for how it overwhelms my tastebuds. SMASHY SMASH!
Great service--so amiable! Some lag time in the beginning, but all the servers were great and spunky and knowledgeable w/o gagging u with perkiness or dogmatic recs. YAY. Def will go back to try the pig's feet, other pastas, and maybe something seafood-y.