It’s been over a week and fantasies of Falai still linger in my stomach. After building pastry castles in the air at Le Cirque, Iacopa Falai has migrated to the Lower East Side, a sudden utopia where foodie’s dreams come true.
While everyone else has been busy trying to impress with the latest trend, it was refreshing to meet someone so uncomplicated, boasting of simple Modern Italian Fare — he knew what he had to offer. He wined and dined me by candlelight in his sleek new white digs. From the moment I laid eyes on the impressive bread menu (compliments of the house), it was love at first bite. I don’t like to pick favorites and luckily, I didn’t have to because Falai let me have my way with the entire basket filled with everything from homemade sea-salt foccaccia to an exotic black cabbage loaf. Only after I’d furtively stuffed a plateful of bread into my purse,
did I realize a fresh from the oven loaf of my dreams was available right across
the street at Falai Paneterria.
And that was just the beginning. He teased me over a seemingly simple grilled raddichio with manchego cheese, boasting complex character and taste.
(SQUID INK PAPPARDELLE)
Then he got wild with an exquisitely rich boar ragu tangled up in a squid ink pappardelle and an exceptionally executed pillowy spinach and ricotta gnudi gently touched by parmesan, sage and butter.
The rest was just icing on the cake, literally, which came in the form of a heavenly meringue laced with hazelnuts and pineapple coulis. Come summertime, I’d have to compete for his attention and a moonlit garden table. But for now, he was all mine.
RESTAURANT GIRL RANKS FALAI —
NEW GUY ON THE BLOCK –– IACOPA FALAI (OF LE CIRQUE)
THE TYPE — MODERN ITALIAN, WILD GAME
DON’T MISS DISH: SQUID INK PAPPARADELLE
DON’T BOTHER: BRANZINO WITH OLIVE CRUST AND CELERY ROOT PUREE
RATING: 8 1/2
FINAL WORD: HE’S A KEEPER
Falai 68 Clinton Street at Rivingston St., (212)253-1960
Until next thyme,