BRING YOUR APPETITE…by Christabelle
If you have a love-affair with food…I mean really love food (especially Northern Italian cuisine)…you will thank me eternally for this blog. If you live in NYC or plan to visit, do yourself a favor and make a reservation at Crispo – NOW (and I am not being dramatic – the place reserves out weeks in advance…so when I say now, I mean NOW…stop reading this and call: 212.229.1818 ).
Our group walked into Crispo on Saturday night and waited to be seated at a cozy table for four (on reservation, of course!). The place was packed and energy bounced off the 150 seat restaurant like music. With a spectacular entry way of black steel, glass inlaid awning, the flat iron glass doors, enclosed patio with an old oak leaf wrought iron fence, the design of the restaurant makes you feel like you are back in time – “19th Century – Old New York”. Hoping we would be escorted down the secret passageway into the warmth of the Garden (where the backdrop is of all things, antique Berkel slicers, cast iron toys and meat hooks), I was a bit disappointed when we were brought to the table right off the kitchen (where I became all too aware of a meat slicer – fully functioning – in the vicinity of my head). No sooner had we sat, that my disappointed turned into pure glee, when I realized the man behind the meat (which I later found out to be called the “Salami Station”) was none other than Frank Crispo himself! An honor…indeed.
Looking over the menu, I could feel a pool of saliva as it gathered under my tongue (and in all my graces, actually showed it to Phil at the dinner table). Each meal looked better than the last (which had looked better than its predecessor). Finally (after a good 20 minutes – 20 solid decision making minutes) I chose the Prosciutto, Bufala Mozzarella, Cippolini & Arugula to start with the the “Ravioli di Ricotta” Tartufo Nero as my main course. My only compaint is that the meal had to end…so very depressing. I ate everything. I even pulled a Tony Soprano and sponged the plate clean with a loaf of bread. No wonder my jeans won’t button this morning (sigh!).
With a quick look over my shoulder, I got the opportunity to converse with “the man” – who graciously took some time out of his very (insanely) busy evening, to give us some history on the artifacts and design of the restaurant (and of course, the cuisine). Chatting with the owner, Frank, turned an exemplary meal into a full encompassing experience that went above and beyond just satisfying a growling stomach. We left feeling as though we had taken a little subway ride to Italy…an epicurean journey that will continue to bring us back to Crispo time and time again.
With the most intensely spectacular Northern Italian food money can buy – they carry a very simple philosophy at Crispo: purchase top quality ingredients; make the dishes with love; let the guest enjoy. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! AND all the meals are cooked to order…need I really say any more? Visit Frank Crispo and experience cuisine the way to was meant to be…a multi-sensoral experience. A festival for all FIVE senses.
While you are there – make sure to try the Prosciutto (it is what they are known for), the “Ravioli di Ricotta” Tartufo Nero (my mouth actually called my cell to thank me for eating it!), and the Limoncello (which is made fresh – on-site – thanks Frank!). Looking for more mouth-watering items to order…click HERE to view the entire menu of Crispo delights. I will be seeing you there…fork in hand…smile on face.