Morandi [Click the photo above to go to Morandi’s website]
211 Wavery Place (b/t 10th and Charles Street) New York, NY 10014
My dad is back! He said it was time for him to make another appearance, but this time with my sister. They both said they’re going to be famous. I’m glad they think my blog is so popular, meanwhile, I never even mention their names, and maybe 4.3 people read it, including my dad and sister.
I decide the safest bet with my dad is Italian so I make earlyish reservations at Morandi. I arrive right as my sister is ordering a glass of wine at the bar.
“Dad’s parking the car. He ran a red light on the way here.”
“Yea yea, I’m sure he said it was yellow.”
We get seated in a tightish booth, and we stare at the menu. Last time I was here I died over their brussel sprout salad, but the waitress told me they removed it from their menu about a month ago (damn you!).
“What’s good here?” My dad asks.
“The fried artichokes.”
“I love artichokes. That’s a definite.”
“Ooh, there’s burrata cheese,” my sister whispers.
“I thought we were dieting,” says my dad after he JUST decided on fried artichokes.
“Well there’s nothing else that I want,” she replies back completely undeterred. If my sister wants cheese, she’s getting cheese.
“I think I’m going to get the grilled octopus,” I say, I’m not letting my dad change this around. It’s bikini season, grilled, definitely grilled.
“Do you think we have enough appetizers?” (2 for 3 people? We haven’t even begun!)
“I don’t like artichokes,” says my sister.
“How do ya not like artichokes?” as he taps the menu.
“I just don’t,” (she just doesn’t).
The waitress comes over to tell us about the specials for the night, but she doesn’t have them memorized yet, so she keeps looking down at her pad of paper.
“You havin’ some trouble there?” My dad asks cracking up.
Let’s hope our waitress has a sense of humor, because my dad loves to “joke” with the waitress. We tell him they don’t like it, but he thinks he’s making their day (“you guys are crazy, they love it!”)
“Sorry, you guys are my first of the night. I don’t have it memorized yet,” she says with a smile.
Fortunately, one of the appetizer specials was a Boccaccini salad (that’s mozzarella cheese), so my dad said he would compromise mozz for Burrata. Really seems like the same thing to me, but whatever I still get the grilled octopus so I’ll stay out of this one.
Oh, but mains. What about the mains!
I originally decided on the salmon, but the waitress recommends the sea bass and to get a side of vegetables with it.
“It’s very popular.”
“Ok, sure.” I’m not paying. Bring on the sides.
My sister’s turn. She was already shot down on appetizers (but not really because she still got cheese, and we all ate it).
“I don’t know what pasta to get.”
“You’re gonna get pasta!”
“I don’t like any of the meat dishes! Maybe I’ll get the ravioli.”
Have you guys not met?
She finds another dish my dad was eyeing, and orders pasta with spicy crabmeat (this is fine, because he definitely wants a bite of it).
Pasta is pasta, and whether the meat is inside the noodle or sitting right next to it, it still gets in your stomach, so I have no idea why this was deemed the healthier choice.
Mr “RAVIOLI!” ordered the linguine with clams (whole wheat pasta).
“Just so you know there’s a charge for making it whole wheat.”
“Are you kiddin’ me?”
At least she warned him.
Apps arrive, and it is time to chow down.
“The fried artichokes are delicious!”
He plops one down on my plate, and offers my sister one.
“I DON’T LIKE ARTICHOKES!”
“But these are the hearts!” She doesn’t like ‘em!
Grilled octopus is delic, and I slice a tentacle off to give my sister.
“I want the celery too!”
I try to go for just the tomatoes and avoid the Boccacini cheese (I’m sort of successful) as I stab my sister’s plate.
I decide midway through appetizers that seltzer isn’t cutting it, and I order a glass of wine. Wow, I feel much better.
Mains are placed on the table, but my vegetable side is placed in the middle of the table. I blow a kiss good-bye to my vegetables knowing I won’t get one bite now that they are not right next to me.
My dad grabs his fork…”WAIT! SHE DIDN’T TAKE A PICTURE YET!” My sister yells.
I try to take the pics as quickly as possible, and off we go.
My dad is always super critical of fish as he refers to it as having a “fishy taste.” We have a very very mature palate.
I cut him a piece, “Not too big!”
He takes one bite, “wow that’s delicious! What is that?”
“Mediterranean sea bass,” my sister pipes in as she pop 2 noodles in her mouth.
“Oh, ok got it.”
I realize what’s happening here, and it’s not good. “Dad, no, it’s not a Mediterranean sea bass. It’s a sea bass cooked Mediterranean style.”
“Ohhh, are you sure?”
I shouldn’t have said anything until the next time we’re at a restaurant, and my dad orders sea bass and asks if it’s from the Mediterranean, because it’s the only fish he likes.
I go to grab a noodle off my sister’s plate, but I’m a little buzzed and grab crab instead.
“I can’t believe you just took my last bite of crab.”
I’m never going to live that down. “Mom, she took the last bite of crab…Oh, of course she did. So selfish” (I swear I thought it was a noodle!)
“Give me another bite of that fish,” my dad says as there is nothing left of his whole wheat spaghetti. He is now scooping the sauce up with the bread.
I hand him another piece. “The last bite was a little fishy.”
“That was a caper Dad.”
“Maybe we should get frozen yogurt for dessert instead,” my dad says as they clear the table.
My sister and I almost laugh in his face. “We’re getting dessert,” we say at the same time.
We order the tiramisu, but before we do we ask the waitress how it’s pronounced, because my dad pronounces it like Tammy Sue, and he swear it’s the right way.
The waitress pronounces it correctly, and we go, “our dad thinks it’s pronounced Ter-amee Sue, like a girl’s name.”
The waitress just starts laughing (she got a big tip, because my dad said she had a great sense of humor).
Guess what? Mr Fro Yo had a bite.
As we’re leaving, I ask my dad “did you run any red lights on the way here?”
“It was yellow.”
I am embarrassed to tell you how quickly this basket was gobbled up. That’s all I will say.
Morandi (Carciofi alla giudea: fried artichokes with lemon)
My dad’s favorite! Crunchy, yummy, you get the idea!
Morandi (Polipetti e sedano: grilled octopus with celery & black olives)
I could see how one might think this looks weird, but it was great! I finished the whole thing!
Morandi (Boccaccini salad)
Cheese was yummy, and the tomatoes were firm. I despise mushy tomatoes.
Morandi (Orata alla griglia: grilled whole sea bream with lemon-oregano oil)
Check out my main, it’s pretty and yummy, and I totally convinced myself I was the healthiest person in the restaurant.
Morandi (Broccoli Rabe)
I was able to sneak a few bites, and it had great flavor. I think they squeezed some lemon on it. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t care.
Morandi (Linguine alle vongole: pasta with clams, white wine & green garlic)
This sauce was unreal. It had more flavor than I would expect from a clam sauce.
Morandi (Fusilli con granchio e pomodorini piccanti: spiral pasta with spicy crab & cherry tomato ragú)
Look at it! So delicious!