Dining out in New York can be delightful or difficult and everything in the middle. What it should be, at all times though, is relaxing. Bianca, a restaurant in lower Manhattan is just such a place.
Eating there a handful of times already gives you the feeling that you are a home. The manager will suggest you go next door and have a drink at Von while you wait for your table. The wait may even be long but no one seems to mind. It is a testament to the service, the food and the ambiance of Bianca.
Make no mistake, this is a local trattoria-style joint with an inexpensive and cash only menu all the time. It gets a fairly young and hip crowd from Nolita and the East Village but everyone’s always welcome and it feels that way.
The pasta are generally delicious and lasagna is always on the menu. The Chef leans towards dishes from Emilia Romagna. On a recent visit, the Tagliatelle with Sausage and Broccoli Raab were delicious. On another trip, the Ravoli di Ricotta with butter and sage did the trick. The portions are also quite generous.
Other recent dishes that we sampled include the Stracetti di Manzo, Carciofi fritti, Radicchio alla Griglia in Coperta (with prosciuto and cheese) which sounds odd but is delicious and the ever present Caprese salad.
A neat little wine list completes the picture. If you go, be patient and bring cash. Bianca is a sister restaurant to Celeste on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, also inexpensive with delicious pizza and a loud crowd as well as Teodora, a more upscale dining experience in Midtown.
The group, created and run by Chef Giancarlo Quadalti, is also associated with Fiore in Williamsburg, Brooklyn where Chef Roberto Aita runs the show.
Eating at any of these restaurants is a real pleasure and sends you home feeling not only satisfied with the food and wine but relaxed, as if you had just dined at a friend’s home.