On a slightly overcast day, a delicious meal with the feeling of home is hard to top. We had the opportunity to sample some of the high-caliber Italian food on offer at Pó, located on the relatively quiet Cornelia Street in the West Village. What first appeared an expansive restaurant when I first entered, I soon realized was actually quite cozy, but through the mirrors across the walls opened the space up, making it feel as if the restaurant was twice the size.
Several guests relaxed at the small wine bar at the front of the restaurant, sipping wine and cocktails. Having a seat at our table, I sipped Riesling perused the menu until my friend Haya arrived.
We warmed up our palates with some of Pó’s signature white bean bruscetta. The smooth texture of the beans, with a hint of garlic and olive oil, was complimented by the crisp slice of baguette. This twist on the traditional Italian appetizer prepared us for the meal to come.
We decided to put ourselves in the hands of the chef and ordered the Pó tasting menu. This started with a juliette cucumber salad with red onions and capers, topped with ricotta cheese. The flavors combined perfectly, creating a refreshing start to the meal.
Next up was the rich, handmade ravioli, with tomato, coco butter sauce and ricotta. To top it off, the chef sprinkled it with parmesan cheese, accenting the flavor. Each individual ingredient could be discerned and created a very satisfying taste overall. It was followed up with the housemade gnocci. The potato pasta, combined with rosemary was covered with a phenomenal lamb ragu and fresh ricotta cheese.
With the next dish, we moved away from pasta and straight into meat-eater territory. The skirt steak over greens and roasted red peppers, with a dollop of gorgonzola, offered a sharp shift from the creamy delights we had been enjoying. The tender and well-seasoned steak was a hearty and delicious climax to the meal.
We rounded things off with a cheese plate that provided a range of flavors, the highlight for me being the creamy goat cheese sourced out of upstate New York. It was accompanied by a drizzle of balsamic vinagrette and peach compote. For dessert, I went with the dark chocolate terrine, while Haya ordered the pana cotta.
As we sipped espresso and planned our next destination, I was left feeling pleasantly stuffed, reflecting on the rich variety of flavors and relaxed feeling that accompanies really great Italian food.
31 Cornelia St
(between 4th St & Bleecker St)
New York, NY 10014