New York, NY
Small & Cozy Italian Ristorante
Since the husband and I took a Wednesday day trip to this restaurant’s particular area of NYC, I found this place online and made reservations for an afternoon lunch. Upon our early arrival, we were given our choice of seats and opted to sit along the glass in the window room.
Although Il Violino itself has a quaint, romantic vibe, it felt very crowded. There wasn’t much room to move around in our seats as the tables behind both him and I were almost on top of us. The gentleman who sat us and the assistants were very friendly, but I couldn’t say the same for our server. Instead of making small talk or even informing us of any specials (soup of the day, etc), she quickly took our drink order and left. When she returned with our drinks, I couldn’t believe my wine glass had remnants of red lipstick on it! After bringing a better glass, she blatantly asked if we knew what we wanted to eat.
We started with the Caprese salad, which consisted of large circles of fresh mozzarella and even larger slices of tomato drizzled in a light pesto sauce. For our entrees we both requested gluten-free penne pasta with tomato sauce (al pomodoro – simple and surprisingly not watery at all) with grilled chicken added on top and a side of asparagus (however, this came out with the Caprese salad instead of with our meal).
The only problem with our meal, other than a smaller than expected portion of pasta, was that there wasn’t any chicken. Our server apologized and ran off telling us to give her about 5 minutes for the chicken. Since we didn’t want our food to get cold we started eating and finished at least 20 minutes before the chicken came out. 3 people in the meantime tried to clear our plates from the table, but we told them that we were still waiting for our forgotten chicken breasts. I was beginning to think our server didn’t put our request in, until finally the chicken arrived, juicy and fresh. (I’ll be honest thought, we were both hoping for a little extra pasta to accompany it.)
Throughout our meal, a woman who I assumed was a manager walked around clearing tables, greeting people and asking how their food was, but she never stopped at ours. All in all, other than our dilemma with the chicken, Il Violino does offer a variety of appetizers, salads and entrees, including a pre-fixe lunch menu. Unfortunately, we never even made it to the dessert menu. The prices are reasonable, food fresh and good and the ambiance enjoyable, especially by the window if you like to people watch. 😉
reviewed June 2018