1260 2nd Ave
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 734-7407
Site: Visit the restaurant site
2nd Cuisine: Mediterranean
Area: East 60s
Entree Price: $15-20
Payment: Amex Visa Mastercard
If you've taken in a movie at the Beekman theater or find yourself ready for food after a visit to one of the nearby hospitals, consider Mediterreano. It's not the chic spot filled with throngs of sexy people it once was but still serves lunch and dinner. In warm weather, if you can handle a view of scenic Second Avenue, consider opting to eat at the outside area --my preference because the inside tables are spaced too closely together.
The food is unremarkable and mostly okay. Prices have risen of late but it's still not a break the bank situation. The pastas are decent whether you choose Fusilli Alle Verdure with zucchini, eggplant, yellow and red peppers; penne with plum tomato sauce, the Toscano, billed as " an original florentine recipe", with ground beef, celery, carrots and onions or fedellini (very thin spaghetti) with clams, garlic and olive oil, all of them hovering in the $17-18 vicinity.
The eponymous salad Mediterraneo contains what seems like a lot of shrimp until you realize that each has been rendered into pieces for more bounce to the ounce. The shrimp gets a hit from capers and a lemony dressing as well as arugula which could be more plentiful. The Estiva Insalata brings hearts of palm, avocado, tomatoes and sliced Parmigianino while the Caprina marries goat cheese with beets and endive. If you prefer to begin with antipasti, there is crostini with a chicken liver pate and anchovies or mussels with a slab of grilled "tuscan" bread. Tuscan is as tuscan does because the same bread is what's in the bread basket and it's a white, slightly doughy "baguette." There are various carpaccios including one with raw filet mignon, Tropicale which adds hearts of palm as well as that old reliable, fried calamari.
If you want a heartier main, you can dig into grilled tuna with veggies; pan-fried chicken breast or a grilled veal chop which I don't think is worth the $31 price tag. Sides are $7 and run to sautéed spinach, carrots or zucchini as well as French fries or decent roast potatoes.
Many people simply go for the pizzas, some with sweet sausage, Four Stagioni with artichokes, Italian ham, mozzarella, olives and mushrooms, and a version with yellow and red roast peppers and several kinds of cheese.
There is a full bar with lots of bottles of wine as well as a smaller selection of red and white wines by the glass. Of course dessert can be Tiramisu' although a better choice would be the sorbettos--coconut, lemon, orange, tangerine and other flavors. Teas and coffees include the usual suspects with one original: Te Freddo which packs a pleasant fruity punch.
All ages including plenty of kids turn up here. The restaurant is fully wheelchair accessible and open for lunch at 11:30 daily, usually closing the kitchen at midnight but staying open until 12:30 weekend evenings. All major credit cards are accepted; delivery is available. Your pooch can join you at the outdoor seating.
Review By: Mari Gold