551 Hudson St (Perry St)
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 858-3838
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Chef: Craig Wallen
Area: West Village
Nothing impresses me more than an amazing pasta dish. Though I possess a passion for Italian food, my love affair typically stops short of tomato and mozzarella salad. A whole bowl of carbs usually doesn’t whet my palate. I never fear a healthy bite or two to appreciate the taste and texture of a pasta, but things usually never develop any further. However, I know a restaurant is onto something when I take my sample bite and 10 minutes later the whole bowlful rests in my stomach. Such a spontaneous consummation happened last weekend at a new Italian spot my friends brought me to called Spasso.
The most impressive aspect of the pasta is not its rich merriment of complex flavors, or its unique or rare ingredients. What has me fascinated is the simplicity of such a dish. The pasta in question is spaghetti al pomodoro ($16), the most basic of Italian dishes. This spaghetti is anything but basic, as the chefs at Spasso have proven. The noodles hand rolled are cooked to a perfect state of al dente, the sauce is creamy with just the right amount of the tomato and parmesan. It is thick and comforting, just as a pasta dish should be and just like the entire ambiance of Spasso.
As you enter the restaurant, the bar stands in front with all of the liquor in a hutch cabinet. The tables are either an intimate arrangement for two or large wooden tables for a dinner party of many, looking for a great time, Italian style. The vibe is casual and comfortable. Spasso, meaning “amusement” in Italian, is appropriately named, because there is plenty to keep you entertained.
Outstanding spaghetti pomodoro aside, another great item is the wagyu beef crudo ($16), great to share with your dinner party. I personally enjoyed the crispy eggplant arancini ($10), another fun and flavorful appetizer to share.
If you find yourself in the West Village anytime soon and crave that Italian flavor, take a table at Spasso, or crowd yourself around one of their two counters at the front of the restaurant. At the very least, select a glass of wine from their moderately priced list of 120 bottles and sit back and enjoy!
Review By: Rachel Sult