Altright, so I might have found another great Italian restaurant in TriBeCa: Pepolino. Named after a variety of thyme that grows in Tuscany, this casual restaurant serves Tuscan cuisine in a rustic setting. And this place was definitely crowded when we went on a Friday to have dinner at 9pm. So crowded that we ended up in their heated outside seating area that in fact I liked, the noise level being very low and less crowded than their two dinning rooms.
Menu wise, there were so many mouth watering dishes that I was not sure what to order. Although I could not resist trying their grilled octopus that was served on toast that was delicious smothered in olive oil and topped with a sort of tomato confit. All of this accompanied by a side of greens. The octopus was perfectly cooked for sure, not rubbery and with a nice char.
Then, Jodi ordered the Spaghettoni Alla Chitarra, home made square spaghetti with fresh tomato and basil. This was also very good, the pasta, perfectly cooked, had a nice bite, and the sauce was delicious.
But my dish was even better: the Fettuccine Nere di Mare that were homemade squid ink fettuccine with seafood (calamity, shrimp, squid), prepared in a tomato sauce. The pasta was succulent and the sauce so good that I literally inhaled it, even if I thought that they were a bit heavy handed on the pepper. The seafood was well cooked and there was a nice amount of it in the plate (I should mention that the shrimp were small though). Funny enough, I like parmesan with my pasta and the waiter did not recommend putting any with the seafood. As I kindly insisted, he brought me some on the side, just in case I would not like it.
To accompany my meal, I went for a glass of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2014 "Umani Ronchi".
Last was dessert. We went for their creme caramel that was good but just ok. I cannot remember the description, but we thought it would be a bit more decadent than that...
I should mention that, while waiting for our dishes, they brought us a bread basket with a tomato and basil flan that had a nice kick and was quite refreshing.
Overall, we enjoyed our meal at Pepolino, that I consider another great find in TriBeCa. The food and service were good and I would definitely go back there to try other Tuscan specialties. The fact that they have homemade pasta is definitely a plus as I always consider that I do not need to boxed pasta outside: I can make my own at home!
Enjoy (I did)!
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