Last night I grabbed a bite at Maialino, Danny Meyer's new Italian restaurant in the Gramercy Park Hotel. The restaurant used to be the critically panned Chinese restaurant Wakiya.
I had been to Wakiya, and the place looks dramatically different. It's a beautiful space designed by the Rockwell Group. It is basically two restaurants in one; a wine bar up front, and a Roman-style trattoria in back. The two are separated in the middle by Maialino's cucina, featuring a salumi, cheese and antipasto station on one side; with a coffee, dessert and bread station on the other.
I took a seat the the wine bar up front, and was given their bar menu. I was told I could not order from the trattoria menu, and was at first upset about that, but after perusing the list of small Italian bites, and then consuming two dishes, I was in fact, extremely happy! The food here is great!
I was given a nice bread basket with some great flatbreads and olive rolls (courtesy of Sullivan Street Bakery), to dip into some olive oil to start.
I ordered the Fritto Misto al Stecchino ($7) and the Malfatti al Maialino ($17).
The fritto misto was skwered swordfish and scallops, very lightly battered, and amazing! Each bite was truly orgasmic!
The malfatti came with suckling pig ragu and arugula and was outstanding! The dish was deliciously flavorful! The pasta was perfectly cooked, and the suckling pig tender and juicy. I was in heaven.
I was so happy with my experience here that I made reservations to come back in one week. Maialino is the perfect place to come for a glass or two of wine (or a bottle; hey, why not?) and some fantastic Italian small bites. I predict I will become a regular here. A regular in culinary bliss ain't a bad thing.
2 Lexington Avenue (in the Gramercy Park Hotel)
New York, NY 10010