Italian food. A common cuisine in NYC. Every block's got at least one. Some are good, some are great, some are mediocre, some are poor. Crispo on 14th street is a place I have walked by hundreds, if not thousands of times, and never even peaked in. I had heard good things about this place, so last night I stopped in with a friend for a quick bite.
Looks can be deceiving, for what looks like a small Italian joint, is much larger than you think. There is a main dining room in front, which is big, but there is also a much larger tented room in the back.
Both rooms are extremely loud. For a Tuesday, the place was busy too, making both rooms even louder. In fact, I had to switch seats from the back room, for the acoustics were just terrible, and I could not hear a thing. The front room was loud too, but not as loud as the back. The front room is also definitely more romantic, as long as your view of romance includes saying "What? What?" to your date.
But, luckily, you won't have to do much talking at Crispo, for there is some pleasant Italian bites in store for you to be putting in your mouth.
Risotto Balls ($6 for 5), were gooey, tasty, and perfect! I was told this was the most popular of the antipasti and I could see why. These were some fabulous balls!
A pasta dish called Trofie al Prosciutto "San Daniele" ($21.95), was simple, yet rich with truffle oil, and nice. It was definitely a Springtime pasta dish, with some nice green from some peas. I would have actually liked some more prosciutto in the dish, but it was a fine preparation I devoured quickly.
A special halibut dish ($24.50) with chanterelle mushrooms, ramps, and sunchokes, was a really good fish dish. Another perfect Spring dish, the fish was perfectly cooked, and I loved all the vegetable components. Nice job.
Crispo is definitely an Italian restaurant I'd call a good "go-to" spot, meaning you can't go wrong with this place. The food is solid. It's not mind-blowing, but definitely a fine option on 14th street. Just make sure your voice is well rested.
240 W. 14th St. (bet. 7th and 8th ave)
New York, NY 10011