As the Foodie Magician, my signature trick is guessing people's favorite restaurants. I absolutely love it when people think of restaurants I have not heard of, because then the trick becomes a future culinary adventure for me. A few weeks ago, I did this feat of mind-reading to two different people at two different events, and the restaurant Paprika came up. Paprika is a casual Italian joint on St. Marks Place, in the East Village. I had never heard of the place until I read these people's minds, and I knew I had to eat there. And that I did!
I'm a new resident of the East Village, and it is a dream come true. The culinary scene is astounding down here. I could see why Paprika would be some people's favorite restaurant. It's casual, laid back, rustic-chic, and down right great. A true gem of a place.
A special antipasto of meats and cheeses was fabulous. Silky meats and some unique cheeses, at first I thought it might be a tad boring, but it wasn't. It was perfect.
A black kale salad ($10), with pickled red onions and almonds was outstanding. Kale is huge on the NYC restaurant scene now, and this was one of the best I've had. The pickled onion added a great acidity to the kale, the almonds a wonderful crunch. Order it.
Handmade Pappardelle with Braised Oxtail Ragu ($16) was delicious. That oxtail ragu pitch-perfect.
Pizzoccheri Valtellinesi, Buckwheat Tagliatelle, Savoy Cabbage, Casera Cheese, Potatoes and Garlic ($16), was a unique pasta dish that my dining companion and myself really enjoyed. A touch of Alsace in the East Village. Our stomachs were happy.
Paprika is what the East Village dining scene is all about. Great food, with a casual and cool vibe. Grab a glass of wine, sit back, relax, have some great bites, and enjoy life. It's good to read minds.
110 St. Marks Place (bet. 1st and A)
New York, NY 10009