Last week, the Knockturnal had the pleasure of attending a tasting at an amazing restaurant called Masseria dei Vini (887 9th Ave. | New York, NY 10019) from the renowned La Masseria Group.
The group was formed by childhood friends and natives of Capri, Giuseppe (Peppe) Iuele and Vincenzo (Enzo) Ruggiero, and Executive Chef Giuseppe (Pino) Coladonato, a native Rutigliano, a small town near Bari in Puglia, who met his future partners while working as Head Chef at Sette Mezzo. Since joining forces, they have opened two cafes operated by Chef Pino’s son Vito Coladonato and three additional restaurants, La Masseria Rhode Island in 2009, La Masseria Palm Beach Gardens in 2016, and a second Manhattan restaurant, Masseria dei Vini in Hell’s Kitchen in 2014.
When we first stepped into the restaurant, the staff was welcoming and warm. Wine bottles lined the walls. The restaurant is known for its extensive wine selection designed by Ruggiero.
Our tasting began with fresh bread and crackers accompanied by a lentil and olive oil dipping sauce. This was a lovely way to kick off the tasting. We had never had this sauce before, but it was delicious.
Next up, we sampled the homemade focaccia, which was paired with fresh parmesan cheese and olives. The focaccia was fresh out of the oven and so tasty!
We also enjoyed the fresh mozzarella and tomato and basil dish. It is the perfect choice for a hot summer day.
One of my favorite antipastis (appetizers) was the polpettine alla fontelina. This dish is an eggplant cake with a side of tomato and basil.
For our next course, we sampled ravioli di Angelina, which is a homemade fresh caciotta cheese ravioli in a creamy tomato sauce Capri style.
Another menu highlight was le pizze, the restaurant’s Neapolitan-style pizza. All ingredients are imported from Italy. Another noteworthy fact is that the dough is house-made and left to breathe seventy-two hours before baking. This process makes the dough lighter than usual. We ate the margherita pizza, which was made of mozzarella from Campagna, tomato sauce, and basil.
Last, but not least it was time for I Dolci (dessert). The delizia al limone was delightful. This was a lemon-glazed custard sponge cake. They also have a stellar tea and coffee selection.
Everything we ate was fresh, consisted of amazing ingredients and delicious. We can’t wait to come back soon. We highly recommend this restaurant.