Enjoying TriBeCa: Locanda Verde and Giorgione

Meryl Streep. Robert DeNiro. Sheep’s milk ricotta. Eggplant parm. And (lots of) espresso martinis.

Those words just about sum up my very fun evening at TriBeCa last week.

I went to New York last weekend and met up with some friends for a late lunch-that turned into afternoon drinks-that turned into dinner-and more drinks-affair. I was already running late so when I arrived at the restaurant, I was all frazzled and out of sorts. But before I even sat down, who do we see outside the window but the lovely Meryl Streep.

That is my first big celebrity sighting in New York and I was pretty pysched. (Okay so I saw Carson Kressley a couple of years ago at the Meatpacking District and I said “hi, Carson!” and he said “hello!” back. Oh and I also met Randy from Say Yes to the Dress. But they’re not Meryl Streep!)  I think I may have squealed a little when I saw her because I LOVE Meryl Streep, especially in the Devil Wears Prada, Julie and Julia, and It’s Complicated. She looked very casual and also a little smaller than I expected. But to start my weekend with a celebrity sighting instantly brightened up my mood.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that we were at Locanda Verde, a restaurant serving soulful Italian food by chef Andrew Carmellini and owned by Robert DeNiro (among others). The food at Locanda Verde is described as “Italian influenced tavern cooking,” which I guess means a little homey, a little rustic, a lot delicious.

we started with some lamb meatball sliders

and sheep's milk ricotta with with sea salt and herbs

Guys. This sheep’s milk ricotta. It was so luscious and creamy and wonderful. I don’t often eat ricotta cheese (unless it’s stuffed in a cannoli) because I find it a little too bland. But I’ve never had sheep’s milk ricotta before and I became an instant fan. It’s has a slight tang from the sheep’s milk, with a fluffy texture, and a velvety mouthfeel. I would go back to Locanda Verde just for this. It was perfection.

also perfection? this eggplant parm sub with egg, escarole, tomato and burrata

it was massive and I hardly made a dent to one half of the sandwich

these guys were my dining companions - I was one of the boys that day!

Marcus and Eric both ordered the grilled hanger steak

and Drew went for the roasted scallops with heirloom squash and saffron

Notice how the boys’ plates were normal human portions while I got the humongous sandwich. So much for poise. But they didn’t judge me (I think).

for dessert, we shared a lemon tart with buttermilk gelato and limoncello granita

I thought I would be all over this this (I mean, lemon tart? Buttermilk gelato?? LIMONCELLO granita?!) but I wasn’t very impressed. Maybe because it’s hard to live up to the sheep’s milk ricotta. Maybe because I was already stuffed. Maybe because I was about to get sick (true story – the day after, I woke up with laryngitis, conjunctivitis, hives, and the flu. Sexy, I know) and somehow my tastebuds for dessert were numb (because they weren’t numb for that ricotta!). But this was the only thing I didn’t love about Locanda Verde.

I heard that brunch is also wonderful at Locanda Verde so I’m going to try to squeeze that in for my next visit.

Locanda Verde on Urbanspoon

Afterwards, we walked around TriBeCa, popped into an Irish bar, and enjoyed the weather outside. Then we walked over to SoHo to check out Giorgione.

Giorgione is owned by Giorgio Deluca, as in the Deluca of Dean & Deluca

I remember the very first time that I stepped into a Dean & Deluca. It was probably about 10 years ago and I felt like a kid in a candy store (which technically, I was). I kept going around the aisles, marveling at the pastries and sandwiches. New York seemed magical to me, with its bright lights and skyscrapers and all.those.restaurants! Dean & Deluca just seemed to be one of those places that seemed quintessentially New York and so I was really glad to meet Mr. Deluca. He was very nice when he chatted with us, and he kept going back to check on us and make sure we were happy.

but whenever I have a steady supply of espresso martinis, I'm always happy

The espresso martinis at Giorgione were the perfect dessert ;) I’ve actually been craving them for a couple of weeks, especially after I read about my friend Meghan’s Godiva Coffee Martinis. You are probably not surprised when I say that I love sweet drinks, and the kahlua in the martinis gave just the right amount of sweet. Espresso martinis sort of remind me of Baby Guiness shots.

Eric and Marcus were actually with me when I had my first taste of baby guinness so I blame them for my obsession

Giorgone also boasts a wood-oven so we ordered a small margherita pizza

(Yes I know, another pizza picture, another Italian restaurant. I promise I eat other cuisines too, they just don’t get documented as often.)

we also had a plate of fritto misto (crispy shrimp and calamari)

and Mr. Deluca sent out all these desserts! we had a passion fruit and mango panna cotta, gelato, a chocolate pie, and bread pudding

Unfortunately, at this point I knew that I was definitely coming down with something because I had no appetite for dessert… Okay I lied, I had some room for the mango panna cotta, which was sublime.

when we arrived at Giorgione right before 6 pm, it was pretty empty

I was walking around, snapping pictures of the menu board

and the pretty platters of fruit and pastries

but within just a couple of hours, it quickly became packed

We were lucky to score some premium seats at the small patio, where we lingered for a few hours. I really liked Giorgione – the service was excellent and I felt very relaxed and comfortable (no, it wasn’t because of the espresso martinis.)

Giorgione on Urbanspoon

Whenever I come to New York, I always make it a point to check out a new restaurant – and go shopping, but that’s another story. It’s great to have friends who share the same enthusiasm for food as I do so we can all discuss restaurants in advance. I really enjoyed my last few visits (check out my reviews of Eataly, DB Bistro, and Resto) and this one was no exception.

Have you tried either Locanda Verde or Giorgione? What about Dean & Deluca? And have you ever had sheep’s milk ricotta?? (You must!)


43 Responses to “Enjoying TriBeCa: Locanda Verde and Giorgione”

  1. #
    MelissaNibbles posted August 13, 2011 at 8:18 am

    That’s so cool! I met Derek Jeter in the Bahamas. That’s the only celebrity encounter I’ve had.

    The food looks incredible. I need to go to NYC and stuff my face!

  2. #
    newlywed posted August 13, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Hmm, got to get me some of that sheep’s milk ricotta! That looks insanely delicious! I’ve seen Julia Roberts and Uma Thurman before, but in Boston, not NYC.

  3. #
    Alaina posted August 13, 2011 at 11:48 am

    This looks like such a fun and tasty weekend! I hope you feel better!

    I cannot wait to go down and visit my cousin in NYC and try out the differerent restaurants. I’m sure I would be overwhelmed! :-)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted August 13, 2011 at 8:42 pm

      Thanks Alaina, I do feel better :) Have fun with your cousin in NYC – I’m sure you guys will have a blast!

  4. #
    Kerstin posted August 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    How cool you saw Meryl Streep! And what a fun NYC weekend, makes me want to plan a trip :)

  5. #
    Elizabeth posted August 13, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Ok 1) I’ve wanted to go to Locanda Verde forever. That’s a shame you didn’t like the dessert though, Karen DeMasco is supposed to be a pastry genius
    2) I could eat ricotta by the spoonful. Have you ever made it yourself? Fresh ricotta is worlds different from most store-bought
    3) I’ve never heard of Giorgione! I’ll have to check it out. The desserts look taaasty
    4) My dad can regularly be found at Dean & Deluca :)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted August 13, 2011 at 8:44 pm

      Hi Elizabeth, I love the numbered list! I will give the desserts at Locanda Verde another chance when I do go back!

  6. #
    Junia @ Mis Pensamientos posted August 13, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    wow all of the foods here look so fancy and gourmet! the eggplant parm sounds fabulous! :) thanks for stopping by my blog :D green tea cake is delicious, hope u get to try it soon!

  7. #
    A Plum By Any Other Name posted August 13, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Oh my! I think you just listed some of my most favorite things in life! (With Meryl Streep and limoncello at the top.) Sounds like you had a most wonderful time.

  8. #
    Tracey posted August 13, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    What an incredible evening! I love Tribeca- it is such a fun place. Last time I was there I did see James McEvoy – who is so cute. By the way, so that are chaps that you are with! And that Sheep’s Milk Ricotta looks incredibly good!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted August 13, 2011 at 11:05 pm

      Thanks Tracey! Yes, these chaps are cute! ;)

  9. #
    Hannah posted August 14, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Oh-ho, those boys are cute! I want one!

    And I want that lemon tart, but only if it’s a nicer tasting version. And the ricotta. And Meryl Streep. I want it all!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted August 14, 2011 at 4:40 pm

      Hi Hannah, they will be flattered from the comments!

  10. #
    Simply Life posted August 14, 2011 at 8:14 am

    oh wow! looks like such a fun time in NY!

  11. #
    Maris (In Good Taste) posted August 14, 2011 at 10:54 am

    What a fun and exciting trip. The food all looks incredible!

  12. #
    Joanne posted August 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Okay so I am officially bookmarking these two places to eat at. And you have had way more celebrity sightings than I’ve ever had…and I’ve lived here my whole life!

  13. #
    Meghan@travelwinedine posted August 14, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Great post! We actually went to a wedding in NJ last weekend, and our friends used favorite restaurant names as table names. We were at the Locanda Verde table! :) We have never been to the restaurant but definitely want to.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted August 14, 2011 at 4:40 pm

      Hi Meghan, so cool – what a nice little coincidence! Yes, you and Eric should def check this out next time you’re in NYC.

  14. #
    Erica posted August 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    SO cool that you saw Meryl! I would have freaked out! All of the food looks delicious- especially the sheep’s milk ricotta – I would have been all over that goodness! And the martini? Amazing!

  15. #
    Errign posted August 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    I’m DROOLING. Seriously, that ricotta, that pizza, and the eggplant parm sub just need to get in my belly!

  16. #
    MegSmith posted August 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    This sounds like an amazing day…seeing Meryl Streep (or anybody famous for that matter) would totally make my day!

  17. #
    Michelle posted August 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    It looks like you had a fantastic time in NYC!

  18. #
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum posted August 14, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    No I have not had sheep’s milk ricotta! But I will, as soon as I get the chance! :)

  19. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet posted August 15, 2011 at 6:42 am

    I’ve been wanting to go to Laconda Verde forever now and you made me want to go even more! Sounds like a fabulous trip to NY:-)

  20. #
    Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun posted August 15, 2011 at 6:43 am

    Umm…that looks AMAZING!!!! All of it. I would be in heaven to have a day of trying out a bunch of places like that.

  21. #
    Sues posted August 15, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Oh my gosh, that sandwich looks SOOOO good!!! And I would die if I saw Meryl Streep! Love her :)

  22. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted August 15, 2011 at 10:31 am

    What a fun weekend and WHAT? you saw Meryl?! I would have gotten so star struck! I’m making lemon tarts for Weds — hope they don’t disappoint like the one you had this weekend ;)

  23. #
    Meri posted August 15, 2011 at 11:26 am

    We had the occasional celebrity at the wood-fired neapolitan pizzeria I used to work at in St. Paul (Meryl Streep, coincidentally enough, when she was filming a Prairie Home Companion in MN). It was always on nights I had off haha… maybe I should have worked more weekends? The ricotta looks amazing- I feel like I would end up spooning a little on the lemon tart and trying that, see if it would be a good combo. Maybe I’m crazy, but that was my first thought. I’d love to go to Dean and Deluca, I’ve never been!

  24. #
    Daisy posted August 15, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    so many drool worthy eats in this post. I love ricotta and not just in cannolis. I must try the sheep’s milk version!!

  25. #
    Megan posted August 15, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I’m so jealous of your entire trip… especially the Meryl Streep sighting, the ricotta, and the eggplant!

  26. #
    Tiffany posted August 15, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    I dont even know where to start with this post—maybe the fact that I am hunched over my desk holding my stomach b/c I am so hungry after seeing this post?? I dont even like ricotta (except in cannolis of course) but can definitely be down for some sheeps milk ricotta the way it looks! And that hanger steak? holy balls.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted August 15, 2011 at 10:57 pm

      Hi Tiffany! I am still obsessing about the sheep’s milk ricotta and researching now where I can find it here in Boston!

  27. #
    Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous! posted August 15, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    I’m sorry you got so sick, but it looks like you had one amazing day! I don’t know if I have ever heard of anything as delicious sounding as an espresso martini!!! I wonder if I can find one here in Texas ! :)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted August 15, 2011 at 10:54 pm

      Hi Lauren, yup I was so happy that I was able to enjoy NYC that afternoon/evening before being quarantined in my hotel room for being sick ;) I am sure you have espresso martinis there! They are soooo good!

  28. #
    Susan posted August 16, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Best celebrity sighting ever. What a perfect trip!

  29. #
    Kim K posted August 16, 2011 at 11:00 am

    YUMMY!! YUMMY!! YUMMYY!!! i was in NYC this past weekend as well! i wish i knew you were there, we could have met up. btw, you guy friends are absolutely adorable!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted August 16, 2011 at 11:20 am

      Thanks Kim! Eeek I was out of commission for most of the weekend – except this day when we went out – because I got horribly sick, so I wouldn’t have been a fun companion anyway. But next time we should coordinate our trips! (Or better yet, go out together in Boston!)

  30. #
    belovedgreen posted August 16, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    All those delicious meals, I don’t even know where I would start. Seriously awesome that you got to see Meryl — we’re on first name basis – bff’s and all ;-)

  31. #
    Erin @ A Nesting Experience posted August 16, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Wow! The food looks delicious, the weekend looks fun, and my goodness Meryl Streep. So Amazing!

  32. #
    Paige @ Running Around Normal posted August 16, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    You look so prettttyyy! And that pizza looks insanely good. Sounds fun:)

  33. #
    shannon posted August 17, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    oh wow, that sheep’s milk ricotta sounds heavenly! but the sandwich, also killer :) fun weekend!

  34. #
    Audrey Ellen posted August 23, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Looks like you had an amazing trip and incredible eating tour of NYC!
    I have been trying to go to Locanda Verde for a while now, I walked past it the other day and had to be physically restrained because it was 11pm and I have no money. But your post sealed the deal. Those scallops must be mine!

  35. #
    Amy @ Elephant Eats posted October 18, 2011 at 11:23 am

    I’m always looking for a new place to try in NYC, so Locanda Verde is officially on my list!

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