Pagani is a beautiful restaurant on the corner of Bleecker Street and 7th Avenue, where if you do have tables near their windows, it’s great for people watching.
I recently had dinner with a friend at Pagani and we thought it’s generally a good neighborhood restaurant, especially for its prices. Starters don’t breach the $10 mark, most pastas (that are sort of on the generous side) are in the mid to high teens, and most protein mains are hovering around $25.
We started with an Uncle Ralph cocktail that was refreshing with the cucumber, lime and gin flavors. The appetizers of grilled watermelon salad with arugula, goat cheese, mango, and avocado and stuffed calamari. The salad was very good for a humid, summer night — sweet, creamy, and bitter freshness from the arugula. The calamari was fine.
Our pastas were good, especially the gramigna. The thin, elongated tubes of pasta mixed with wonderful spicy sausage and in a tomato based sauce. It tasted soulful and the lingering heat was great.
The rigatoni with braised rabbit, carrots, peas, black olives, and onion was generally a good pasta dish but it’s missing something to make this particular bowl amazing. The briny bites of olives did give the dish some life but it is not as clear and resounding compared to the gramigna.
The side of polenta fries were nicely fried and the polenta itself had a lovely, creamy texture but it lacked seasoning.
My friend had the braised beef brisket, which was contained a small bowl of horseradish potato puree, sliced carrots and two thick slices of braised brisket. It seemed great on paper but the potato lacked any zing from the horseradish and though the brisket was tender, it lacked any flavor. It needed a gravy or sauce to round out this dish.
The seared sea scallops fared better. The well seasoned, nicely seared large scallops and the flavors of the guanciale, roast fennel and smoked sunchoke puree were delicious.
Overall, this meal was good and the prices are very reasonable for the neighborhood. Service was attentive and friendly. The decor is lovely with the dark wood and when you do walk to the back of the restaurant, it does look and feel a bit romantic with the dark wood.
To view more photos of this entire meal, please CLICK HERE or view the gallery below:[alpine-phototile-for-flickr src=”set” uid=”26389565@N00″ sid=”72157645423179776″ imgl=”flickr” shuffle=”1″ style=”gallery” row=”4″ grwidth=”1200″ grheight=”800″ size=”640″ num=”30″ shadow=”1″ border=”1″ align=”center” max=”100″]
289 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10014
Phone: (212) 488-5800