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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Late Lunch at Aria

herbed goat cheese in tomato sauce

Last Monday, I again ventured into the Village for something good and new to eat on my lunch break. I headed west on Perry Street and soon landed at Aria, just west of Hudson. The space was cool and quiet and being the sole diner in the restaurant, I decided to dine at the bar. The bartender informed me that all of their dishes are "appetizer size" and recommended selecting two or three. With his prompting (my first choice was 'eighty-sixed'), I decided upon herbed goat cheese in a rich tomato sauce ($9) for my first course. He also informed: It's really good to eat it with the bread.

gnocchi with fresh mozzarella

My dish arrived in a timely enough manner (nothing like the wait I had last week at Spasso) along with a generous bread basket. I pierced into the goat cheese with my spoon and scooped up a bit of the sauce. The warmed goat cheese was sumptuously soft and creamy (its texture was akin to whipped butter) and worked well with the rich tomato sauce. I took the bartender's advice and immediately began scooping up the delectable dish with the accompanying bread... until it was finished. In the end, I'd wished I had enjoyed some of the dish sans the bread.

For my main course, I selected gnocchi ($12). When the gnocchi arrived, I thought to myself that I could easily have done with just one of these dishes (especially the former with all of that bread); nonetheless, I wasted no time in tasting the morsels of pasta. I must tell you that I've never been the type to eat Italian as my first choice. (unless I'm in the mood for a pizza) And since I so rarely ever eat pasta, I didn't have much to compare it to when I'd tasted the gnocchi. But, I can tell you that it did taste hand made and that I probably would take someone that likes Italian to this restaurant. I also enjoyed the tender cubes of cool, fresh mozzarella interspersed among the gnocchi. (a nice temperature contrast)

the "best tiramisu" my bartender had ever had

After finishing my main course, I decided to try one of Aria's desserts. I chose 'the best tiramisu my bartender had ever had.' When it arrived, I was somewhat perplexed (and concerned) to see it sitting atop a pool of dark chocolate sauce. The tiramisu was still good, but I wouldn't say it was the best I'd ever had.

Aria, 117 Perry Street, West Village
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