Now This, My Friends, Is the Food of Love

Puglia Ristorante 189 Hester Street New York, NY 10013 212-966-6006 Here I am with my fresh-from-the-kitchen focaccia panini from Puglia ...


Puglia Ristorante
189 Hester Street
New York, NY 10013
212-966-6006


Here I am with my fresh-from-the-kitchen focaccia panini from Puglia Ristorante. If this isn't hedonism, I don't know what is. These one-of-a-kind sandwiches, layered with slices of tomato, fresh basil, mozzarella and sauteed broccoli rabe (there are others on the menu, too) are smokin'. But they're only available at lunchtime, so stop by if you're in the area from around 12-3 p.m. 

They serve crispy yet pillowy soft bread every day, with herb-infused olive oil for dipping. 

Their entrees make you want to belt out "That's Amore." I suggest the eggplant parmigiana (thinly sliced eggplant dipped in egg and breadcrumb then fried and layered like lasagna, oozing with soft and steamy mozzarella and dribbles of their secret recipe marinara)...and the gnocchi (the ultimate comfort food: chewy nubs of potato-based pasta cloaked in a sharp basil pesto sauce).  

Everything comes to your table fresh from the Garafolo family cucina, where the same humble, rustic meals have been crafted with love since 1919.  

Their fruity, homemade red wine is about $14 a bottle, and worth walking 14 miles just to sip. Make sure you have a ride home, though. If you're like me, a few sips will put you in a state of giddy euphoria and eventually, a glass or two will knock off your stilettos.

Case in Point:

This is what you do, in a state of tipsy disbelief, when it's all gone.

Note: Get there on a weekend to sing The Napkin Song along with Jorge Buccio, the accordion-playing Elvis impersonator who has a cameo (inside this restaurant!) in the movie
Big Daddy with Adam Sandler. It's the date scene with Sonny and Layla where the camera pans past some woman feeding a very corpulent man...Sonny says he thinks the guy ate his last girlfriend.

The Scoop:

Prices: Appetizers range from $5-12
Entrees range from $10-30

Dress code: Totally casual

Noise level: Extremely clangorous if you go on a weekend. If you're a bit stodgy, stay away. Stay far away. 

Fun level: Never ends. 


Get there from Grand Central: 


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1 comment

One Food Guy said...

I was just in NYC last week and looking for a place to eat lunch. I'll have to check this place out the next time I'm in the city, I love eggplant parm AND gnocchi!

...BUT AT LEAST MY HAIR STILL LOOKS GREAT!
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