Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The West Village Delivers

Po Restaurant
31 Cornelia Street 
New York, NY 10014

The day had finally come after two weeks of waiting with baited breath, the Sunday of our restaurant week reservations was finally upon us, and we were sure that it would deliver us into food salvation. We began our day of culinary bliss with lunch at Po. The restaurant was small, but filled with charm, and the somewhat tight quarters were forgiven both by the ambiance and food to follow. The three course tasting meal had three options for appetizers as well as entrees, and two options for dessert. Before we even could look at the menu we ordered two glasses of house Cabernet Sauvignon and were given a complimentary dish of white bean bruschetta. The white beans were coated in olive oil and fresh basil and mounded atop a small slice of toasted baguette bread. It was refreshing, delicate and set the tone for the entire meal.
For our appetizers we ordered the Sea Bass Ravioli with tomato scallion butter, and the Romaine salad with lemon anchovy vinaigrette, shaved grana and crostini. The Sea Bass Ravioli was such a refined dish, showing both creativity and restraint in it's creation. The pasta was light and thin which helped to highlight the delicate sea bass filling. The sauce was not over bearing, but simply used to compliment both the pasta and sea bass. We tend to veer away from ordering salad when we can, but the Romaine salad seemed like the second best choice from the appetizer selections. The salad, like the ravioli, was not complicated by too much, but rather highlighted by the use of a few quality ingredients. The romaine was crispy and fresh, the shaved grana a nice salty addition, the crostini a necessary crunch, and overall the salad was perfectly dressed with tasty vinaigrette. 
Our main course choices were the Grilled Pork Loin and Skate Wing Piccata. The grilled pork loin was very thin, yet the juices from the meat were still retained. The mashed sweet potatoes were not overly sweet, but rather almost savory in a way that complimented the meat perfectly. The salsa rossa that topped the meat was a little scarce, but the dish did not need much more then the meat and starch that was provided. It was again a very refined dish, that used few ingredients, but the right ones. The skate wing piccata was over escarole, and covered in a caper and citrus butter. The skate was perfectly cooked and the sauce was light and tangy. The bitter escarole gave the dish some needed contrast. 
For dessert we ordered one of each of the two options; a Dark Chocolate Terrine, Amaretti Sorrano, Vin Santo & espresso caramel and an Apple Torta with vanilla gelato.The dark chocolate terrine was a bit too rich for our personal taste. The apple torta was delicious. The pastry was light, the apple cooked perfectly tender, and the vanilla gelato was a needed element to tie together the entire dessert. 
Overall Po is a restaurant we would love to go back to. Restaurant week was a great vessel to try a restaurant that people may be otherwise unwilling to try. The west village offers a plethora of dining options, but one should make a conscious effort to find this NYC food gem! It was the first of our two reservations, and after we were anxiously awaiting our next stop at Butter. 

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